Build rapport so you become their go to sales person
When you build great rapport with your clients, you will notice they will rely on you a lot. By becoming that go to sales person in your market, you will find your clients are always calling you first.
Now we all know that when you get in front of the competition you can control the whole sales process and close the deal a lot quicker and more easily. No need to waste time cold calling when your phone is ringing off the hook with your clients coming to you before the competition.
Proof that you can become that go to sales person
Did you know that I once saved Christmas dinner for hundreds of British service men stationed in Afghanistan?
Bet you are now thinking that being a sales person I’ve been wildly exaggerating again.
However, I can honestly say that not only is this a true story, but one that could easily be replicated in any other industry. Well not in full, but I think you will quickly understand what I’me getting at.
My Christmas tale is all about why being the go to sales person has always stood me in great stead and I reckon my story shows just how profitable it can be too!
Once upon a time (circa 2002)……..
I was working in Leeds for DHL Express and about a week before Christmas I got a call from one of my clients. She was the transport manager for a worldwide supplier of electrical switch gear and normally she sent documents and the occasional small parcel with us. We had a great working relationship and as a result she was making sure DHL got all of the small parcel shipments going worldwide.
She sounded very despondent as she went on to explain about a challenging shipment to be dispatched immediately, but wasn’t sure how to ship it. The last bit confused me as I knew that for years she had been successfully sending out shipments worldwide from 40ft containers to very important documents.
So, without assuming what I thought the answer would be I asked her to explain why she was struggling. She went on to say that she had three 750kg pallets of electrical switch gear to go to the British Army at three separate locations in Afghanistan. It had to be there by Christmas (remember we were only a week away from the big day) and none of the airfreight companies could get anything inside Afghanistan, let alone delivered before the 25th.
She went onto say that she didn’t know what to do next as the UK Ministry of Defence was one of their major clients and they were currently in the bidding process for their contract to be renewed. She then said that despite DHL not normally handling this kind of shipment for them, did I have any ideas!
It then occurred to me that some of our amazing British soldiers might go without a hot Turkey dinner on Christmas Day and I was being given the chance to prevent that from happening. Feeling under no pressure to solve her problem (NOT), I asked if she could leave it with me an hour to make some calls.
The Sales Person Has A Light Bulb Moment
Now at the time DHL was mainly a courier company, flying documents and small parcels to some very remote locations in the world as well as some of the most industrious. We could take big shipments, but it usually worked out quite costly ever though they would be delivered days, sometimes weeks quicker than anyone else.
It was barely a few weeks after hostilities had finished in the country, but a colleague in the Leeds office told me that DHL were the only transport company delivering to this former war zone. Now fortunately I had a former boss who had just become the operations director for Bahrain, the main gateway into Afghanistan, so I decided to give him a call.
Despite forgetting that Friday in the Middle East is a religious day off, I then went on to interrupt his family day out. After quickly apologizing and a quick catch up, he kindly gave me the names of a few people to call who would make it happen. One of the guys turned out to be based in a military tent outside Kabul using a dongle to send shipment information worldwide. Within the hour we had worked out how we were going to ship the pallets and more importantly for me, the price. As always I was ahead of target, but I had a little feeling that a nice little bonus would be heading my way.
Customer Problem Solved!
Well you can imagine how delighted my client was when I told her the good news that the shipments would get there before Christmas. She didn’t even quibble about the price either!
Thanks to everyone involved, DHL was going to make sure our brave soldiers got a hot turkey dinner on Christmas Day. To be honest I never got to find out for definite what the electrical units were for, but I still like to think that if they didn’t have electric to cook with then it would just be cold salad on the menu. I like to think I had something to do with rescuing Christmas Dinner for our brave soldiers.
The Moral Of My Christmas Tale
Well there are several morals to this story, but the main one is about the importance of building a great relationship with every client. Don’t think you need to be best their best buddies, far from it. However, leave them with the impression that even if you can’t solve all their problems, you know a man or woman who can.
Reassuring your clients is part of the rapport building process. Honesty and trust is high on their list of the must have qualities for the sale person they do business with. Make sure that is always you.
By hinting that it might not be you personally who solves their problem then your client will feel less like they might be sold to. Remember, my transport manager just needed to get the shipment into Afghanistan by the deadline given. That was a big problem for her and she trusted me enough to reassure her that DHL could do the job. There simply was no need for me to sell to her.
The Go To Sales Person
When your client views you as the go to sales person, then it will be you they call before they think of contacting the competition.
It’s not difficult to become the go to sales person. Just continue to build rapport by remaining friendly and approachable, whilst always be professional.
My biggest tip is never forget to say-
“If you ever need help with solving a problem, just get in touch. I might not be able to help every time, but I probably know someone who can!”
You never know, but one day you too might be asked to help feed the British troops their hot turkey dinner on Christmas Day and be paid handsomely for it!
If you are spending Christmas wondering how you are going to hit next years target, then contact me for your FREE 20 minute sales accelerator call. Remember, I’m here to help you achieve greater sales success.