Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Mark Zokle: Stop Self-Indulgent Sales

Mark Zokle
Communication is vital in sales but how it’s executed plays a huge part in your success. Here, Mark Zokle shares a few words of wisdom on getting to know clients better and how to engage without sounding overbearing.

Q: Why is it so hard to get clients to return my emails and phone calls?

Mark Zokle: Sales and marketing messages typically have about a 2% response rate, but a lot of that has to do with presentation. Correspondences that are more about the product or service being sold often come across as little more than a sales pitch. But when an email focuses on non-promotional materials, the response rate jumps to 40%.

Q: Is outreach more important for potential clients or existing customers?

Mark Zokle: Maintaining an open line of communication is essential for all customers. For new clients, it is about establishing a relationship and finding common ground. With existing customers, a salesperson’s primary goal is to remain in the front of their minds.

Q: What are some examples of “non-sales” communications that can help establish or maintain a relationship with my clients?

Mark Zokle: Communication does not have to be centered around business all the time. For instance, a client going on a business trip to a new town may welcome advice on comfortable hotels or good restaurant. Buyers who are fans of a particular sports team will enjoy a conversation about a recent game. Even something as simple as sending your client a book written by their favorite author may lead to a more favorable perception of the sales representative and his or her brand.

Q: How can a sales representative get to know information about their client without being intrusive?

Mark Zokle: Thankfully, we live in a world where technology makes it very easy to “get to know” someone before the first face-to-face meeting ever takes place. Check social media accounts first. Is their Facebook profile picture telling of an interest? Do they have any charitable organizations they support listed on their LinkedIn?