What do you think I mean by: How to sell a client or customer on you? I mean, what do you do to help people trust you, your business, and buy products or services from you.
There is a difference between the word “client” and “customer.”
A “client” is defined as “a person or organization using the services of a lawyer or other professional person or company.”
A “customer” is defined as “a person or organization that buys goods or services from a store or business.”
Whether you sell to clients or customers the following ideas will help you build trust and sell a client or customer on you.
3 Ways to Sell a Client or Customer on You
1. Verify Your Expertise
Whatever you do, whether you are a lawyer, doctor, plumber, electrician, or professional gardener, anyone looking for the services or products you offer will first review your credentials. Here is what they will look for:
- Professional Certifications
- Industry Association Memberships
- Industry Awards
- Client/Customer Reviews
Lawyer: Proper licensing in the appropriate state(s), university attended, bar association membership, Super Lawyer designation, great client reviews
Doctor: Proper licensing, university attended, residency location, American Medical Association membership, specific certifications within their practice, client reviews
Plumber: State contractors license, certifications such as UPC Master Level Plumber, association memberships like Plumbing Contractors of America, stellar customer reviews on Yelp, Home Advisor, Angie’s List
Electrician: State contractors license, many different certifications such as Electrical Certification from ESCO Group, association membership e.g. National Electrical Contractors Association, positive customer reviews on Yelp, Home Advisor, Houzz, Porch
Professional Gardener: business licensing, insurance bonded, industry association membership e.g. the National Gardening Association or National Association of Landscape Professionals, and solid customer reviews on Yelp
This is the first step in earning trust and how to sell a client or customer on you.
2. Give Value First, Often, and Always
What am I talking about here?
How do you feel when someone tries to sell you something before anything else? Instead of giving you something of value, they immediately launch into a sales pitch and close.
Sales expert Jeffrey Gitomer says it best:
“Value is something that is done for the customer in favor of the customer. . . in my case I found that it’s most effect to give value first, and give it without expectation, and give it often.”
“People don’t like to be sold but they love to buy.”
What Value Can I Give First?
Think about this for a moment. Do you give something first before attempting to sell your services/products? Here are some of the values I have provided. What can you add to this list?
- Newsletter that provides solutions
- Weekly blog articles
- Public speaking to organizations or groups
- Phone and internet consultations
“I put myself in front of people who can say yes to me and I deliver value first.”–Jeffrey Gitomer
This is the second step in earning trust and how to sell a client or customer on you.
3. Respond Now and Communicate Honestly
Have you ever called a company hoping to find answers to your problem as fast as possible? And what you received was a long phone tree where you were placed on hold for a very long time?
What about the restaurant receptionist that ignores you even though you have a reservation?
The attorney who takes your case and then never answers your calls?
The plumber or electrician that fails to meet you at the designated meeting time and then neglects to call you back in a timely manner?
What about the doctor who cancels your appointment, schedules you out another month, and then never calls or emails back to apologize for the inconvenience?
How did that make you feel about that professional, that company, their brand, their services/products?
Our Instantaneous Response Culture
Mobile devices, smart speakers, Google search, and our ability to find answers lightening fast at our fingertips through these sources has changed our level of patience.
We no longer want to wait for information – we want answers now.
Our expectations of instantaneous answers to our questions has shortened consumer attention spans.
The result? If you do not respond lightening fast to these questions, your prospective client/customer simply moves on from you and finds your competitor(s).
A report by Harvard Business Review in conjunction with InsideSales.com, highlighted in Inner Architect’s Lead Response Strategies that Close Sales, outlines the critical nature of response times to customer inquiries.
“Companies are making big investments in order to obtain customer queries from the internet, and they should be responding at internet speed.” – Harvard Business Review
Immediate Response Builds Trust
- Average Phone Response Time is 44 hours: In the era of “get it now” expectations, would you wait nearly two full days to buy from a company?
- Optimal Phone Response Time is 5 minutes: Can you compete? Do you have a plan with dedicated people ready to reach out when leads come into your website?
Appropriate Persistence Also Builds Trust
Even if you respond quickly, do you have the persistence to build trust with a new client/customer? The key, a fine line you will walk, is to show your interest in helping people without making them feel uncomfortable.
What does persistence look like?
- Average Persistence of Lead Response: 4.47 touches
- Recommended Persistence of Lead Response: 12 touches
People want to be wanted, they want to be treated special, and they want that treatment to happen sooner rather than later.
“50% of leads (people’s questions) are not responded to at all” –InsideSales.com
Here are a few communication ideas to consider:
- Under Promise and Over Deliver: When you give a time commitment, surpass it by delivering before people expect you to
- Honesty: Be honest, forthright. If there is a problem, tell the truth and look for a solution
- Sincerity: Being sincere means being real. Don’t pander to a person’s ego- be a straight shooter. Don’t waffle when asked questions or make up stories.
- Dump the Jargon: If a person doesn’t understand your industry jargon or language how will they feel comfortable with you or understand what you are communicating?
- Care: It sounds simple but authentically caring about helping people goes a long way toward building trust and making a new client/customer
This is the third step in earning trust and how to sell a client or customer on you.