Successful entrepreneur Lisa Wight shares her top tips on how to make sure your sales meetings work for you and your clients, securing those fantastic long term relationships.

For many years, the typical sales technique was to approach the sale with a single mindset. The sales person would think, “I’m the person selling something and I want to win at all costs.” It was sad but true that the sales person wouldn’t necessarily care about the person on the other side of the table, as long as they won their sale, and they won it for as much money as possible.

I’m happy to share that this type of sales model is now considered to be very outdated. One of the prime reasons is the growing importance of building a relationship and not just winning one sale. Customer retention should never be overlooked.

Product quality is another contributing factor. Sales people used to be more pushy because the product they were selling wasn’t necessarily that great. A poor product is much harder to sell. Today there’s a much greater emphasis on making products or services so amazing that people are asking you to buy it rather than you having to push it on people. That’s called creating a buyer’s market, but we’ll discuss that in a future blog. What we’re focusing on here is leaving that old approach behind, and actually how to make the sales process successful for everyone involved.

Securing the Win Win
The first step to securing that successful sale is to make sure you’re crystal clear on what you want to get out of the interaction. And at the same time you need to be crystal clear on what the other person across from you wants and needs to get out of the interaction too.

Let’s look at your needs first. You want clients, obviously, but that’s not clear enough. How many clients are you looking for? How much time can you give to each of them? How much time in your calendar are you trying to fill? And at what price are you wanting to fill it up?

Being totally transparent, sometimes there can be a bit of a negotiation over price, so that’s why you need to work out what your absolute minimum is that you’re definitely not prepared to break. And it’s okay to have that minimum. At the end of the day, if you’re constantly worrying about money, you’re not going to be able to serve your clients very well. So you need to make sure that you’ve got things like that covered.

Knowing what you want is the easy part. You have time to figure it out. The more difficult part is trying to work out what the other person wants. This comes down to asking questions and actually caring about them. You need to put in the time to unearth what they want and what they need – and also what is good value for them. It comes down to actually asking them what would make this a win for them. What would make this a really successful meeting, that in turn would make this a really successful relationship?

You need to get the answer to that ultimate question: what would make you turn around in a year’s time and say we’ve had the best year ever and I’m as happy as a pig in… you know what I’m saying.

Asking questions is easy. The most important step is to actually listen to what they say in response. And be honest. If the person opposite you is saying things that you cannot deliver for whatever reason, then you need to be able to stand by your integrity and be honest with them. Saying you’re not the right person but let me introduce you to someone else who is can be a hard thing to do, but it could also be the best thing for many reasons.

We get too scared to turn people away because we’re so focused on filling up our books. But no one can say yes to everyone, and you need to focus your time on the clients you really can support well.

Therefore, to make it a win win situation, you need to ask them what they want. What do they need? What would make this an amazing outcome? And then be honest about whether you can deliver that or not. Because if you don’t deliver it, you’re going to end up with unhappy clients, and you’re certainly not going to get testimonials or referrals.

It all comes back to my first point here. Be crystal clear on what you want and don’t let anything compromise that. You’ll get the clients you want then, you’ll get a better reputation, and that will only lead on to far more success.

If you really want a win win sale, then honesty and integrity are vital.

Client Retention
When you’ve got your dream clients all lined up, you need to make sure you keep them. Having structured client meetings and proactive action plans can make a lot of difference to how your clients perceive you. If you think there’s room for improvement in how you work with your clients, please check out hubbix. It could transform your client sessions.