Sometimes it feels like walking the line between salesman and friend/person your customer can relate to is a little thin. After all you really do want your customers to buy or to act but you don’t want to come across as pushy or uninterested. So, how do you find balance between encouraging sales and maintaining a relationship with your best customers?
Care: It seems obvious, but customers know if you really care of if you’re just putting on an act to get them to buy something. Learn to really care about your customers and express interest in their thoughts, ideas and comments. This may feel more difficult online, but paying attention to what your customers are saying online allows you to understand their frustrations and what they like. You can appeal to customers by taking action on both fronts. Communicate your concern for their satisfaction and act on it.
Don’t be afraid to sell: Don’t be timid. Most likely people already know you are trying to sell them your product of service. So don’t shy away from talking about it. If you are upfront about wanting to make a sale, but also being interesting in the person you are talking to, you’ll be able to develop good relationships and to keep your business floating.
No, your website should not be one promotional speech after another. But, you are trying to sell. Sell by using other’s people words so that you don’t come across as annoying. Make sure that when someone logs onto your website they know what you are offering. It doesn’t have to be in bold red letters but it shouldn’t be written in the smallest script possible either.
Do not hide your light under a bushel, in other words: don’t hide that you are selling something.
Assume but be flexible: A few weeks ago two guys came to our apartment to sell books/magazines for a project they were working on. When we started talking about the products, they immediately filled out an order form, assuming I was going to make a purchase. They didn’t ask me to make a purchase they just assumed I was going to. But, they didn’t try to force me to buy out of my price range or at all.
So, assume your customers want what you have to offer and don’t be afraid to sell less than you want if that’s what your customer wants. When your customer knows you want them to have what they need, they’ll have more respect for your opinion and they’ll know that you aren’t trying to pressure them into something they don’t want to or can’t do.
Price check, website 5: Don’t be afraid to list prices or at the very least ball park prices for your products online. It makes selling easier and it makes the decision easier for your customer. By having a price in front of them they will know right away whether they can afford what you have to offer or not. Besides saving time, it lets people know you aren’t trying to sneakily pressure them into buying something.
You can sell and be approachable. You can sell and not be annoying. You can sell and still have friends at the end of the day. Handling it tactfully and professionally will make it easier for people to respect you, even if they don’t want to buy what you have to offer.
photo by: Andrew Scott