To establish the ultimate long-term relationship and to be memorable in the service you perform, you need to discover personal information about your prospect or customer. Information that provides insight. (And, oh yes, lots of sales.)
What do you know about what impacts your best customers and prospects? Ask any great salesperson their secret for success, and two things will be in their answer: a positive attitude and a computer full of personal information.
The famous “Mackay 66” brought attention to the importance of gathering personal information in the selling process. It’s a form that asks sixty-six personal and business questions. But a closer look at this strategy reveals that information is only good if it’s the right information. And that you use it to your advantage once you obtain it.
The difference between making a sale and building a relationship lies in your ability to get this information — and uncover the other information it leads to. The more information you have, the better (and easier) it is to establish rapport, follow up and have something to say, build the relationship, and gain enough comfort to make the sale.
How do you get all this information? You have to gather it subtly, slowly. A little at a time as the relationship grows. You can get this information from lots of places: secretaries, brochures, annual reports, and employees of the company (especially other salespeople). Take notes constantly.
If given a choice, people will connect with (and buy from) those they like and can relate to. If you have the information, and use it to be memorable, you have a decided advantage.
Or you can decide “It’s too much work, I can make the sale without it.” This philosophy gives the advantage to someone else — your competitor.