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Bruce Baltich, a long time colleague of mine in Orlando, Fla. shared an interesting point with me recently.  His statement was: 

I want to avoid “commission breath” in my conversations with those that I serve.

Below are three strategies that will help you avoid commission breath, and position you as a valuable resource to your client.

Strategy No. 1: Be honest and direct.

If you don’t have a product or service that the client needs, tell them you can’t help them. Then go the extra mile to proactively find that product or service for them.  Your centers of influences and your current network of contacts almost always will turn up a name or two that can fill their need. Yes, you might initially miss a sale of some sort, but the goodwill you will create will be rewarded with future sales and referrals that will far exceed the initial lost sale.

Strategy No. 2: Create new business for your customer.

Pull out your list of your top customers.  When is the last time you referred them business? 

Why so long? They need referrals just like you do. Not to mention, the best way to earn a referral is to give a referral first.

Questions to consider when thinking about a referral:

  1. What products and services do my top clients offer?
  2. Who do I know that needs those products and services?

Strategy No. 3: The relationship-building lunch.

Now, I’m not talking about an extravagant lunch. Something simple. Some place that’s not noisy. In the relationship-building lunch, you are asking questions, finding common grounds of interest, finding ways that you can be helpful. You don’t have dog eared papers and contracts to sign. That yells commission breath. And commission breath at a relationship building lunch is bad business.

Recently I had lunch with a top client at a local New Orleans neighborhood restaurant. About halfway through lunch the owner asked, “So, why are we really here today?” I looked at him straight in his eyes and told him, “Our sole reason for being here is to build our relationship with you and to tell you we appreciate you and your business.”  (May I strongly suggest that you go back and read that last sentence out loud?)

Call to action:  So you’ve just read 3 strategies that are tried and tested. What action will you commit to implementing these ideas?

Make Marvelous Happen!

For more from Marvin LeBlanc, see:

11 life events that will help you be a better salesperson

The true definition of “selling”

How to overcome 19 straigt “nos”