From time to time, my inbox has been like my kitchen junk drawer. You know what I mean – a destination for things I’m sure I’ll need at some point. Yet, also like that drawer, I rarely take the time to investigate the items I’ve thoughtfully saved.
Not so this past week. My access to the recording of a webinar entitled “Building Rapport in a Virtual Environment” was set to expire on October 19. With a fresh cup of coffee in hand, I hit play and enjoyed an outstanding learning experience.
Much of what I learned will inform future posts but two things are bumping around in my brain and demanding to be shared immediately.
What are these two things? And how can they inform your sales process? Keep reading to find out.
First is the use of the expiry date on the recording. A simple idea that, because the topic captured my interest, motivated me to make time to watch the video. The result? In the first 15 minutes, I gained significant knowledge and ideas for future projects. So much so, that within 24 hours, I paid for an annual membership in the American Association of Inside Sales Professionals. The value I’d received from this one learning experience exceeded the cost.
For all of us that are sharing our video content regularly, the structure of this webinar was a prime example of inspiring both action and purchase.
Second is a quote shared by the webinar’s host, Bob Perkins, which caused me to both smile and sigh. It is one of those statements that make me go “I wish I’d said that!”
The quote – “To be interesting, be interested” – originates with Dale Carnegie in his seminal work How to Win Friends and Influence People. When we express a genuine interest in another person, we not only gain their attention, we cultivate trust. And trust is an indispensable part of every sales process.
Truly effective sales and customer service conversations start with expressing our genuine interest in the prospect or client. This simple action dissolves defensiveness, reveals opportunities and encourages the prospect or client to be interested in us.
How can you develop a deeper interest in your prospects and clients? Here are some ideas:
- Visit their websites and look for recent press releases, media interviews or announcements;
- Check out a few of their posts on social platforms to learn more about their business, interests and experiences;
- Scan recent events or news in their industry and/or profession;
- Ask open-ended questions; and
- Make use of the universal open-ended question that ignites amazing conversations – “Tell me more … .”
I’m not advocating that you spend excessive amounts of time on research. This is about taking a few moments to whet your curiosity and use it to establish rapport, build relationships and create excitement about you and your company.