Trust is a major component of making any sale, and yet, when an opportunity arises, a salesperson’s first instinct is to strike while the iron is hot to close a sale rather than develop the trust and rapport that is required.
Rather than just trying to secure a quick buck, building a long-term relationship with your potential future customer should be the main objective as it can prove to be a much more financially rewarding for your company in the long run. This relationship has the power to build brand advocates that can bring in more sales and revenue well into the future. So, how do you go about generating this rapport with potential leads?
Tell Them Who You Are And What You Have Achieved
There is very little chance of a lead buying a product/service if they don’t know much about you. It’s therefore important to communicate effectively both on sales calls and in your email marketing about how you and your products/services deliver on what you say.
Use email marketing and blog posts to reinforce the narrative that you want to communicate about your business. Talk about how your business came into being and what need you were looking to fill. Use case studies and examples of how your products/services are used successfully by your customers, and utilise ‘social proof’ to build a reputation that people trust.
Use Social Media
Successful businesses use Facebook, Twitter and Instagram not only to showcase themselves but to maintain communications to both leads and existing customers.
Offer discounts to those who follow you on social media platforms and communicate directly with leads if they contact you on Twitter or your Facebook page. Share success stories about specific customers and thank them publicly. It generates goodwill that may lead to many to extolling the benefits of your company and products to others.
Offer Rewards For Referrals
By raising your brand awareness and creating a good reputation online, you can then encourage brand advocates to go one step further. Customers who have purchased from you before are not only more likely to buy from you again, they will recommend you to others as well.
A Recommendation from a friend is far more likely to convert a lead into a customer than a member of your sales team. Therefore, it is good practice to try and facilitate recommendations from past customers.
You can set up a reward scheme that rewards customers if they recommend your product/service to a friend. You could also provide discounts/special offers that are exclusive to those who refer their friends and family. By doing this, you not only increase your conversion rates for new customers but also build loyalty from past purchasers.
Building brand advocates takes time and requires a coherent plan but there are demonstrable rewards for you and your business in the long term.
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