Successful selling has always been tied directly to the ability to create, maintain, and build relationships with customers. These relationships will be tied to two variables …
- The frequency of the interaction
- The quality of the interaction
Therefore, the formula is pretty simple. He who spends the most quality time in front of the customer, all other things being at least equal, wins. I would go on to say that, if you, your company, or your product or service are notably bad … you’ll never have that opportunity for repeat customer face-time, regardless.
“You always have a reason to go back”
Even better, you schedule your next face-time before leaving your present meeting. This will go a long way toward achieving your frequency goal, but what about the reason?
- You need to research the answer to a question.
- You want to bring back a sample, a study, or something of value to the conversation.
- You need to discuss an issue with another team member or with management.
- You need to check the status of “X”.
- You have new pertinent information to share and to discuss.
There are three important things that are in play here …
- You are achieving your face-time goal.
- You are demonstrating your ability to follow through.
- You are building the relationship.
Now, then. The quality of that interaction, of all interactions, can be a book unto itself. Therefore, I’m not going to even attempt to address that in this post. We’ll have to leave that for another day.
However, I will just say this. “I’m calling to check in” is about the last reason for getting back to a customer. Any engagement, or a request for engagement, must include something of value. More importantly, this value must be perceived by your customer. Just because you think it’s pretty neat … ain’t gonna’ cut it!
We are in a COVID world
Finally, we had probably better address the elephant in the room … COVID. Pre-COVID we always had to deal with distance and that generally meant a trip on a plane, a ride in your car, or a telephone call.
Most of us have, due to laziness, come to rely on email. I get it. I do it myself. While I don’t think that the telephone is particularly personal (a poor substitute for face-time), due to the fact that nobody uses it anymore, it’s value may have actually risen. At least above email. While you can’t see them, at least you can hear them!
All I can say is thank God that technologies were developed before COVID hit. Post COVID, these technologies have become better and cheaper. There is no longer a price barrier for anybody.
Like most folks these days, I’m using Zoom. Zoom has free accounts. There are a number of free alternatives including Google Meet. I use a free version of Calendly to schedule Zoom meetings and it creates the meeting and sends attendees links! What’s not to love. I can see them, I can hear them, and I’m wearing sweatpants.
If you are hesitant to embrace virtual meetings because you think that they will go away when COVID gets under control, think again. Virtual meetings and working from home are the new normals. You need face-time and by 2021 definitions, virtual is face-time.
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