The delicate art of selling your product or service to consumers is more than just hitting them over the head with a sales pitch; it’s showing them that you have faith in your company and an honest desire to connect. To achieve your entrepreneurial goals, you need three things: the ability to think laterally, the patience to listen actively, and a commitment to building real relationships with your customers.

Remember The Value Of Thinking Laterally

In sales, a big part of your job is helping your customers resolve their problem. A big part of succeeding in sales lies in using lateral thinking to find solutions to your customers’ problems. Let’s say you own a franchise location for a wireless service company. A customer comes in and asks if you carry a replacement battery for their smartphone. While you check your inventory and find that you do have the battery in stock, the customer explains they need an extra battery because their phone’s mobile hotspot feature is very power intensive. At this point, you can offer two different solutions.

The vertical solution would be to sell the customer the battery. The lateral solution would be to explain to the customer they can add a mobile hotspot feature to their account for a nominal monthly fee. Both solutions would resolve the problem, but only one of them offers a high profit margin and the possibility of establishing an ongoing relationship with the customer.

Listen, Really Listen

The easiest way to kill a deal is to not listen to a customer. If a customer comes to you interested in purchasing a specific product or service and you ignore that request in order to sell them something with a higher profit margin, there’s a good chance you’ll never see that customer again. When you take the time to actively listen to a customer, you’ll greatly increase the likelihood that they’ll leave the transaction satisfied and interested in doing business with you again in the future. Regardless of industry, the key to sales is service, and if you’re not listening to your customers, you are not providing them with good service.

Stick To Your High Standards

When Apple founder Steve Jobs died in 2011, millions of people around the world mourned his passing. This didn’t happen because Jobs was the very visible face of the company that revolutionized the technology, music and film worlds. People felt his loss in a personal way because he had spent so much of his life creating products that were not only of the highest quality, but also offered customers the greatest value for their money. If you don’t put forth the effort to make sure that the products and services your company offers are of the highest quality and take care of any who feels that your company doesn’t meet the high standard it sets for itself, your business is destined to become an unmemorable failure.

This article was written by Mario McKellop for Small Business Pulse



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