How to Become the Preferred Vendor

Work to serve your clients

There is nothing magical about the answer but there are a number of steps to adhere to so that your clientele knows you have their best interests in mind. The principal is key to building business but unfortunately most often these steps are ignored.

Take the time on appointments and initial calls to establish the goals your intended clientele has established and why they need help achieving these. Should your offering be a singular item, then find out why they contacted you and how they learned about you. Something is apparently working and you need to know what that something is so you may repeat.

How to Become the Preferred Vendor image shutterstock 88173307 300x221Chosen one from ShutterstockOn the complex sale side, once goals are revealed, determine all the possibilities you have to offer that may be of interest. Avoid the stereo-typical telling-selling. Instead, ask questions – lots of them. Find out where interest lies and why other areas are of no interest. The more you can understand the “why” the more insight you will gain and stand on a butter footing.

Should this be a bigger company with a complex sale, attempt to meet all of the people involved with decision-making process. Work to get everyone on the same page. For example, years ago I was the new salesperson selling an unknown brand to a large company. Their in-house provider sold a competitive brand known worldwide. But, upon attempting to make friends with as many as possible inside the company, I soon replaced the in-house vendor.

As you unveil multiple possibilities, avoid coming across as a salesperson whose sole purpose is to make a huge sale. Instead, relay that all of these services are available but advise that to begin, your prospective client may wish to test the waters with one or two items before expanding into your entire program. They will be forever appreciative.

Questions will arise throughout the sale cycle. Before you answer, clarify any possible misunderstanding. Use your own words to re-state the question. Then provide a complete answer and ask if it were understood. Follow this by asking if they are in agreement and ready to move forward.

As you begin to implement installment of your services, should problems arise, do your best to take care of them behind the scenes. Try to make the transition transparent. After the sale, check in for satisfaction level. Take care of any annoyances that might have arisen. By offering upfront to do this, you stop negative comments and instead turn attention to your outstanding customer service. This is what builds your personal brand and what will dynamically build your business.

Added final touches to confirm how terrific you are include:

- Asking for input on areas for improvement
- Remaining in touch to be certain everything is functioning well
- Providing a handwritten thank you card and possibly a small gift of thanks for the business

Everyone likes to be appreciated and those final touches will be the icing on the cake. The end result is you will encourage larger sales, repeat business, referrals and testimonials – all of which will put you on the wave of the Smooth Sale!

Author:

Elinor Stutz, CEO of Smooth Sale, (800) 704-1499; was designated as a “Top 25 Sales Influencer for 2012.” Elinor authored the International Best-Selling book, “Nice Girls DO Get the Sale: Relationship Building That Gets Results”, Sourcebooks and best selling, “HIRED! How to Use Sales Techniques to Sell Yourself On Interviews”, Career Press.

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