How to Connect Better, Sell More, and Boost Your Bottom Line

How to Connect Better, Sell More, and Boost Your Bottom Line

Have you ever been called socially awkward? Have you ever wished you could connect with everyone?

When it comes to predicting future success, how well you connect with other people is a determining factor.

How to Connect Better Sell More Boost Bottom Line

Photo credit: cybrarian77 / Foter / CC BY-NC

When I worked my Corporate job, I had people at all levels of the business asking me how to build better relationships.

Sitting at a business dinner, a high-profile Account Executive asked me,

Ellory, what's the secret to building relationships? How can I connect with my customers better?

I was pretty shocked he'd be asking me. He was the field salesperson. He was supposed to be the expert. But, here he was, asking me how I was able to build successful relationships with people over the phone, and from hundreds of miles away.

While I believe being a good connector is an art-form, I also believe we can all get better with practice. By doing what I'm going to share with you, on a frequent and regular basis, anyone can become a great connector.

But first, the bottom line.

You can connect better, sell more and succeed in business by building better relationships.

Sound simple?

Maybe. But, as with everything that takes skill, it's easier said than done.

How to Connect Better, Sell More, and Boost Your Bottom Line

At the end of the day, succeeding in business comes down to who we know, who we like, and who we trust. Getting customers, bosses and team members to know, like and trust you will make you successful.

To help you be successful, let me share some of the tactics to go along with our strategy.

Call People By Their First Name

Whenever I call someone on the phone, I call them by their first name. I don't call them “Doctor Smith,” I call them John. I don't say “Mr. Kinson,” I say, “Hey James.”

While this tactic may not be for everyone, I've had a lot of success with it. Calling someone by their formal title does two things.

1: It puts an invisible barrier between you. Friends don't call each other “Dr. Smith.” Friends call each other by their first name, and we do business with our friends.

2: It tells the other person you're a stranger. If you call me on the phone and say, “Hi Mr. Wells,” I know we don't know each other. And, again, I do business with people I know.

When trying to get past an admin/secretary, using target's first name assumes a familiarity. Calling someone by their title puts you in a submissive and unfamiliar position.

Find and Establish Common Ground

The first rule of resolving a disagreement is to find common ground. We want to focus on how we're similar and what we agree on instead of where we're different.

Though we're not arguing, placing focus on your similarities is a great way to break down barriers. We like people who like what we like. If a customer sees you as someone they have things in common with, they're more likely to trust you. The more they trust you, the more they'll buy from you.

If you both are from the same state, talk about how much you love it, or, why you both left. If you both went to the same college, you're in. If you both enjoy racquetball on the weekends… you get the idea.

By finding common ground, you'll have an edge over your competition. Whether you're competing for a new customer or a promotion, you'll get further if people know who you are and what you're about.

Learn Three Fun Facts About Each Person You Meet

This one will set you a part. Guaranteed. Learning seemingly random facts about my customers made me more successful than anyone else on my sales team.

I was able to talk to Vickie about the bathroom she was remodeling. Kathy and I talked about her son in the Airforce. I talked to Brian about the headache of being out-bid on several houses he and his new wife were trying to buy together.

See what I did there?

No longer was I “Ellory the sales rep.” I was Ellory who cares about what I'm doing, what important to me, and asks me about what I'm going through.

Instead of calling a customer and asking if they've heard about your latest product, imagine this. Imagine you could call Susan on the phone and ask her how her sick son was doing. Imagine you could call Jim, and instead of asking if they'd made a decision on vendors yet, you could ask how he was feeling after his wreck.

These tiny pieces of information create a human to human connection. Corporate America doesn't teach this type of connection because it's a few steps too far removed from the bottom line.

But, by learning at least three facts about each person I spoke to, I was able to generate millions of dollars in profit for my company. I was able to steal business from my competitors, and I was able to create loyalty with my customers.

Ask More Questions

Sales 101, shut up. Seriously, stop talking. The same skills that make you friends will earn you customers. No one wants to hear you speak for thirty minutes about how you and/or your product is the greatest thing since the invention of the wheel.

Your passion is great but your customers don't care. They are only interested in how your service will ease their headache.

Asking targeted questions, which you'll have if you listen, your customers will tell you what they need.

Far too often I'd hear sales people talking about a hot selling-point of a new product. After shutting up, they learned the customer was more interested in tried and true technology instead of the latest and greatest features.

Until you can describe your customer's problem better than they can explain it themselves, your job is to ask more questions. (TWEET THAT!)

The same principle applies to getting a raise or promotion. Until you can describe what your boss and the company needs, you need to be asking questions.

When you can position your service as the piece that fits your customer's puzzle, they'll buy.

When you can position yourself as the person who provides what the business needs, or can help it do what it wants to do, they'll buy.

The last piece of advice for this section is this –

Don't be afraid to say, “I don't know.”

If you don't know the answer to one of your customer's questions, faking it will end badly. I gained more trust by telling a customer I didn't know something than by dodging the question or making something up.

I've seen a ton of success doing the things mentioned here. Nothing I've done is unique; you can do it too. Even if these activities don't come naturally to you, don't worry; you can master them in time.

Question: What have you done to build better relationships?


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