Most in the service industry have an aversion to picking up the hone – even if it's a cool looking banana//Skittles phone like this one. Oh, we don't mind talking to our existing customers – if we've built a relationship with them – they are more like friends than clients.
It's the hunt and peck for new customers that strikes fear into the hearts and minds of whimps like me.
In brief, they are:
1. Show Up. Hang out where your prospects hang out and then be prepared to have a conversation.
2. Shut Up. Listen, listen, listen. The more you listen, the more you'll learn. Then connect your services with their needs.
3. Build from your base. Who better to go to then your existing customers. They already know how terrific you are. Keep your name in front of them in a variety of non-sales communications – show that you want to help make their life easier and they'll be more inclined to remember you when your services are needed the next time.
4. Do your homework. The more you learn BEFORE you make your first contact – the less like a cold call that first conversation will be.
5. Ask around. Ask for referrals from your existing customers. Remember – people are more likely to make a purchase when someone they trust refers them.
Barry is the author of The 12 Cliches of Selling.
Deborah Chaddock Brown