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Real Businessmen Don’t Cry – They Sell

By , June 14, 2012

A very close friend of mine spent months trying to land a new account with a potential client. In an attempt to get the contract signed on the dotted line, he did everything that a good salesman should do.

He called frequently to find out “updates” on the impending deal. He “just happened” to pass by the office every few weeks with fresh coffee and donuts for all the executives. He even went out of his way to email the potential client “informative articles” about industry happenings to display his knowledge about the field. But despite all his various attempts, nothing happened.

Desperate to find out why these sales pitches weren’t working, he finally paid the client a visit and posed the question to him directly. The client’s reply was curt and to the point: “We already have a company that we get these products from and we’re extremely happy with them. Why should we go out of our way and buy from you?”

My friend paused for a moment to think and answered with this poignant response: “Because if you don’t buy from me, I will come home to my wife and children empty-handed, with nothing to show for my many months of effort.”

The stunned client felt a sudden burst of pity for the desperate salesman and put in an order on the spot – and has remained a loyal customer to this very day.

My point of telling you this story is not to advocate that you turn on the “crocodile tears” every time you’re trying to make a sale. Rather, it’s to emphasize the fact that you are never selling a simple service or product; you are selling an emotional connection to something.

Sometimes, that connection will be found inside the product itself or within the direct benefits it will create. At other times, it will be found in the person selling the product. But to achieve success in sales and marketing, there must always be some sort of emotional connection in place. And that’s why my friend answered with the response he did – because it contained a raw emotional connection that the competition could never match.

But my friend is not the only one who figured this out. According to a recent article in Gallup News titled “Customer Satisfaction Doesn’t Count,” emotion is everything when it comes to landing the next big sale.

After researching the behavior of consumers extensively, the article’s authors affirmed that if you don’t make an emotional connection with customers, then satisfaction is worthless. Their research proved that customers don’t buy strictly for rational reasons – they very often make purchases based primarily on an emotional level. And companies that create ways to tap into those emotions have shown rapid increases of up to 85% in annual sales growth.

Here are a few Ptex Practical Pointers that will help you better connect with clients on an emotional level.

  • Always Ask Questions: The best way to understand the needs of your customers is by asking them directly about their feelings and opinions. This act of communication creates a level of mutual empathy that will go a very long way toward solidifying the relationship.
  • Remember To Listen: After asking for their input, the trick is to spend time listening carefully to what they have to say – and then creating customized solutions that address the issues being verbalized.
  • Offer Your Thanks: Everybody enjoys being recognized, appreciated and cherished…especially clients. Utilize every opportunity you can to demonstrate how thankful you are for their loyalty and make it obvious that you want to keep them on board for years to come.

At the day’s end, it’s all about the emotional connection you establish with your clients – not for the sake of emotions, but for the sake of business. So don’t bother crying about missed sales or harping on lost opportunities of the past. Learn a thing or two from my talented friend…and utilize those emotions to start selling!

Onwards and upwards,

Menny Hoffman

P.S. Do you have an impressive sales story of your own that you’d like to share with the LTB readership? Comment below with your tale and I just may use it as the topic for a future article!

Meny Hoffman

Meny Hoffman is the Chief Executive Officer of Ptex Group, an Inc. 500/5000-ranked marketing and business services firm headquartered in Brooklyn, NY.

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