As a business owner there is no doubt you dedicate a reasonable amount of time…
What the Balinese Taught Me About Sales and Relationships
Recently I returned home from a wonderful holiday in Bali. The Balinese people have a beautiful view on life.
While I was there, I noticed how fabulous they are at sales and building relationships, most especially the follow-up process; they never give up! They always have a smile on their face, and they make it fun.
I work with many business owners, and the follow-up process seems to be one of the most challenging areas talked about. So many amazing opportunities are lost because people don’t reconnect after a conversation. It’s incredible how many excuses business owners can find not to follow-up, and fear seems to be the main reason.
Some people have said they are afraid to be seen as stalkers; they have a picture of the other person hiding at the other end of the phone. Others feel they are hassling and many people have a fear of hearing the word “no”, they take it personally and see it as rejection.
They might give it a go a few times and then give up, telling themselves that they’re not cut out for sales, or this will never work for them, they’re doing something wrong, or even that people don’t like them.
These perceptions and fears are one of the main causes of procrastination, and it’s incredible how many potential sales are lost because of this. If you don’t follow-up with someone, they can forget all about you, and it can also lead to a loss of trust and respect in you, as a business person.
When you consistently follow-up, it shows professionalism and that you actually care about the person and how you can serve them.
“Diligent follow-up and follow-through will set you apart from the crowd and communicate excellence” – John C Maxwell.
Follow-up is relationship building and if you change the way you are looking at it, then you will find it a lot easier.
Today might not be your day, but tomorrow could be.
This is the beautiful philosophy of the Balinese. They believe in Karma and believe that if they get a whole day full of “no”, it means that today isn’t their lucky day, but tomorrow might be. It is their perception and belief, and it works for them because it means that they never give up. So, tell yourself if you get a “no” it means that the next conversation may be your “yes”.
It’s not all about you.
Often people see the word ‘no’ as rejection, and because of this, they stop the follow-up process. Follow-up isn’t about you; it’s about the other person and how you can serve them. Imagine your potential client’s perception, not being followed-up to them might mean you don’t see them as important, you don’t care, or you’re not professional. Focus on the other person and making them feel important and significant.
We are not all the same.
Just because you have certain beliefs about being followed-up doesn’t mean everyone else has those same beliefs. A large number of people want to hear from you, and personally, I like to be reminded with a follow-up. We all make decisions in different ways. Some people make instant decisions, others take a lot more time, and some people need to be contacted three to seven times before they make their decision. Remind yourself that everyone is different.
Make it fun.
Follow-up can be fun. I stood and bargained with a man at the market in Bali for about 30 minutes. We were both tough bargainers, but he made the whole process fun. He always had a smile on his face; he made jokes, he asked me where I was from and talked about his family. I could tell he was enjoying himself, so it made it more enjoyable for me, and I stayed even though there were other stalls selling the same thing.
Look at follow-up as an opportunity to connect, ask about their family and things that are important to them, smile, even if it’s a phone conversation or email, decide to have fun.
Focus on follow-up as relationship building and don’t give up until you get a response. It doesn’t matter what that response is. Remember that people know people, so even if you get a “no” they may know plenty of people who will say, “yes”.
“The opinions expressed by Smallville Contributors are their own, not those of www.smallville.com.au"
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