I think the single most important act of business is to connect with your customer. With that accomplished, your customer will be ready and willing to consider your product/service.
In order to reach this special place of connection, you need to consider three things:
1. Who your customer is and how your relationship can benefit you both. I know, I know most sales training teach the WIIFM (what’s in it for me) method of selling, but I believe that for you to do what’s best for your customer, both of you must derive a benefit from your relationship. This type of relationship will cause you to take great care of your customer and will cause your customer to respect you because of the value you provide him.
2. Your knowledge/skill set. If you have the knowledge/skills to benefit you customer then you can act upon them in confidence. If you do not then you can spare both of you lots of misery by referring the business to someone that does!
3. What kind of continued service you are going to supply after the sale. The greatest sense of loyalty is most often achieved after the check has been cashed and the money has been spent. Do you have a system in place that actually benefits your customers after the sale? Is it consistent and repeatable?
Knowing that in the current sales climate people are looking to buy products/services from people they know, like, and trust, you have to work at building relationships harder than at any time before. Are you willing to pay this price to connect with your customer?