There are multiple approaches to sales depending upon the complexity of the product or service, your personality, and the needs of your prospective or current clients. A low touch sale may be transactional and require very little sales interaction. This can include repeat orders that are automated. On the other end of the spectrum, a high touch sale will require ongoing interactions between sales and clients, from education, training, on-boarding, and through maintaining relationships.
How can you master high touch sales? Here are some places to start.
Communicating with Your Clients
The first step is communication. Speak with your clients regularly, and be available when they get in touch with you. This should go without saying, but make sure you promptly return their calls when you get a voicemail. Reply to their emails in a timely manner. An acknowledgment to confirm the receipt of their email works well in the interim until you have more time for a full response. You’ll want to develop good communication habits and be a reliable point of contact for your clients. At the end of the day, you’re building a relationship with your clients, and it needs to be healthy.
As with any good relationship, be prepared to talk about things other than work. Try to remember the names of your clients’ partners, children, or pets. Recall their hobbies and interests. It may help to take note of this information in the contact files for your clients. You never need to share more about your own personal life than you’re comfortable with, but be prepared to hear about theirs. Making your clients feel remembered and appreciated will help develop a strong relationship of respect and trust. Regardless of whether the relationship may last months or years, it should be a good one.
There’s a fine line between under-communication and becoming a bit of a nuisance. You don’t want to call them too rarely… but you also don’t want to annoy them with constant emails and messages. Different people may have varying preferences for contact frequency, but try to find a fair average to stick to.
You may communicate with your clients in a number of ways. Phone calls, emails, texts, and social media messages are some of the most common methods. You may also want to share articles, blogs, or white papers with them. It’s okay to incorporate humor, though you’ll want to be conscious of topics they may find offensive or that you may not be compatible with. In general, you should avoid politics and religion. But lighter fare is usually fair game.
Being a Resource
You don’t want to just be a friend to your clients. Remember, this is still a business relationship built on professionalism, and your first objective is to be of service to them. Moreover, you want to be a resource to your clients. Be knowledgeable about their industry, and keep up on the latest trends and news – especially those that affect their industry.
Be prepared to answer your clients’ questions and recommend other products or services that may be of use to them. You’re not just selling your product or service – you’re also looking out for their needs. If you’re ever unsure about something or uninformed on a topic, do your research so you’ll be prepared to offer valuable insight. Being able to help your clients is essential in high touch sales. This will also earn their loyalty to you, which can mean more sales opportunities and referrals down the line.
Going Above and Beyond
When you offer excellent communication, build up a strong relationship, and prove to be a valuable resource to your clients, they will recognize your worth. You’re setting yourself apart from the pack, and your exceptional service will likely lead to a years-long business relationship. It may very well lead to recommendations for other clients, as well.
Not all sales are high touch, and not all clients need high touch interaction. It’s important to know when to use it. High touch sales is about offering a heightened experience and forging a deeper relationship, often over a greater period of time. Knowing how to provide a quality high touch sales experience will be invaluable throughout your career.
Amanda Whitbeck is Vice President of Operations at Petite2Queen. Since earning her master’s degree in Global Entertainment & Music Business from Berklee College of Music, Amanda has played key roles facilitating growth at start-ups. She’s also worked in diverse sectors of the music industry, from live events promotion to entertainment journalism. She brings her expertise in music business, writing, and website development to Petite2Queen.