There are lots of things that happen to help sales people be successful when they’re not in front of the customer. Sales reps can do research about their customers, target who to speak to, segment their markets, etc. But when you’re in front of the customer, there are really only three things that matter: your relationship, your knowledge, and how you message. We refer to this as KMR: Knowledge, Messaging, and Relationships.
Knowledge is the foundation of this trifecta. Sometimes it is hard to realize that you don’t know what you don’t know. This can apply to so many things. You may not know enough about the competition, or how your customer perceives your product offering, or the internal battles that your customer is currently dealing with.
Messaging is how you use words to convey what it is that makes your product unique. The words you use are critical in determining whether the customer thinks you have credibility or not. You want to message in a way that captures the essence of the brand within the guidelines, within whatever is legal, and make it so that the customer actually sees where this product has some unique benefits.
And how your customer responds to what you say is greatly affected by your relationship with that person. In reality, people naturally connect with only a small percentage of the people they routinely meet (about 25%). Because relationships are so important in selling, it behooves the sales person to learn how to build relationships, especially with those people they don’t naturally connect with. The fact is that nearly everyone you meet during the sales process can likely help you—or hinder you—to reach your goal. Individuals prefer to do business with people they like—so it makes sense to develop a relationship with that person.
In selling you want to find a way to deepen the level of engagement and level of connection with customers. When sales people have developed their expertise—are knowledgeable, can message well, and have great relationships with customers, then the customers listen to what they have to say. It is the only way that a sale is made.