This is an excerpt taken from Coach’s Corner Episode 1. You can watch the full episode by clicking here.
While many of us have clients that might hang out in the same social circles, things can get tricky if you become “too close” to your customers. Crossing the line of a simple handshake to merrily wolfing down cheeseburgers during the weekends can have a negative impact on the dynamic of a successful business relationship. If you’re currently in this “sticky situation”, you may want to step back and move away from the “friend zone”.
Should You Become Close Friends With Your Clients?
I’d like to share a big misconception I see most salespeople and service providers doing. They think that they need to become best friends with clients. In my experience, that is completely wrong.
Trying to seduce someone into doing business with you is generally not a good solution when you’re selling, although charm might help in some situations. You have to understand that from the prospect’s point of view, he’s coming to you for a solution. Charm can be a benefit of doing business with you but the number 1 reason they are coming to you is to really get their issues solved.
From my experience, the number one way to convert a prospect into a client is to have a one-on-one consultation or session with them – and this is NOT a free trial. That’s a very big misconception in the service provider world because you see coaches and consultants giving a one hour free trial (a “try before you buy” offer) to try to convert a prospect into a buyer, and I really don’t recommend you do that. The reason why is that a trial doesn’t create a good dynamic for you. In the case of a “trial”, the prospect is “trying you out” and he has the power.
The big thing that you need to understand is that the one who has the power in a sales relationship is usually the one who wins. What I mean by that is if you’re looking to sell a solution or service, you really have to maintain control over the relationship, especially at the beginning because that’s when the sale is made.
Of course, after a few weeks or months when you’ve gotten to know each other, it’s much easier to convert him into a repeat buyer.
What do you think? I’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment in the section below 🙂