Perhaps you should whisper it, but lots of sales work is all about manipulating people. One of the most effective tools of manipulation is reciprocity. In other words, I’ll do you a favour, but you owe me one. Let me give you an example. Take someone out to lunch, or even a coffee and they will feel on some level, however subconscious, that they owe you.
If you work somewhere where the customer comes to you, such as a car showroom or a furniture store, tea and coffee are often taken for granted and are there for people to help themselves. It is surprising how much more valued a can of coke or mineral water from the fridge can be, especially on a hot day.
How far do you go to use your knowledge of your customer to your advantage? Do they have young children, for example? Would an inexpensive toy have a far greater impact than a diary or pen with your company’s name plastered all over it? Even though Valentine’s day is more personal holiday you might consider it for your business partners or customers. Here are some creative ideas for Valentine’s presents. We hope you’ll like them like we did!
Overgenerous gifts can often result in poor effects. If a customer knows that you’ve spent thousands of pounds on, say, a trip to a major sporting event, there may be accusations of improper behaviour. Striking the balance is always a difficult art. Whoever said sales training was easy?
Updated: Jan 2017