Everybody knows, as the saying goes, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” In speaking with some of today’s highest producing and highest earning Sales Professionals, the topic of a high-quality customer introduction is often cited as the single most effective ways to initiate a great customer relationship. When you are meeting a new prospect or warm referral for the first time, you are being judged consciously and subconsciously. Our ability to positively kick off the experience is critical, because a well-executed opener helps you gain confidence with a prospective customer and begin the pertinent dialogue necessary to lead to a successful experience. It’s simple to execute, but is also easy, if not easier, to take for granted…and all too often it is. So, why do the very best performers invest quality time employing a professional, consistent ‘Meet & Greet’? One of the more prolific producers I’ve met while working with dealership clients, Carter Nies, a consistent 30-plus unit per month performer, says this about a quality introduction, “It sets the tone for prospects immediately that I respect their time and want to hear more about why they came in to see me. Prospects gain immediate confidence when we make them feel like they are dealing with someone who treats this like a true profession.”
We get the chance to begin anew every time we meet a prospect for the first time. It provides a great way to leverage the first step in our ASD Impact Selling Process™, the “World Class Million Dollar Meet & Greet™” introduction. Making that great first impression is pivotal in establishing the experience that a prospective new client or customer is about to enjoy is far different from any that they’ve had prior to meeting you. And it also begins the process of leaving, and perhaps more importantly, a lasting impression, which can deliver residual business and lots of referrals!
Customers tend to form instant opinions about us, and this impacts how much time they’ll devote to us and our pitch, product or process. Very often this is based on elements such as our personal hygiene, wardrobe, body language, voice inflection and facial expressions, our words, and our overall demeanor. Below are a few simple, yet very effective recommendations to help us achieve a confident and professional initial impression:
TIP: Make sure you are dressed in a neat, clean and professional manner. (Pressed or ironed clothing, without potentially offensive jewelry or apparel)
TIP: Make sure your personal hygiene is above average, as people want to have confidence in those that are serving them. (Professional hair styling, fresh breath clean hands)
TIP: Make consistent eye contact (Try focusing on just one eye for better eye contact…it’s easier!) This one action does more to instill trust than most any other!
TIP: Offer a genuine smile…Every time. In my experience, 11 out of 10 prospects smile back at me!
TIP: Open with a professional, engaging greeting, such as:
- ‘Hi! Welcome to ABC Automotive, my name is YOUR NAME, and you are? So great to meet you, and how do I spell your last name?’
TIP: Offer your business card immediately after exchanging names. Too often, I witness an unwitting Sales Professional offer their card at the “moment of dismissal” when they’ve determined that they aren’t going to complete a transaction at that time. This sends the wrong signals to a prospect.
These simple, yet impactful suggestions may seem trivial when examined individually, but compounded over the entire purchase/selling experience, they deliver real, improved results. Start to work on these actions today and begin the journey always remembering…
Amateurs settle for being one of a million, but professionals always strive to be One-In-A-Million!©