Like most sales prospecting techniques, to improve your ability to develop stronger interpersonal relationships, you need to prepare (using techniques like Social Reconnaissance) before you prospect. That way, you’re better prepared to have real conversations that eventually convert to real customers.
For instance… here’s how you can leverage Social Reconnaissance and the Ben Franklin Effect to quickly create become more likable to a sales prospect.
Learn About Your Sales Prospects’ Passions and Prides
Review your prospects’ social feeds. Pay attention to the subtle clues people inadvertently share, especially via photographs. What are the things they think they’re especially good at? What skills or information do they seem especially proud of? What are they passionate about?
Pay attention to the things they share the most. By doing so, you’ll discover what’s important to them. And then you can use this information to reach out and request a small, simple favor (per Ben Franklin’s technique) that validates their passions or prides.
Ask Your Prospect For a Favor
But here is the trick. You can’t just ask for ANY favor… in order for the Ben Franklin Effect to take hold, you have to ask for one that’s easy for your sales prospect to deliver but meaningful for you to receive. After all, it’s not like you’re besties… so look for something they can do for you that will take less than 5 minutes of their time but provide you with something truly beneficial and valuable.
For instance, let’s say that your sales prospect loves to travel. Their social feeds are full of incredible pictures from fabulous places — one of which happens to be a place you want to visit or better, already have a trip planned to soon.
Reach out to your prospect via email, text or even better, phone (it’s more personal in my opinion) and ask for a small favor.
“I saw that you visited [name of destination] last spring and your trip looked amazing. I’m taking my partner on a romantic getaway there next month and I need to pick the perfect place for us to have a memorable dinner. Can you do me a favor and suggest a couple of places that you think would be amazing?”
Now you’ve told your sales prospect that you acknowledge they’re a treasure trove of travel information and more importantly, valuable information. According to our friend Ben, they’ll appreciate that you recognize their expertise.
You’ve also shared a little something about the favor. You’ve indicated that you’re looking to create a special evening for someone that you care about. So not only will your sales prospect be helping you, they will also be helping another person they don’t even know 😉 which helps them understand the value of their help.
The goal here is to make the ask so simple, that your prospect can’t help but oblige.
Show Your Gratitude
This last step is HUGE. In fact, if you skip it, you’ve wasted all the effort up to this point.
Deliver a heartfelt and sincere thank you. If at all possible, call. You can hear gratitude in a person’s voice. And yes, while you can express gratitude in writing, I still think there’s just something much more powerful about hearing it in a person’s voice.
But if you do skip the call, don’t send a text or email. Send a handwritten note from you to them via the good old fashioned postal system. It will stand out… trust me.
And don’t just say thanks. Explain how the favor personally benefited you. And important safety note here — this is your chance to show a little vulnerability, which is essential to creating truly connected relationships. Don’t just say my partner loved the restaurant. That’s boring as hell.
Explain how your partner loving the restaurant made them feel, how it set the tone for a romantic night, how they told you that it made them feel special that you picked just the right spot, etc. Get emotive. Be real.
Lastly, do not offer to return the favor. I know that kind of sounds rude right? After all, it’s so common in the favor for a favor world we live in to offer to repay the effort. But don’t.
Because as soon as you make it a favor for a favor thing… you make it transactional. Friends do things for each other out of kindness; not repayment or transactions.
Go Forth and Sell Greatly
And that’s it. A simple approach to help you prospect and nurture more effectively by being relationship vs transaction oriented. And that’s what it means to Sell Greatly.
Need help learning how to Sell Greatly? Or maybe you think it’s time for your sales team to learn how to become relationship vs transaction focused?
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