you tell them what they need well before they realize it themselves.”
– Steve Jobs
Get to Know Your Customer Day is celebrated on the third Thursday of each quarter (January, April, July, October). It’s a reminder that your business is built on your customers and how well you know them.
Ask any great salesperson their secret for success and two things will be in their answer: a positive attitude and a computer full of personal information.
Building positive, long-term relationships with your customers means making yourself memorable. To aid you in this quest, you need to develop insight into what makes them come back for your services. This includes acquiring personal information.
Harvey Mackay’s 66 focuses on the importance of gathering personal information. It’s a form that asks 66 personal and business questions that ferret out the right information. After that, it’s up to you to use it strategically.
Getting the answers to 66 questions is a huge challenge. As a relationship grows, you will glean information slowly and subtly from many places: assistants, brochures, annual reports, social media, employees of the company (especially other salespeople), even the pictures on their desks. Take notes constantly.
The more information you have the better (and easier) it will be to establish rapport, follow-up, build the relationship, and gain enough comfort to make the sale.
Given a choice, people will buy from those they like and can relate to. Sincerity and respect are also essential. The more information you have and use to be memorable (something Mackay talks about in his book How to Swim with the Sharks Without Getting Eaten Alive), the more advantage you’ll have.