In our every day life we ask favors of others, and for most this is routine.
But for some reason, businesspeople and job seekers appear to freeze up when their need arises. The main problem is the fear of being seen in a less than favorable light.
On the other side of the table, problems arise when companies request an RFP or an entrepreneur requests a ballpark estimate for services. Many service providers are known to make their process difficult on a number of levels. This dissuades the requesting party from selecting that supplier.
This week, I had reason to request estimates from people providing one particular service. Upon receipt of some of the messages, my advice of “Make it easy for the client to say yes!” immediately came to mind.
- The first message was almost impossible to understand, and included a statement saying my project would be on the back burner for a couple of weeks.
- One message only concentrated on their fee to be collected without showing any interest in my project
- The last message communicated immediate interest in my project, a reasonable fee, and a timeline by when it could be completed.
No doubt you can guess which service provider I chose!
It would be rare for anyone to win 100% of the business for which they compete. The best learning lessons come to those willing to examine their own lost business. Review how you presented your story, answered the prospects’ questions, and how the information requested was delivered. Then answer these questions:
- Did you tailor your information to their interests?
- Is your system easy to understand as well as easy to implement?
- Did you show genuine interest in what your prospects were trying to achieve?
Given recognition of which supplier I selected, think about all you do. What might be changed in the future to earn improved results? Remember, the initial interactions provide insight as to the customer service experience one might expect after the sale is made.
Here are 10 sales tips for winning more business:
- Simplify as much of your communication as possible.
- Ensure your communication is clear and concise.
- Before providing an estimate, research the company and the project in question.
- Any detail you find unclear in the request, ask for clarification.
- Should a detail appear to be unimportant to you, ask why it is important to them.
- Communicate how you work and why it will be beneficial for the client.
- Provide an outline of everything to be included in your delivery
- Provide a timeline of milestones if a lengthy project or an end date for a simple one.
- Convey how you accept payment in terms of payment service as well as deposit.
- Ask your prospect when they would like to begin – and thank your new client!
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