Since I posted the first 5 tips I have been getting a lot of requests for more tips. Sometimes tips can be tough because different industries or occupations require different techniques. My background is in Sales so thats what these tips will be about.
1. Brand Yourself. Each and every time I spoke to a client, prospect of agency I would say ‘Hi I’m Andrew from The Wall Street Journal.’ or ‘Andrew from the Journal’ my goal was to always have people hear my name enough times to associate my name with the product. Saying the 2 together in one sentence enough times, along with my personality, was very effective at creating Brand Andrew.
2. This should really be part of #1 but its important enough to have it out on its own. Anytime you meet or see clients that you don’t know very well always loudly and clearly say your name. Don’t make people dig into their memories to remember who you are. Clearly and proudly state remind them of who you are. They will appreciate it very much until you have a better relationship.
3. Email clients, don’t call them. Most people are extremely busy; I find the best way to get a response from someone is shoot them an email. That way then can respond at their leisure, maybe on their train ride home or maybe instantly. Email is a visual clue of what needs to be done, almost like a to do list.
a. Emails should be very short; 3 sentences max, if its long they won’t read it.
b. Always have your signature at the bottom of every email you send out; even the replies. You want your name, number etc easy for them to get to.
c. Never email people more than twice a month (if you are working on a deal then its obviously different). Sending people too many emails makes them not read your emails, it equates your name with the ‘delete’ button. Sending emails once or twice per month makes people read your emails and see you as a resource.
4. Don’t Sell. This is a hard one for people to grasp. Don’t walk into a meeting talking up your product. Your meeting is for you to listen to what their needs, goals and budget are. Once you conclude that conversation you should show them your product. I have always found if you are showing a client how to use a website its best to do it right at their desk, with their hands on the mouse. You direct where they should go, but this brings them closer to the product and also they can see how easy it is to use. Still don’t sell; make a follow up appointment to present a plan for them. When you have an excellent product it belittles the product by having a sales rep pointing out a million good things about that product. Some things speak for themselves. And, don’t ever, ever talk badly about your competition; that makes you look small.
5. Earn their trust. This is the most important one of all. Your main goal is to have clients/prospects/agency people trust you; you want them to think of you as their partner; that you will keep their best interests top of mind. I know most sales companies have quotas and want immediate sales; if you push too hard clients feel it and their automatic reaction is to pull away. All of the tips (5 now, 5 last week) have to do exactly with this point of earning their trust. You write infrequent emails so they know you aren’t wasting their time with non essential issues. You listen to them so you make a plan for them; again so they partner with you and trust you. In my experience I was able to deepen and grow client relationships, I could pick up the phone (yes sometimes phones are needed) and get a CEO on the line; many of my clients were people I had worked with for over a decade.
I will be updating this list on a consistent basis; the first 5 tips are at http://bit.ly/wVdDKL