Do you make your clients jump through hoops to do business with you? Are you easy or hard to deal with? Do organizational policies come before client interests?
The best sales process is client centric. Selling is about analyzing and solving problems for your client, not adding busy work or making their life more difficult.
Every step of your sales process should add value for your client. If it doesn’t, eliminate it or redesign your process. Of course, your product or service should deliver value to your client, but they should be receiving value throughout the process of doing business with you. Your client should always feel that you are serving them, not the other way around.
An investment advisor I know will sit down with his clients and take them to a web site that estimates both the amount of money a family will need to put their children through college, and the amount of financing they will qualify for based on their particular details. With this information in hand he in then best able to give advice and assist the family with their planning.
This step in the sales process not only illustrates the needs that the client has which will help close the sale, but it also delivers important and valued information to the client.
Here is how to evaluate your sales process and make sure every step delivers value and moves your client toward a successful purchase.
Make a list of every step in your sales process. You may include prospecting, initial client contact, all correspondence with your clients or prospects, preparing proposals and presentations, paperwork, product or service delivery, thank you notes, and anything else you do in your sales process.
Here’s where the fun comes in. Evaluate each step with regards to the value that your client derives. If a step doesn’t add value for your client, think about eliminating that step. Your clients do not want busy work, and neither do you.
In your initial contact what information can you provide that your client would find helpful? Maybe give them an article reprint or a white paper that you have written. When filling out any forms think about making copies for their records. If your client is going to go to the trouble of putting together a lot of information for you, leave them with a copy for future use, or compile that information and put it in a binder that will store easily on their shelf.
When sending a thank you card you can include a coupon for a future purchase or insert another appropriate item that they would appreciate. Keep your clients happy throughout the sales process. Keep adding value. Some value will be significant. Some value may seem minor, but the fact that you continue to show that you are thinking about your client will go a long way in building ironclad relationships.
Seek advice from others in your organization and past clients. Find out what would add value for them. Use a brief survey to find out what they feel is important. Don’t assume you know all of the answers. Every time I ask clients for their feedback and input I am always amazed with their responses. Once you fully know what a client wants, you can provide that for them throughout the sales process.
The more value you deliver the more likely you will make the sale, the more value you can ask for in return, and the faster your referral base will grow. You earn the right to make a sale and add a new client by continuing to deliver value throughout the sales process and over the life of a relationship. Spend the time to find more places and ways to deliver value, and you will be on the road to Building a Better Biz!