We’ve all heard the old saying time and time again, that it’s not what you know but who you know and I’m here to say that this profound and mostly misunderstood statement seems to be highly accurate in my opinion. However, there is more to the statement then you may have thought. For example; one of the reasons we’re all on social media is to grow our networks and connect with other professionals with similar interests. We post, tweet, retweet and blog so we can establish credibility and work towards building a pipeline of referrals, references and money making opportunities. In doing so, we subtly prove that the old saying “It’s not what you know – but who you know” is not only relevant but prevalent in our individual and corporate success. However, I’d like to take it to the next level and show you that this statement is two-fold and has an alternate meaning that can become even more beneficial for us all.
When we take this statement and apply it to our customer transactions it profoundly brings new insight and understanding of our client’s needs. We can do this because we now know that it’s not what we know but who we know, and the more we know about our clients, the more informed we are about how to provide the right advice and solutions. What I’d like to show you in a few simple steps is how we can transform a simple conversation into a life-long relationship with great referral opportunities.
- The first step would be to take a genuine interest in your customer during the initial consultation. When you’re speaking with your clients – try to refrain from multi – tasking, whether that would be mentally or functionally. People prefer to conduct business with people who are genuine and considerate of their time. So, instead of thinking how you’re going to end the conversation and move on, take a moment, and listen. Listen to what the customer is saying and begin identifying their buying motives. Uncovering these clues are like unearthing a lost treasure – they are highly valuable and only the most passionate and adventurous people are usually the ones who go after it. As a young actor I was taught that in order to land a job you have to have patience and a stellar audition. Some of the keys to a great audition was to first understand what the character was going through at the moment. As we proceed in dialogue I was to know what the character wanted, what the character needed and what the character felt. It was only when I got a feel for the character and reading partner was I supposed to speak. Just like these audition techniques, if you simply listen and remain patient you’ll gain a valuable opportunity to conversationally ask questions regarding your prospects current situation. By demonstrating to your clients that you care enough to listen without agenda they’ll tell you everything you need to know. Forget about probing for more clues to the treasure, they’ll willing hand over the map.
- The next step is to take what you’ve learned about your client and establish an action plan for both you as the advisor and your customer. Depending on the industry that you’re in there may be a sales or self-service process that is customary for you to follow. However; I would suggest to steer clear of the same itinerary or interview questions that every other company uses. Be unique in your approach, delivery and closing process. Ask yourself – what does the customer want? What does the customer need? What does the customer like about our company? And how can I meet their needs? Remember…It’s not what you know but who you know!
- Solutions and Recommendations. With a clear understanding of your customer’s pain points and buying motives, you are now equipped with the right information to formulate your expert recommendation and offer your best solution that fits the customer’s needs. Your closing may sound something like this, “Mr. Gonzales, based on what you’ve shared with me regarding your search for a new home, I assure you that we have the best solutions that’ll fit your needs and your budget. I’ve taken detailed notes pertaining to your specific requests and from what I’ve gathered, it sounds like you’re looking for a home that is (_________) and in this specific price range. Is that correct? So, would you agree that based on the options that I have presented to you that this would be the best fit for you? Next, you would move on to your closing statement. With a smile and excitement in your voice you’d want to extend your most sincere gratitude and appreciation for their business. You would want to use words like “I’m excited,” “This is going to be awesome,” “Can’t wait to get started,” and “I’m so glad I got a chance to meet with you.” These statements may seem a bit cheesy to you, but I assure you they really work.
- Set The Expectations. Inform your new client of what to expect in the next 24 hours, week or month. Share with them how your next form of communication will be, such as an email, phone call or a package to look out for in the mail. Next, you want to sync up your calendars and do it while you’re both on the phone or in your initial consultation. You’ll want to do this as soon as possible to avoid any mishaps in communication.
There’s no doubt that incorporating these types of sales techniques and practicing them daily will elevate your business to new heights. Your current customers that you interact with daily will take note and begin to share their experiences with friends and family. They’ll become one of your greatest allies and influencers. Think of it this way – next level business – takes next level practice and next level practice builds a next level brand. Your brand is your identity and your identity is your character. So, I’ll ask you – what do you want to be known for? Cheap sales tactics or a sincere and genuine professional. Like I’ve said before, it’s not what you know – but WHO you know and knowing your client is the foundation for building a life-long relationship.
There’s more to life than making a quick buck and growing your following to 1M plus. If you’d like to know more about building a business that is profitable, credible and will stand the test of time – then connect with me on twitter @jesus_gonzales7 or visit gonzalesmedia.com.
Philippians 4:13 NLT – “For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.”