Why is Graciousness in Sales Important?
Being gracious may not open doors. If you are not gracious, you are sure to close the doors forever. – #DemandGeneration Tweet Book
Since our childhood days, we had been learning lessons on being polite and gracious with everyone to ensure better relationships. But then, we entered the cold business world and everything changed. We learnt graciousness is the least appreciated emotion in the business world. People were cold around us and thousands of business gurus insisted that the key to success is to be insistent and assertive. As a result, we turned equally inimical.
In sales, however, which way will you choose – to sound firm and aggressive and coercively ask the prospect to set an appointment or sound courteous and turn an empathetic ear to know about prospect’s needs and then lure him into meeting?
Chances are the former might pass you as a conceited, dominating person, making the prospect repulsive to see you. This is because you are not trying to set appointments with low profile people who can be persuaded into believing your superiority. Instead, you are talking to high-profile and key decision-makers of an organization. These people know the ins and outs of the trade and they need to be genuinely shown value in sparing time to know more about your offerings. Such C/V/D level professionals are most concerned about the offerings that can add value to their organization’s as well as their own growth. Show them that value with the latter approach and you can set meaningful appointment.
It may seem like common sense to be polite and professional to customers, then why are we discussing it all here? This is because this common sense is not common place. Thanks to current business scenario (as discussed above), we have turned ill-disposed and intentionally or unintentionally, sound unsympathetic while making sales calls to prospects.
Here is help to rescue you from ‘all about me’ mindset so that you can imbibe the concepts of politeness and courtesy while communicating at all levels with your prospects.
Being gracious on phone
Being gracious as well as professional is a rare mix in today’s world, especially in business sphere. Where everyone has fallen prey to the plague of entitlement and supremacy, it is good to stand out by being courteous.
When dealing with a prospect on phone, engage in a conversation focusing on the prospect and prospect’s needs. Listen to his requirements firstly and then try to present your offerings in a way that intend to solve his company’s problems. Also, listen intently to make the prospect talk more.
Be conscientious of your prospect’s time zone, schedule, and holiday seasons, trying not to ring him up at a time he would be occupied working or worse, relaxing. When initiating the conversation, greet enthusiastically and warmly. Lethargy or disinterest from your side can come across as the highest degree of impoliteness. Many sales experts suggest standing or sitting in an upright posture while talking on phone to exude confidence.
Politely ask the prospect if he has time to spare for you and appreciate him for the same, in the end. If appointment has been set, thank him for the opportunity given and drop an ensuing email mentioning the details of set meeting. What if prospect hasn’t given you his time on phone or hasn’t agreed to set a meeting yet? Read on…
Being gracious on email
Face-to-face and on-phone communication might seem easier to maintain graciousness because we are more vulnerable and are easily able to gauge the reactions of those around us. But, how do we sound polite on Email?
Asking appointment from a cold lead via Email can be tricky but can be simplified via simple methods. Give an option of two time-slots to the prospect and ask him to pick one as per his comfort. This way, you are giving him the sense of control while applying a successful passive approach. Alternatively, you can state you will be calling at the mentioned time-slot and hoping your prospect will be free at that time. This way, you are not asking anything from the prospect and carrying the burden of continued conversation on your shoulders. Chances are your prospect might not answer to your email in the former or might not be free at the mentioned time and might not pick your call in the latter but do not lose hope. It works differently with every prospect because after all, they are individuals with defining personalities. See which method works the best with which prospect and remember, in the end, persistence pays.
Being gracious on being rejected
No one wins every sales opportunity even after putting the best of efforts. Just like you must stay gracious on being given time and an opportunity to set a meeting, you must stay polite when the prospect is not ready to listen to you or meet your representative.
Being unhappy, resentful, or upset doesn’t define the behavior of a confident professional. Not being gracious to the person who is not ready to listen to you will close your doors forever to build relationships with that prospect or influence anyone from that organization.
Also, don’t give up. Lead nurturing is one of the most important parts of lead conversion. If your dream client, whom you were so actively and aggressively pursued, does not convert yet, do not start ignoring him. Instead, remain on top of his mind with the help of seamless and targeted communications. This will help you being considered at the time of buying decision.
Successful business comes down to successful interactions. If you are polite and courteous, you can increase your chances to make that happen. On the other hand, if you are conceited and smug, you are definitely not going to get anywhere with the prospect.