The Art of Relating for Sustainable Sales

The Art of Relating for Sustainable Sales

Every entrepreneur or salesperson has faced challenges selling their products and services.  It is part of the sales process journey.  We have been taught to listen to prospects and customers through the discovery phase and then to present a solution that best solves their problem or provides a solution.  While this is the correct process, there is one area where most entrepreneurs fall short.  It comes down to effective communication.

Effective communication is important in all aspects of your business but most important when it comes to engaging customers and selling your services and products.  The issue here is that most entrepreneurs listen to respond and not listen to understand.  There is a big difference here.  Think about it for a minute!  When you ask questions during the discovery process, most people will be formulating in their minds what they are going to say or respond to what they heard.  They are listening but not truly in the moment.  They are listening in the future projecting how they will respond to the prospect or customer.  There is a big difference again here between present and future.  The reality is that while you pick up key points you are missing the emotional connection being in the future.  An emotional connection requires the entrepreneur to truly relate to the prospect or customer. It requires you to be present and fully engaged to what they are not only saying but truly how they feel in the moment.  People buy products to how they feel in the moment.

The process to master your sales craft is the art of relating to others.  Here is the process below.

  • Ask Open Ended Questions (not Yes or No responses)
  • Clarify your prospect or client’s response by paraphrasing what they said back to them after each question. Use the words they stated to you.
  • Show how you can relate to their experience truthfully. If not, state you cannot specifically to this experience but something similar to build rapport and trust.
  • Listen in the moment to establish full engagement.
  • Once problem is fully revealed, ask if they are open for a suggestion or recommendation.
  • Paraphrase using their words the problem and recommend the solution to how you can relate to them and their situation.

The key difference to listening to respond to listening to understand is your ability to relate to them.  They have to feel they have been heard and you are really vested in helping them and not just selling your product or service.  If the person you are talking too is not the key decision maker, you would still use this process.  Your ability to generate instant credibility and that they can trust you leads to referrals to their boss or top decision maker.

Please note that communication is a two way street.  Your prospects and customers also have to know what you specifically do to help them.  Your message must be personal and informative to directly connect with your audience. Regardless of the format–written, verbal, visual or a combination thereof–your ability to deliver powerful and succinct messages is one of the most essential components of your business.

You work hard in your business.  It is you they will buy into first using the process above before seeing the value in your product or service to solve their problem.  Learn the art of communicating positively, and people will be drawn to you and your business.  Here are some tips to improve communication from your end.

  1. Be specific with your message. The ability to keep things specific and simple will improve the quality of the responses you receive from prospects and customers.  Being clear makes it easier for recipients to understand and remember your message. Whether you’re making a point during a conversation or in an e-mail, always keep the goal behind the communication in mind. Most details are more important to you than to others, so only convey what is important to them keeping in concise and simple.
  2. Make all communication conversational.Entrepreneurs are driven and often passionate about the solutions they provide to solve problems or fulfill requirements. Be careful not to dominate every conversation. Your prospects and customers demand your full attention and respect.  A successful exchange of ideas cannot be possible without keeping the communication conversational.  People want to be valued, and the best way to achieve that is by listening to understand and relating to them..
  3. Use stories to communicate.People learn faster and remember better when you create a visual picture for them using stories. Whether you’re networking at a function or meeting a client in person, illustrate major points using descriptive words to create visual images in their mind. You can turn any conversation into a marketing message by incorporating client testimonials that are relevant to your client. It comes down to your ability to paint a picture of success by highlighting how your products or services have helped others achieve specific goals.
  4. Use repetition to Increase their understanding.Repeating key points of your message throughout all of your communication increases your client’s comprehension and personal investment in you. This will inspire others to investigate further and provide you with additional information. Their increased comprehension makes it easier for them to communicate your solution to others involved in the decision process.

Never stop developing your communication skills. You will discover many new insights and unique opportunities by having the right conversations. The art of relating to others builds respect and trust with others.  It is the missing piece of the puzzle to master the art of selling in business.  In turn, it will also serve you in many other ways.  It will affect your personal life by improving your relationship with a spouse, children, and friends.

Keep your communications up-to-date always as your business evolves. You will see how effective communication enables your life and work to move forward with ease.

To your health & prosperity,

Christopher Salem