I recently did a video interview with the fabulous Jim Cathcart and wanting to share it with you here. Plus, if you prefer to check out my personal take-aways from the interview, I've shared my thoughts below. Enjoy!
I'm sure that it's no revelation for you to hear that relationships are an important part of sales. If you are a reader of my blog, chances are that you know more than the average bear. But understanding the concepts of building relationships for sales and implementing strategies to help build those relationships for sales can be two different things.
I know that I am personally guilty of not devoting enough energy and concentration towards cultivating current and potential relationships.
Hence, why I sat down and interviewed Jim Cathcart, the Grand Poobah of Relationship Selling - that's my title for him, not the one on his business card. * Click here to buy Jim's book, Relationship Selling! *
One of the first things that struck me from my interview with Jim is how simple, practical, and powerful his suggestion are. I think that we sometimes get caught in the mind-trap of thinking that in order to land big, elaborate sales we need big, elaborate sales tactics. Jim has proven that that is not the case.
Sometimes the most powerful results can come from the smallest of steps. *Click here to tweet that tidbit*
Lists. Lists. Lists.
As Jim recommends in the video, create a list of all (yes, all) your relationships. Identify which ones are latent, the ones you have let fall to the wayside, and the ones that are flourishing. Then, think of ways you can reignite the latent relationships and cultivate the flourishing ones. Then, take action.
As Jim points out, your paradigm of a sale needs to shift from thinking in terms of a single transaction and towards thinking about the full sales life-cycle of the client. Once they purchase one thing from you, what would be the next steps? What would their next needs be? Then, stay in touch and be the source for solving those needs.
"Things that are measured tend to improve," says Jim. Brilliant! How else can you know if you are building your sales success if you're not keeping track. You will notice more if you are keeping records. How many interactions have you had with each client? How many of those interactions lead to sales? What is the ratio? How can you improve that? These are just a few of the important questions Jim brings up in our interview.
A, B, Cs
I shared with Jim that I recently segmented my list into As, Bs, and Cs. My A group will get a communication from me once a month - usually something in the mail. My Bs will receive something from me once a quater and my Cs will get something once a year.
Leave it to Jim Cathcart of give me the perfect name for the system! As = Advocates. Bs = Buddies. Cs = Casual Acquaintances He's just cool like that.
Jim's concept of up-serving vs up-selling only solidifies his clear approach to selling. He reminds us to ask ourselves, "how can I increase their satisfaction rather than focusing on the transaction?"
Thank you. ... Oh, no, thank you!
Saying thank you is a natural thing to say at the end of the sale. "Thank you. I'm looking forward to working with you." "Thank you. I hope you enjoy the product."
Jim perceptively points out that people accept thanks in different ways. Some people feel thanked when you genuinely share your gratitude. Others feel extra special and well thanked when they get a note in the mail.
It's unlikely that you will know how each of your clients and customers prefer to be thanked. This is why Jim recommends having a system of thank you's. After your sale, or any other reason to show gratitude, send your thanks to your customer in three different ways within a month, as Jim recommends. This way you are increasing your chances of speaking their "thank you language." And, they will have no doubt that you truly appreciate their business.
*Jim and I briefly talk about the book The 5 Love Languages. I HIGHLY recommend this book for anyone currently in a relationship or wanting to be in a relationship. (Hey, that's pretty much everyone!) Click here to buy it.*
Motives and Motivation
Motivation = motive + action
I know that one of the biggest complaints from managers is, "My people just aren't motivated." Jim eloquently shared that everyone is motivated. Everyone has motives. Everyone is taking action on those motives. People are motivated to take breaks. They are motivated to avoid work. They are motivated to take extra smoke breaks. These may not be the motives that you would want from your employees, but it does not mean that they are not motivated.
The job of the manager, or anyone wanting to be influential, is to identify those motives and discover how you can combine their natural motives with achieving your goals and the company's needs. Then use those motives as incentives for productive activity.