Making more sales while retaining your integrity -- is it possible to do both?
Here are seven suggestions:
1. Focus on the getting to the "truth" of your potential client's situation. You may or may not be a fit for each other, so focusing on the end goal of making the sale only derails the trust-building process. Without trust, you compromise integrity.
2. Eliminate rejection once and for all by setting realistic expectations and avoiding traditional sales behaviors such as defensiveness, persuasion, and over-confidence. If you're not trying to sell, you can't be rejected.
3. Stop "chasing" potential clients who have no intention of buying. How can you do this? Shift your mindset and boost your truth-seeking skills so that you can quickly, yet graciously, discern whether the two of you are a potential "fit" or not.
4. Avoid calling people "prospects" or even thinking about them that way. People are people, and when you label them in your language or your thoughts, you dehumanize them and the sales process. "Prospect" reinforces the notion that sales is only a "numbers game." Train yourself to think about "potential clients" instead.
5. Take the "cold" out of your cold calling. Don't start with "Hi, my name is... I'm with... We do...". When you begin a conversation by making it about you, instead of about the other person, you immediately cut off the possibility of opening a dialogue. Try the more humble approach of asking "Maybe you can help me out for a second," and keep in mind that you're really calling to help them solve their problems.
6. Don't try to "overcome" objections. Instead, determine whether the objection is the client's truth or not. Then you can decide whether to continue to open the conversation.
7. Avoid using "I" or "We" in your e-mail communications to potential clients. These words indicate that the focus of your communication is on satisfying your needs rather than solving their problems. This sets the wrong tone for a potential relationship.