Steph here! As a co-founder of a startup, I wear a lot of different hats. One of the hats I wear is sales. But instead of calling it “sales,” I prefer to use the term “Relationship Building.” Read on to find 4 simple tips and tricks that I use on the regular when I meet with nonprofit professionals.
- Be ON TIME!
So important. Don’t be late! First impressions are unavoidable and it’s so important to start off on the right foot. Plan your time accordingly. DO NOT BE LATE. Ok one more time: DO NOT BE LATE! Better yet, show up 5 minutes early.
- Meet in person! Have a real human connection.
Face to face is always better. When you have the opportunity to start a connection or to start a relationship, do so in person. It’s not as easy to gain someone’s trust over the phone. Things get lost in translation over the phone and your personalities are harder to shine through.
- Listen FIRST and ASK QUESTIONS!
What is everyone’s favorite topic to talk about? You guessed it, themselves! When meeting a potential client for the first time, get them talking first and do your research so you ask the right questions. If you’ve already landed the meeting, there will be plenty of time to talk about your product. Get them talking. Ask the right questions and you will be surprised that a meeting turned into a conversation!
- Always be HONEST! Don’t be pushy or salesy.
In order to be likable and relatable you need to show that they can trust you. Have good intentions (that’s the yogi in me talking). So if your potential client asks a question that you don’t know the answer to, be HONEST. Tell them, “Thank you for stumping me. This is how we learn. This is how we improve.” As long as you believe in the product you’re selling, you are good to go.
Based on my experience, these are some excellent ways to set yourself apart from your competition. Many of my meetings start with a firm handshake and end with a hug. Show your personality, be humble and be yourself. Many of the panelists at our upcoming Panel Event are nonprofit professionals I established a relationship with using these four tips. I hope to see many of you at our Panel Event on September 29th taking place at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology! I am always excited to meet new people interested in the nonprofit industry and hope to see you there.