Getting to “I have a guy” status is a long term game because people take time to trust you. Nonetheless, there is selfish reason why you should aim for it…
“I have a guy…” These are words every salesperson should aspire to. They are words that position you as the go-to person. And they are words uttered in your absence. Your reputation precedes you. Unfortunately, they are words usually reserved for a fundi-say, mechanic or electrician. The buyer trusts him because he solves his problems and has established a working relationship with him. As such, when a friend laments about the dripping pipe no plumber seems capable of repairing, he is happy to say, “I have a guy…” Regrettably, few sales people attain this status and fewer still actively seek it.
Do your customers proudly refer you to others saying, “I have a guy…”? If not, find out why.
You hit and run
There was a time this worked. In fact, it was the considered the standard interpretation of sales person. Insurance selling was the typical example shared.” Once you’ve bought, he’ll remember you almost a year later when you at renewing the insurance. Sometimes, you have to call him because he doesn’t remember.” Such was the buyer’s lamentation-that the seller was clinically transactional. That kind of selling struggles today because the buyer is spoiled for choice and information. Yes, I know. There are still sales people that sell like this-and that is why the coveted title of “I have a guy” will forever remain elusive for them.
You struggle being relational
With the capping on interest rates, banks are being forced to interrogate how they sell. Experts say that banks have been hitting and running. Whether I have successfully borrowed and paid thirteen times, I am still treated the same as the one borrowing for the first time. Likewise, the salesperson who aspires to attain “I have a guy…” status, cannot afford to be transactional. Seeing through, say, the, motor vehicle claim experience, endears you to the buyer. He trusts that you are in this, in good times and in bad.
Technology has made this engaging easier for us; Facebook and LinkedIn will prompt you to congratulate a customer on a birthday or promotion, for instance. But go beyond this; share a relevant post on WhatsApp that will help the customer solve his problem. Sharing useful information is the most effective way of being relational-especially in business to business selling. I once read somewhere that with the plethora modes of communication available, weekly contact is what a sales person should strive for. I’ll let you be the judge of the frequency. Just stay in touch.
Market development is taboo for you
Many times market development alludes to something an institution does. Yet, nothing could be further from the truth. The salesperson that spends his days at one market, and gets almost all his sales from it, is developing that market. The insurance sales person at Kenyatta National Hospital is an example of this; so too, the bank sales representative who is so common at the premises of a large employer that staff their joke about putting him on the payroll.
The beauty of market development is that potential buyers and customers interact with you so often that they see you as one of them; you solve problems and make sales in the same breath. You put out sparks before they become flames. You understand the system. Your customers confidently tell potential buyers “Don’t worry. On Thursdays like today, he comes from about 10 am. He’ll sort you out.” In other words, “We have a guy…”
Are you the guy?
Getting to “I have a guy” status requires patience and commitment. It is a long term game because people take time to trust you. Nonetheless, there is selfish reason why you should aim for it; you spend less time looking for customers and the quality of your buyers soars because most are referrals and like attracts like; you also spend plenty face to face time with buyers and increase your chances of closing sales. “I have a guy…” Is that you?
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