January 5, 2018

How to Close More Sales Without Being a Jerk

BY Caitlin Delohery IN Relationships, Sales and Marketing One Comment

Though the internet has brought us closer to our friends and family and made it easier to build all kinds of relationships, it also gives us a window into the not-so-nice aspects of being human.

Let’s face it: a lot of people (and cats) can be jerks.

And salespeople aren’t exempt from that — the profession has a reputation for prioritizing money over people. Salespeople may continue to pester prospects after they’ve asked to not be contacted. They may promise the moon but not be able to deliver. And they may make it crystal clear they are thinking of their own needs instead of their prospects’.

So, let’s think about how to be the exact opposite of all that. Here’s how to close more sales without being a jerk.

Remember that every prospect is a person.

When driving towards a goal — a close, a sale, higher revenue — it can be easy to lose sight of what really matters: relationships. There are people on the other end of that cold call or that sales email, and they are looking for connections that bring value. They are looking for relationships built on trust.

So, to keep relationships at the center of your sales strategy, remind yourself that everyone you talk to is unique.

  • Create a description of your ideal customer and keep it front and center when you’re reaching out.
  • Listen for details about your leads and customers — such as family members, pets, and hobbies — so you can personalize your communication.
  • Keep track of these tidbits in your CRM so you can have them on hand whenever you reach out.

For more on how CRM helps you build better relationships, check out this article on why CRM is such a crucial sales tool.

Be empathetic instead of emphatic.

“So many executives and sales professionals feel pressure from their bosses, their investors, or their spouses to make the sale that they overlook an important aspect – empathy,” says Ian Altman, keynote speaker and author of Same Side Selling. “Empathy is the key to emotional intelligence. It helps us to connect with the other party, and helps them feel like we care about their situation.”

  • Focus on listening intently to what your prospect tells you they need instead of insisting you know what’s best.
  • Focus on the value you can provide others instead of your own gain.
  • Focus on how your solution meets your contacts’ needs instead of talking about how awesome your product is.

Spend time with people who will really benefit from your work.

When you’re building your business, it’s natural to want to open the doors as wide as possible and to reach out to anyone and everyone. But, you and your team have finite energy, and the best way to build good relationships is to give your attention to those who need your solution the most.

  • Narrow your focus to best-fit prospects.
  • Allocate your energy based on how urgent the need is. Don’t ignore folks who are far from a sale, but don’t touch base with them every day either.
  • Fire prospects when necessary. Not being a jerk doesn’t mean you can’t say no. If it’s not going to work, kindly cut prospects free.

Be patient.

The business world moves quickly. It’s likely that you and your team are impatient to show results, make a sale, and keep ahead of the game. But if you bring that sense of urgency to your conversations with leads and prospects, you can come off as being kind of a jerk.

  • Don’t interrupt. Listen (again). Even if you think you know what someone is going to say, hear them out. You may learn something unexpected.
  • Don’t rush your prospects towards a decision point. In addition to being off-putting, this strategy can backfire and get you a quick no.
  • Don’t overdo it on the outreach. Though you want to stay top-of-mind for your contacts, you don’t want to push so hard that you push them away.

Practice mindfulness.

Mindfulness is all the rage in business these days for a reason. It can help you and your team cut out distractions and focus on the person they’re engaging with. It increases empathy, reduces stress, and boosts job satisfaction. All of this makes way for a less jerky workforce.

  • Take a five-minute breather and literally just breathe.
  • Start a workplace mindfulness lunch hour.
  • Download a meditation app, like Insight Timer, to practice mindfulness on the go.

Want more? Check out 5 ways to improve your business karma.

Caitlin got her roots in inbound marketing before it got its name. As a teenager in the 90s, she promoted her independently published magazines by writing about the importance of indie publishing all over AOL. Now, Caitlin is passionate about moving people and society forward. She follows thought leaders in the National Speakers Association, the staffing industry, and all human rights movements. She loves learning and helping people learn.

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