Vesta Digital Blog

The Trick To Making A Sale – Engage With Your Customer

Posted on: November 2, 2010

customer serviceSelling is a process, not an event. The ability to make sales takes the building of relationships and establishing credibility in the minds of your consumers. If you don’t take the time to let your customer feel a certain comfort zone with you, you will undoubtedly lose the sale.

The art of engaging a customer takes practice, time, and effort. Many experts say it can take anywhere from seven to 12 contacts with a customer before he or she is ready to buy. Each of these contacts should give the consumer a genuine reason why your product will make his or her life better.

Here are 4 tips from Joanna L. Krotz, a writer for Microsoft Business.

1. First, define your prospects.

Selling professional services requires a different scenario. “It’s a more complex sale. You need to have a comprehensive conversation and touch one customer many times,” says New York sales trainer Wendy Weiss. She advises skipping e-mail and going straight to human-to-human contact.

Your goal is to contact as many prospects as possible. If you have a list of 200 or so, leave your information, move on and circle back. But if your industry is limited to a half-dozen or so big fish, keep making contact until you establish a relationship. Doing your homework is a must. Research your industry and prepare your list or database of high-level targets before you start.

2. Then calculate the costs.

For online marketing, that means actual conversion rates, not click-throughs to your Web site. For offline sales, it means analyzing the numbers so you know exactly how much you must invest β€” upfront β€” before you bank one check or ring up one sale.

No question, this takes sustained effort. But think it through. If you send out 100,000 e-mails and get 10 sales in return versus mailing 10,000 postcards that generate 1,000 sales β€” the higher postage and print costs probably provide the better the ROI. Or, set up a one-two punch that combines two channels. Just because a channel is cheap to use doesn’t make it cost-effective. Many marketers like to send early e-mail notices or offers to “warm up” prospects.

3. Know that effective messages match the medium.

Before choosing any channel, create a consistent sales message. This should be your product’s point of difference, which must be clearly communicated in any and all contacts. What’s your sales story? What’s your response to every customer objection? Why should anyone buy your product? Even commodity products, such as janitorial services or fast food, must have a story that makes them stand out, whether it’s an emphasis on experience, reliability, convenient locations or better service. Then adjust the message so it’s appropriate for the channels you choose.

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