The Beginning of a Profitable Relationship: Authenticity & Transparency
Entrepreneurs are a different breed of people. Typically type “A” personalities with no fear of rejection. Sometimes this comes across as arrogant and perhaps aggressive. If you are an entrepreneur, you are probably putting a lot of sweat equity into your company while playing a lot of roles.
Every company relies on sales to keep them running. No matter what business you are in, at some point, you are selling something. Business consultants sell their time and expertise, shop owners sell their wares. At some point, we all have to sell our personalities to make connections.
Throughout my many years as a business and sales consultant, I have found two things that stand out and build rapport quicker than anything. Being authentic and being transparent as a company. I don’t mean giving your financials to a potential client or telling people your political position ( I would never recommend that by the way ). I’m simply telling you, people should know who you are, as a company.
I have been hired to streamline or improve the sales process by many home improvement companies. One of the things I immediately do is add social proofing to their sales pitch book. We put the Angie’s List rating and the Home Advisor Rating in the book, printed directly from the website. We add copies of the contractors license and insurance. This things are combined with a company story in a way that allows the client to feel comfortable with the company before they even get to presenting whatever they are selling.
People really appreciate it when you show them those simple things, because most companies won’t do that. They feel more comfortable with a company if they show all of their cards up front. I even add an introduction speech when the salesman first arrives that allows the potential client to relax and not expect some slick sales tactics pushy sales pitches.
If you will be up front with clients, while genuinely caring, they are more likely to choose you over the next person on the list. People can tell if someone is being genuine, so you, or your sales force, should genuinely care about what it is you are doing. If you are only after the money, you can be sure this will show through and you will probably be out of business real quick.
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