Friday, February 18, 2011

They Don't Care How Much You Know...

Until they know how much you care!

It's a phrase from marketing courses, gurus, books and blogs with an important message for you who are trying to sell your animals and other rural products--or any other, for that matter.

In other places and at other times I've told you that marketing is very much like life--it's about relationships and persuasion. If you understand good relationships and persuasion, you'll find more reward in your family, workplace, and social lives. So this headline idea is really at the crux of good relationships--and persuading.

How do you let a customer know you care? Well, think how you let others know you care--your spouse, child, or best friend. The best way, the first way, the most important way, is by listening to--actually hearing--what they say. It tells you what matters to them, what they want, how they feel, what they hope for and connects you (relationship is connection.) Listening and hearing what they have to say helps you see how to help and support them.

There's no difference when we're talking about your customers. Listening to them connects you. It tells you what's important to them. It tells you how to help and support them.

Listening means first getting your own ego out of the way. Not what you want (to sell this particular animal or product) but what really fits thier needs and hopes. You start by asking open ended questions. They'll begin with words like:

"Tell me about..." or
"What do you know (or think or want)..." or
"How do you see yourself..."

Then get out of your own way by NOT trying to formulate a response while they're still talking. Let them wander all over the place verbally. They will tell you so much about how you can help them (and btw help yourself). But most importantly, when you let people talk about their hopes and dreams and what they want and what they know...they'll know you care.

The art of chit chat is what sets good sales people apart from mediocre ones...but it's almost all about getting the customers to talk about themselves and listening! More chit and less chat!

And that's a really good starting point for sales!

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