9 Ways to Make Your Sales Prospects Fall in Love with You
Discover how you can add value and provide utility to make your prospects love you with these nine social selling tips.
February 13, 2015
Around Valentine’s Day, many of us get caught up in winning the affection of that special someone. There is no shortage of ways to show how special you think that person is. As noted love expert Cogsworth the Clock observed in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, you can always give “flowers, chocolates…promises you don’t intend to keep.”
When it comes to your sales prospects, though, a bouquet or a heart-shaped box of candy may not be the most appropriate gift. And you should definitely avoid making promises you don’t intend to keep—all the time, not just on Valentine’s Day. The way to make sales prospects fall in love with you is to let your actions show how much you value them. Here are nine social selling tips that can make it easier for sales prospects to fall for you:
1. Provide a Solution That Doesn’t Involve Buying Anything
It’s easy for sales pros to help prospects solve a problem when the solution is to buy something. They get rid of a pain point, you get a sale. It’s a no-brainer…for you. If you really want to show them how much you care, put your expertise to work on a problem that doesn’t have a sales solution. It’s the difference between doing the dishes with the hope that your spouse will fold the laundry, and doing the dishes because you know your spouse is happier when the dishes are done.
2. Be Mindful of Their Time When Sharing Content
When sharing helpful content with your prospects, you can show that you respect their time by making it easier to gain value from it. Take the extra step to curate relevant details from whitepapers and eBooks. If you’re sharing content from YouTube, you can pause, right-click and select “Get the Video URL at the current time” to generate a link that starts playing at a specified starting point.
3. Send a Detailed Agenda in Advance of Your Meeting
Many prospects skip sales meetings because they’re not entirely sure what’s in it for them. A detailed agenda shows you’ve considered the meeting from their point of view. You already know what you’re presenting and that it will be of value; make sure they know, too.
4. Make Your Demos Specific to the Prospect’s Problems
If you’ve taken time to research the specific problems you can solve for your prospect—and let’s hope you have—carry this knowledge into your demo. Structure your demo around the prospect’s needs and say, “I know you have X problem, and this feature of the product will do Y to solve it.” A buyer-centric demo is more useful and less boring for the buyer, which means it’s more likely to get a favorable response.
5. Lead with Insights
If you come across a dynamite article that speaks to something your prospect cares about, take the time to forward it on. Bonus brownie points for adding a comment along the lines of, “I understand you’ve been interested in X, here’s a post I came across that made me think of you.” If you struggle with finding content, a few minutes each day searching LinkedIn Pulse or other industry news sites can have a big impact.
6. Make Your Prospect Look Good
If you’ve been following your prospects on LinkedIn, you likely have developed a sense of their goals and motivations. If you can help them further their career goals, they’ll be more likely to help you with yours. You can also volunteer to write a recommendation of the skills they’ve demonstrated in your professional relationship. Just make sure you take the time and effort to write the kind of recommendation you’d be pleased to receive.
7. Make Them Feel Understood
As in romantic relationships, sometimes the best thing you can say to a prospect is nothing at all. Take the time to listen to what they hope to gain from a purchase, or what specific hurdles they’re facing. Showing some genuine empathy can go much further than demonstrating the perfect sales solution, especially at the outset of your relationship.
8. Share Their Content or Updates Without Pressure to Reciprocate
When your prospect writes a status update or a long-form post on LinkedIn’s Publishing Platform, they’re trying to make their voice heard. You can help by leaving an insightful comment or by simply sharing their content with your network. Show your motives are pure by not immediately following up with a request for a sales meeting. Relationship-building is easier when your actions aren’t always tied to your own agenda.
9. Play Matchmaker
This is one of the few situations in which you can show love for someone by introducing them to someone else. Use the broad professional network you’ve built to spot people who aren’t connected yet, but could mutually benefit from being introduced. When you provide this type of introduction, you’ve added value for two people simultaneously.
Just like your significant other, your prospects don’t really need fancy gifts. What they need is to know that you respect their time and value them as partners. When you go out of your way to add value to the relationship, you show that you are in it for more than a sale. It takes a little time, but it’s worth the effort—and it’ll save you a fortune on flowers and chocolate.