The sales industry is one that is built largely on relationships, and salespeople are accountable for selling by building those connections with clients. These five tips will help you build meaningful sales connections with clients and potential customers.
1. Have Conversations, not sales pitches
If a customer doesn’t like you, a sale is going to be a lot harder. Keep it casual - you don’t want your customers to feel like you are pushing them to buy. It is important to go in with a smile while at the same time being aware of the customer’s mood, tone and body language.
They may have just had a difficult consultation and have a waiting room heaving with patients. Look around the waiting room, what magazines are there? Golfing, classic cars etc, maybe that is an ice breaker question the customer may have an interest in those subjects. Photos on the wall in the customers own room…Boats, Family, Horses. Latching on to something relevant helps get the visit down to a personal level. At least if you have something like that it is then not all about the “sale”. Sales connections aren’t build overnight – they take time to nurture and grow, so be patient.
It is important to build relationships with front office staff in medical centres. Treat them with respect as they are faced with various difficulties in their role daily.
If you want the gatekeeper at a doctor’s office to let you talk to a doctor, get the gatekeeper to like you, then they will trust you enough to let you in. The key is to get personal. Take the time to find out the gatekeeper’s name and more importantly, use it! Be polite and courteous – allow patients to come first when you get to that front desk. Once you have connected with the gatekeeps and built a friendship they will try to speed up your access to the doctor as much as possible.
Pay attention to what the GP or Practice Nurse says and ask questions instead of talking the whole time. You will be able to better serve your customers by taking on the knowledge they share with you. Whether they’re feeding back on a recent product, telling you about a concern they’ve had or just offering ideas for advancement, maintain customer relationships by really listening to what your customers are saying. “Listening” is equally as important as “talking”.
3. Be genuine
Customers can tell when you’re being insincere, so don’t be. They will also stop trusting you if you seem dishonest. Build that trust by being completely truthful, sharing both the good and the bad instead of manipulating them to make a sale. Salespeople who will do or say anything to earn a sale are a liability. To become a successful sales-person, you must be trustworthy, honest and dependable.
4. Make their lives easier
Your aim is for your customers to enjoy working with you. If you can help them out, they will love doing business with you. Try to make all your interactions fit seamlessly in to a customer’s schedule. Always be available in case they have a question or concern.
Always arrive at appointments or cancel with as much lead time as you can give the practice, so that they may fill the empty slot with a patient consultation.
5. Maintain your relationships
Don’t put in all this hard work only to fall out of touch with customers once the deal closes. Keep in touch. The objective is principally to keep your relationships existing, especially to engage with new personnel if there are changes, and secondly to spot new opportunities as they arise.
In summary, the above behaviors will help medical sales representatives build relationships that, in turn, create customer loyalty and retention.