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Approcah - the second step in Advanced Successful Selling. Author - Dmitri Stern. I am available! Call now 0800-GROWTH. There are hundreds of prospects in your database right now - because you know how to prospect and why the prospecting is important.

Now it's time to activate them - in other words approach. Some business owners start acting like they have a cold - shivering when I say approach - maybe because approach quite often associated with the cold calling?

Some say - what do you mean? One of my clients, who owns a retail store - told me: "well, one of my shop assistants approaches the customers and asks - 'how can I help you?' and the answer she gets... well you've guessed it, 'no, thank you I am just browsing'". Confess, how many times have you used that line? I know - because I have.

Instead, why doesn't she ask: "Have you been in our shop before?" This is not a yes/no question - not matter what the respondent's answer is, she can always say "Let me show you the selection of our latest specials...by the way I've noticed that you prefer blue... this colour scheme may suite your preference..." and so on.

You see, our Jane - the shop assistant is slowly descending into small talk. This, of course, is very important to build the initial rapport with your potential customer. (The article by Elena Stern on building rapport can be found here)

The bottom line of approach is to be creative and to develop a unique way of doing it. If your approach would be different to the one of your competition, your potential customer will react differently and most likely favorable.

Please remember that it is imperative to get your prospect's name right the first time. There is nothing more insulting than hearing your own name back mutilated beyond recognition. This is where a sale starts or goes down the drain.

If you are one of these people who say - "Ah, I am not good with names. I cannot remember them at all" - well, my cure for you, dear reader, would be the following: use your prospect name straight away for at least four times. Our name is like a song to our ears.

What if you don't have a retail store? Well, in my mind the most important thing to remember about approach is: the approach should be relevant to your target customer.

Let's say that your customers are divided into three categories: The first one is A type customer - they are generally high net worth people. They would never shop on the price only. They would buy on quality. The second one is B type customer - they are your midrange prospects, they would buy if you explain to them the value of your product or service. The third one is C type customer - no matter what you do they would always complain.

Would you agree that your approach to each of these types of customers would be different? You would not say two an A type customer - "My service is cheaper" - would you? Most likely you will say "Mr prospect, although our product is expensive, it was manufactured using fine materials and, let me assure you, it will last you forever...". In other words you will be selling on quality.

Before talking about business you might consider small talk for five minutes about common interests. You might discuss a non-controversial issue of the times. As an astute salesperson, and by now I believe that you realise that you are one - sales person - that is, you will use this conversation to establish the prospects personality type. You would adjust the pace of the speech to that of the prospect. (the matching and mirroring article by Elena Stern can be found here)

Dear reader, let me ask you, what do we looooooove doing while conversing - my version of the answer would be - to talk about ourselves. Let your prospects talk about themselves. Learn to ask questions!

If you could show a genuine interest in your prospects needs they would feel unthreatened and respond favourably.

What if you don't own a retail store, what if you approach your prospect on the phone? Well the same rule applies, but this time you don't have visual, nor kinesthetic contact and all you have is your voice, its tonality and your conviction. We're all sick of cold calling aren't we?

"Can I speak to the household owner?" - "No we are renting here and I'm not interested in interrupting my dinner anyway" - SLAM!!! down goes the phone.

You might considering the necessity to build the trust before you can approach a stranger on the phone.

Unquestionably cold calling is the cheapest way to generate leads and to approach them - but selling on the phone "in one go" will hardly produce results. Quite opposite, it might alienate your prospect - if you have 1,000,000 prospects - it's ok, but if you only have 14...

Marketing slogan of today is WIIFM - "What's in it for me?", marketing method of today is PR - public relationship and not advertising.

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