Are you connecting?

May 28, 2015

By Ray Barry, NAID Deputy Executive Director

The key to accumulating a long list of loyal clients in the document destruction industry is “relationship-based” solution selling. It is no longer a transactional sale but more of a complex sale with moving parts. Anyone can quote a price for a specific service. If clients just wanted a price quote for your service, than companies would not need sales teams.

As a sales professional or business owner, your job is to educate the clients on the difference between the actual value of using your services versus the competitors’. Many times your price may be higher than your competitors’ prices. However, when you are successful at selling the value of your services, prospects perceive a difference in price and your value compared to that of your competitors. Are you able to show them the absence of value if they do not utilize your company?

In fact, more accounts are won when clients like or have a connection with their sales representatives instead of having the lowest price. Prospects will not become clients until they know, like, and trust you and you remove the risk associated with becoming a client. Your clients need to perceive a difference in you and your company that distinguishes you from your competitors so they can reap more benefits from the relationship. Most buying decisions are made emotionally then justified logically.

The most successful way for shredding business owners or information destruction sales professionals to develop long-lasting relationships with their prospects is to commit to a defined networking strategy. My suggestions are below:

  • Go where the fish are. Identify areas where your prospects are going to be and where you will be able to make a connection (e.g., industry associations).
  • Join industry associations and speak up.
  • Be friendly. Clients want to do business with people they like and trust.
  • Provide value first. The best way to breed likeability and trust is to give something of value to the person(s) you are trying to build a relationship with, such as a lunch ‘n’ learn or breakfast briefing.
  • Identify related services (e.g., records storage, document imaging, medical waste) in your market and match your prospect’s growth strategies to yours.
  • Engage the other person, whether a prospect or a potential partner, about their business, not about yours.
  • Find something that you have in common with your prospect or potential partner.
  • Lead them to your solution, not with your solution.

If you want to more information about this strategy, consider attending the next Shred School workshop. Click here to learn more.