Rapport Building – Step 3: The Handshake

To shake or not to shake, that is the question. It used to be that salespeople would always shake the hands of everyone they met. In today’s world, that isn’t always the case. As with many aspects of selling, clients should be treated the way they want to be treated. And, there are people out there who just don’t want to shake your hand.

Depending on what your product is, the handshake may be inappropriate. For example, if you market products to senior citizens, there’s a likelihood that they might have arthritis in their hands and shaking hands is uncomfortable for them. Be aware and be gentle with those people. If you market products to people in the health care field, they may be averse to the handshake because of the potential spread of germs. In these situations it never hurts to ask (with a smile) “May I shake your hand?”

However, in most sales situations, a handshake is appropriate and expected. Handshakes can be very telling. If yours is weak, it makes a negative first impression on your potential clients. If it’s too strong, that can also create a negative impression. [Read more…]

Rapport Building – Step 2: Remembering Names

In sales, we meet a lot of people. And one of the most important things to every person we meet is their name. So, it’s critical that we get those name right…and that we remember them.

I’ll never forget one incident that embarrassed me so much that I immediately sought a way to change how I remember names. I had met a very nice couple and spent quite a bit of time over one weekend showing them homes. On Sunday afternoon, we found the home that met all their needs and they wanted to make an offer. As I filled out the legal documents, I said to the husband, “Shall I put your name down as Bob or Robert?” He said, “Tom, I think Jim makes a lot of sense.” [Read more…]

Activity Breeds Productivity in Network Marketing

What are you going to do today to build your network marketing business? If you have a list of activities to complete that work for the good of your business, wonderful! If you do not, it may time to take a look at your goals for your business and your motivation to succeed in it.

If you were truly inspired enough about your product and the opportunity to build your own business when you joined your company, you should be excited to get up every morning and talk with everyone you meet about it. The time you spend actually presenting either your products or the opportunity to others is what your day should be based on. However, there will be days when you do not have anyone new to talk with. When that happens, you still need to be productive.

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Work Smarter, Not Harder in Network Marketing

When it comes to getting involved in network marketing, most people experience a certain degree of fear. That’s perfectly normal. While the prospect of having your own business is exciting, if it’s your first time considering such an ‘independent’ venture, many pitfalls also come to mind. Stop right now and turn those negative fears into positive actions. Let’s focus instead on the skills you need to succeed.

The skills you need most are “people” skills. This includes an understanding of some very basic principles involving how and where to meet new people, making good first impressions, getting to know them and building the relationship.

How and Where to Meet New People

We all meet new people all the time through our jobs, while traveling, at social events, and so on. Yet, when we think about ‘having’ to meet new people to build a business, many panic at what to do. That’s because meeting new people [Read more…]

The Survey Approach to Prospecting

If you have access to a postal mailing list for potential clients, I suggest sending them a simple, one-page letter of introduction then following up with a phone call. [Even better, if you can network with someone else who already does business with the people you’re trying to approach, get their permission to send the letter under their name.] If you have access to email lists, consider using those addresses in a similar manner.

The letter needs to be personalized with the recipient’s name. Don’t send letters with a salutation of “Dear Friend” or “To Whom It May Concern”. Here’s a sample letter derived from my book, Sales Prospecting for Dummies. [Read more…]

What you should know about building trust

During one of the most brutal battles of World War I, the fighting stopped for one particular evening. Christmas Eve. Men on both sides of the battle lines hunkered down in their cold fox holes for at least one night of peace.

Soon, a Christmas carol was heard floating on the cold air across the contested ground. The language was different, but everyone knew the tune and soon both sides were singing together. Before the evening was over several of the men emerged from their muddy trenches, met in “no man’s land,” and exchanged greetings and even humble Christmas gifts with their enemies.

If battle-hardened men who were in the midst of trying to conquer each other’s territory can find common ground in no man’s land, then certainly we salespeople can do the same thing on the showroom floor, at the executive desk, or the dining room table.

Finding that common ground is critical to building a level of trust that lowers sales resistance. During this early segment of the sales process, you should search for areas of interest you share with each new person you meet. The supply of topics is practically endless. For example, family, the weather, sports, hobbies, or current events are natural choices in consumer sales. If you’re in business-to-business sales, you can always ask those questions as well as questions about their company, products or industry. [Read more…]

Use an Intent Statement

I recommend the use of intent statements to set the stage for every presentation. An intent statement is designed to reduce sales resistance that is created by the unknown. When potential clients don’t know what to expect next their minds tend to wander and their anxieties build.

Your intent statements tell your clients clearly what they can expect from your time together and relieve any sales pressure they are imagining. It accomplishes two very important tasks:

1. It introduces an agenda of sorts so everyone has a clear picture of what to expect.

2. It lets your potential clients know that it’s okay to say “no.” (No, I’m not crazy…read on!) [Read more…]

7 Steps to Establishing Rapport

Before beginning your presentation, spend some time establishing rapport. This is a vital “warm up” to any sale. You have to make your potential clients comfortable with you before they’ll want to listen to you or answer your questions.

First, always use the client’s name the way they give it. If your client introduces himself as Anthony, don’t call him Tony. Don’t ever change a name. Just remember it correctly and be prepared to use it a few times during the presentation.

Next, make good eye contact. There is an old adage that if you can’t look me in the eye, I can’t trust you. I don’t know if that is necessarily true, but if they believe it, it is! [Read more…]