WANT MORE AWESOME CLIENTS TO HIRE YOU?
If your answer is “yes” then this post is for you. This is an important part of the sales process which is seldom discussed. It’s something that you can use, in order to develop great relationships with your clients, contacts and the marketplace in general.
Do not ignore esteem:
One of the basic human needs is esteem. Boosting the esteem of others, by showing them respect, is a powerful way to build great business relationships. It improves how people feel about us and it is very valuable because business is all about people, and this goes two ways: for the buyer and seller.
On the contrary, if we make people feel like we are trying to lower their self-esteem, by disrespecting them, it can ruin relationships and damage just about every part of our business. When you are rude to clients, they may choose not to purchase your service or product, when you are rude to a cashier, employee or owner of a business, they may choose to deny you their service or product.
Below you will find a great example of how important esteem and respect are. This was an experience by one of my friends. I am sharing with permission (name is changed).
John [not his real name] went to this very important meeting with a prospective client. The meeting was just to flesh out a few formalities and get a significantly large contract signed.
“[…] I realized during the meeting that the prospective client was becoming increasingly testy with me. He has always been cool and calm in previous meetings. This particular meeting started out really well, but for no reason his mood changed for the worse. After about an hour, even though this was not our first meeting and he had invited me there to sign the contract, out of the blue he said that he wanted another couple of days to make the decision!!”
John continued. […] I went back to my office a bit baffled. I sat down and checked my messages and emails, and I saw an email from the client sitting in my inbox. He was saying he’d reconsidered the contract and wasn’t going to sign with me. I was shocked to say the least. He gave me no reason. I decided to email him back to ask what the reason was. He said that "You didn't seem to be too concerned about the contract and working with me as a client. During your meeting you kept checking your phone. Seems you had other important things going on." That was not the case. I would never do anything like that and this was a big deal for me in every way. I decided to called him and explain. I told him that I have never owned a smartphone and that my wife had bought it as a gift for me so that I can better conduct business; stay in touch with clients via email, check the internet for information and all the other helpful apps that I could use to be more productive and stay in touch on-the-go etc. Unfortunately, I did not know how to turn off the alerts, and because I was not yet familiar with the phone, every time an alert came in, I automatically and subconsciously pulled the phone out of my pocket and looked at it. It was an embarrassing experience to say the least.
This story has 2 valuable lessons: 1. When you are speaking with someone, give them your full attention. Maintain eye contact and listen patiently, attentively without interrupting [or checking your phone or watch]. When you give people your full attention, you are demonstrating that you respect what they have to say. This boosts their esteem and improves how they feel about you. It also helps you develop rapport with them, which makes business conversations much easier.
2. Make sure that if a prospective client chooses not to hire you [or buy from you], their reason is valid. If somehow they’ve missed a key point or they misunderstood your offering, you could needlessly lose their business, by failing to seek and deliver clarity. In the above example, a significant contract would have been lost, had John not followed up with a phone call.