It’s almost Valentine’s Day, which for a lot of people means an opportunity to refocus on loved ones and show the love in a special way. Doesn’t V-Day hold the same opportunity for sellers? Why not take a moment this week and show your customers and prospects the love?
Taking the advice of the World’s Most Underrated Sales Expert, Gary Chapman, let’s use the Five Love Languages (buy this book!) to look at ways to show customers – and prospects – the love this Valentine’s season. But first…
- Gary Chapman is the authority on the Five Love Languages. I’m just applying his principles from a seller’s perspective.
- As always, the goal is to communicate love in THEIR love language! This may mean flexing out of your personal preferences. For example, I’m not a big gift-giver, but some of my clients are.
- Be authentic! Showing feelings you don’t have is manipulative. Focus on the people you really love…and want to love you.
Using Love Languages to Sell this Valentine’s Day
Here are a few starter ideas to get you going.
Acts of Service: Do something special for a client this week. Provide an extra bit of customer service. It might be analyzing data and providing them with an insight. It might be resolving an outstanding or lingering issue. It might be spending a little extra time helping someone in the organization solve a problem or add a skill. To keep it authentic, make sure it’s a service they value and appreciate, not just something that will help you sell more.
Quality Time: Invite them out to something they appreciate. It might be breaking bread, it might be coffee somewhere, it might be a business event, it might be golf or a game. Whatever it is, make the time more about focusing on them and their agenda, and less about your sales agenda. Remember, proximate goal is communicating love, not selling something. That will come.
Words of Affirmation: Write some Valentine’s cards. Make some phone calls. Take an extra minute in meetings to tell people what you appreciate about them and about working with them. To make it authentic, be really specific. “You’re a great client” is not enough!
Gifts: Give something that takes thought. Give something that stands out. Give a memorable experience instead of a thing. And by all means, give gifts that don’t violate compliance or ethics laws.
Touch: Graduate from handshakes to hugs. Be very careful with this one – pick your spots!
As with good questioning, a little love goas a long way in selling. Use these ideas with discretion and authenticity, and Happy Valentine’s Day!