In keeping with this month’s theme of business development, I feel it is important to talk about closing the deal. At the end of the day, it’s the deal (and multiple deals!) that will help grow your business and help you make a profit. Though many new business owners are outgoing and social, many still find it difficult to transition from talking about why their business is the best choice to actually gaining more clients/customers. For example, a real estate agent may take people out to a few homes and work very hard, but if he/she does not gain a listing from it, then much time has been wasted. If this happens repeatedly, then the agent needs to analyze him/herself and think about why certain patterns keep happening. Of course, this is not always the case. You can leave such a positive impression on people that, in the future, they may seek you out when they are ready to buy or sell a home even if they are not ready right at this moment.
I have found that, in any field, whether you are a broker, an accountant, or an attorney, people value honesty – it goes a long way. If you can be honest with a homeowner, for example, with what needs to be done to his/her house before putting it on the market, and open about why other houses on the block sold for more or less, then you start to build credibility in the customers’ eyes. Most importantly, show your future client how much you care about gaining his/her business, and that you want to really work for your future client. Also be prepared with a list of why they should hire you to work for them. What value are you to them? Why are you a better choice than someone else? Have a card ready, a pamphlet, or a flyer that briefly summarizes a bit about yourself and why you are better than the competition. Relate to your future client as a person, and really listen to what he/she has to say. Take notes, be available when he or she needs to call you, and in turn, the client will trust you.
Once you have gained that trust, you can close the deal and start working for your client, and then the real work begins!