On the surface, selling more by giving might not make much sense. You’re looking to expand your reach, make more money, and grow grow grow, not to give your resources away.
But, when you dig a little deeper, giving is a powerful business strategy. Here are five ways to sell more by giving.
First and foremost, giving value is about incorporating a giving philosophy into the way you do business.
Rather than focusing on yourself, how great your company is, or what your product and services do, focus on providing value to your leads and customers. Work to understand what challenges your prospects face and provide information, resources, and conversation that will help them meet those challenges.
Talk to prospects about what situations led them to seek out your services, learning what motivates them and what needs you can fulfill. Write blog posts, whitepapers, and other resources that address solutions to common challenges your clients face.
Go above and beyond the standard — go out of your way to help prospects, even in ways that might not be strictly within your scope:
- Connect leads with other services and people who can make their lives a bit better, even if it isn’t your product or service.
- Contact your clients even when they don’t specifically need something, just to touch base and nurture the relationship.
There are plenty of tools out there to help you up your value-delivering game. Here are just a few:
- Moz scours relevant sites and gives you insight into your competitors’ top-performing articles, helping you create content on the trending topics in your field.
- BuzzSumo helps you find the most shared content in your industry. Keep on the pulse of what your customers want and join in on the sharing party.
- TextUs is a text messaging app that allows you to deliver value from your desktop in the most convenient way possible — right to the smartphones in your customers’ pockets.
Give your attention
The world has become increasingly distracted. In fact, recent studies show that the average attention span has dwindled from 12 seconds in 2000 to 8.5 seconds in 2015. To give you some perspective, the average attention span of a goldfish is 9 seconds.
Don’t be average (and be better than a goldfish!). By giving your prospects and customers your undivided attention, you can be sure your close rates will be better than average, too:
- Set an example for careful listening — your prospects are more likely to follow suit.
- Commit to making your customers and leads feel seen and heard. By showing your clients you care, you will boost loyalty to your services.
- Glean important information from your leads and customers. By keeping track of individual needs and customer-wide trends, you’ll always be ahead of the game.
- Create a sense of trust. By noticing what, specifically, your customers need and providing it, you will get their attention in return.
Give your time
A more distracted world also means that fewer people are putting time into their relationships with their customers. Just like any other relationship, a sales partnership requires time to grow.
Devote time and energy to your presales. Focus on giving value and attention to the leads that are not yet customers. Businesses that put time into the presale stage consistently achieve above-average win rates:
- 40–50% in new business
- 80–90% in renewal business
Follow up promptly. By being flexible with your time and responding to leads quickly, you will boost your conversion rate:
- Companies that respond to internet leads within 1 hour of contact are seven times more likely to qualify the lead than those who waited even 2 hours.
- The speedy companies are 60 times more likely to qualify than those who waited 24 hours or longer.
And keep following up! Most salespeople give up after a call or two. But it takes about seven touches to make that sale. By putting time into your follow up — following up often and giving your leads something they value — you will boost your conversion rates.
Meet up in person or schedule Skype chats. By going the extra mile to meet face-to-face, you can show clients through your actions that they are important to you. Scheduling apps can make setting up these meetings a breeze.
Give your support
Pay attention to what you can do to make your leads’ and customers’ lives better. It’s helpful to think outside the box of traditional sales relationships – to move from the purely transactional to the mutually beneficial. By creating a partnership with your leads and customers, you’ll gain a loyal fanbase who will become a strong referral base for your company.
Continually brainstorm ways that you can help your customers. Here are just a few examples of going the extra mile:
- Connect your leads and customers with other businesses that can help them tackle their problems.
- Network for your customers. Introduce them to one another and to other valuable contacts.
- Respond to customer complaints and difficulties promptly and with generosity instead of defensiveness.
- Give negative reviews positive attention and work to solve the customer’s concerns.
- Go above and beyond to turn common snags into opportunities to improve relationships.
- Use tools like SocialMention and Hootsuite to monitor your online mentions and respond immediately to unhappy customers or questions from your clients.
In his 15 years at a Chevy dealership in Michigan, Joe Girard sold 13,001 cars and trucks, which remains a world record to this day. One year alone, he moved 1,425 units.
How did Joe Girard, a poor kid from Detroit, grow up to be the most successful salesman in the world? He sent people greeting cards.
Every holiday, from Veterans Day to birthdays, from Halloween to customer anniversaries, Girard sent handwritten cards to his customers and future customers with the simple message: I like you.
That’s the message you send whenever you send a gift to a prospect or customer. You let them know that you’ll go above and beyond to make them happy. You let them know you’re thinking about them. And the next time they have a challenge you can solve, they’ll think of you before your competitors.
Try any of the following ideas at your company:
- Send discounts on customer anniversary dates or offer special access to pro features on leads’ birthdays. A CRM with automated email functions can help you make sure you never forget to send out those giving emails in a timely manner.
- Take your customers out to coffee — virtually; send them a small gift card to Starbucks.
- Donate to charity in your customer’s name.
- Throw a party.
- Distribute useful swag with your company logo on it.
- Share knowledge by sending out copies of a meaningful book — one that changed the way you think about business or inspired you to be a better leader.
A simple tool like karmaCRM can help you manage all of this giving. From providing value through scheduled workflows to helping you give time through follow-up reminders, a good CRM can help you incorporate a giving strategy into the way you do business every day.
So, there you have it — five ways you can sell more by giving. Did we miss anything? Add your ideas about creating a culture of giving in the comments below.
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