I was invited recently to do a keynote speech and workshop to a group of managers from a local storage company.
The outcome of the speech and workshop was for the managers to accept that sales is not a four letter word. That in fact we are all in the business of selling and influencing in some way every day, at work, with relationships, everything.
After talking about NRS Media and its success globally, we soon discovered that in lots of ways we were in the same business.
Some of you may know other than Talking Media Sales, I own a company called NRS Media. NRS Media is the world authority on helping direct media sales people sell more advertising to their advertisers. As media sales people, we all know that one of the challenges with selling direct media is that it is not tangible, one cannot touch and feel it, or use it in a way that we might use a television or stereo or computer. Therefore building rapport and creating good, strong relationships with your clients is one of the keys attributes to a good media sales person.
During our training session we soon discovered that the storage company and selling media in lots of ways was the same, we both sold space.
The only slight difference was that in media sales you tend to find you do a lot more external presentations and make more appointments, however with this particular storage company, a lot of their inquiries come in via the phone.
As an exercise we decided to have a very simple rapport building workshop.
I asked them to do two things.
- The first thing was to think (and write down) the two best relationships (client or telephone inquiry) that they had made recently? Or even if they could not think of a particular example in their work environment, think about the relationship they had with their two best friends.
- I then asked him to write down the top 3 to 5 reasons why they are great relationships.
We then asked if any would like to share some of the reasons why they have great relationships. Here are some of the answers:
- We just seem to make a connection.
- It felt right from the very beginning.
- We found something in common.
- I asked a few questions.
We then decided to turn the reasons they had good relationships into Rules to Building Great Relationships.
So by way of example many of the answers focused around asking questions, and finding something in common.
The next step was to make a rule within the organisation.
Rule No 1: Look for areas of common interest.
Rule No 2: Asking questions will uncover something in common.
We then went on to make some additional rules and rank them in order of importance.
Doing exercises like this as an individual or as a manager of media sales people helps you really get focused on why your advertisers purchase off you. More importantly it allows you to think about what is the fastest way to build rapport, what’s the one thing that you need to focus on to allow you to get to know your client better.
Try this exercise on your own or suggest it at your next sales meeting.
PHOTO – Daniel Y Go