(or: What we need to be reminded of when it comes to the sales process)
The Eurotranslate team recently participated in a workshop held by Nigel T Packer from Pelatis, focused on maximising marketing and sales efforts. The main purpose of this workshop was not only to teach us advanced methodologies and advise us on recommended practices but also to remind us what the essence and true core of the sales process really should be. Here are some takeaways all of us thought were worth remembering – and sharing.
GET TO KNOW YOUR CLIENTS
There are many ways one can approach client-facing situations and try to find out what the person on the other side of the computer screen or the other end of the phone is like. One of them is creating a detailed “description” of clients (or their representatives), including their likes and dislikes, lifestyle choices, and anything that would help us gain a clear understanding of the people we deal with on a daily basis.
This creation of “personas” has several purposes, but what strikes me as the underlying benefit is you actually get to know the person; you learn how they prefer to communicate, what level of formality they use (especially in email correspondence), what makes them tick and how they approach the job at hand. It sometimes might not seem enough, but once we learn to delve a bit deeper than just the written brief, or the enquiry, we will learn to appreciate the actual person more, not just the faceless name on our screen, and by appreciating them more – we will also find ways to connect with them on a deeper level.
What Nigel reminded us, and what we need to keep remembering, is that the connections we make can elevate the way we deal with others, but also how highly our suggestions and input are regarded by the client and their PMs.
This would mean wishing someone a nice day, instead of just typing ‘regards’ on autopilot, or showing interest in their hobbies or likes, in short: creating a conversational environment where work is done, of course, but a human relationship is formed, too.
FOLLOW AND FOLLOW AND FOLLOW UP
Forming a relationship with someone, especially when a vendor and a client are in question, is not always easy, and it takes time, patience and effort. It starts with seemingly small steps, which could end up meaning much more: following up is the name of the game. After a successful project, contact them to see if they were satisfied with the service. When a quote has been rejected, contact them to see what the reason was and if the quote can somehow be improved to suit them. After not hearing from them for a while, contact them just to check how they are, and let things flow from there.
The keyword here is CONTACT. Human contact, not just business dealings – and this is the biggest lesson we tend to forget so easily.
We are not working with papers, files, documents – we are working with people.