Remember the thrill of hide ‘n seek? Finding the perfect place to hide out until “all was clear” and someone else was found so you could win the game? Unfortunately, some sales professionals are using the current economy as a reason to hide out until the economy picks up too. And while they are hiding, others are seeking and strengthening relationships and winning new business every day!

Sales professionals who continue to invest their time, energy, and resources today will reap huge rewards in the long run. Need proof? McGraw-Hill’s research found that companies who maintained their investment in marketing and relationships during the 1980-81 recession had 256% higher sales by 1985 than companies that cut expenses during that time. That’s right…256% more sales!

I’ve heard people lament, “I’m the last person they want to talk to. They have no money to do anything.” Wrong! They do want a professional who is there and willing to give value to them even if they aren’t able to do as much “business” with you as before.

Here are a few ways to give value today.

1. Time. Don’t underestimate the value of your time and attention. Make contact and ask for 30 minutes of time to review how you might help them in light of their current situation. Tell them you’ll bring coffee or, even better, get them out of their office for a coffee!

2. Tools to help them do something better, quicker or easier. A client mentioned he was going to hire recent college grads and that wasn’t something he had focused on before. I researched and found 2 colleges that have sales majors, located the key contact and sent off the information. Guess who can’t wait to have me help him train these new people once they are on board?

3. Information that matters. This should not be about you, your firm, or your products. You can position yourself, as a strategic partner, by giving information that is helpful and not tied directly to you. Find relevant information like a book or links to articles, podcasts or forums. I sent a group of financial advisers I had worked with an e-zine link to an expert on getting referrals in their industry. Months later one of them wrote to tell me that they are still finding value in that expertise and getting more referrals for it.

It’s time to stop hiding. Make time to seek out useful, relevant contact points with your customers. Give them value today; they will surely remember and give you business in the future.

What are some ways you provide values to your clients? Let us know in the Comments Section.


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