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Schmooze To Sell
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Schmooze: That's the thing to do if you want to give yourself a powerful advantage in selling your products or services -- or in selling YOU. Article explains why schmoozing works and gives real-life examples of selling success.
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734 Words; formatted to 65 Characters per Line Distribution Date and Time: 2009-04-15 11:00:00
Written By: Paul Barton Copyright: 2009 Contact Email: [email protected]
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Schmooze To Sell Copyright (c) 2009 Paul Barton Author of "How To Be GREAT!!!" www.howtomakeconversation.com
Why schmooze? Because schmoozing is how to sell.
To schmooze, according to one dictionary definition, is to: Talk casually, especially in order to gain an advantage or to make a social connection.
In the world of selling or business, you could translate that definition this way.
SCHMOOZE: CRITICAL 1ST STEP IN MAKING SALES
To schmooze is a critical first step in making a sale or getting a referral.
Why is schmoozing critical?
Because it's a proven fact people prefer to buy from and do business with people they know, like and trust.
And schmoozing (conversation and small talk) is the main way to accomplish this.
CONVERSATION PAVES THE WAY
That's because conversation and small talk pave the way to creating rapport and building a relationship.
Rapport and relationships are often built by establishing "common ground" with the customer -- about something that has absolutely nothing to do with the product or service you're trying to sell.
A good case in point was the experience of a coaching client of mine, a home improvements salesman.
SCHMOOZING SALESMAN SUCCEEDS
He made a sales call on a homeowner to sell roofing and siding.
It turned out the homeowner had previous sales calls from other companies seeking to sell him roofing and siding.
Since the salesman did not know the homeowner, he decided to break the ice with a compliment to the homeowner about his landscaping . . . a subject the salesman, himself, was interested in.
The customer was delighted . . . both by the compliment and the fact the salesman was into landscaping, too.
They proceeded to talk about landscaping for the next 30 minutes, never mentioning the roofing and siding -- the purpose of the sales call.
DEALING WITH A FRIEND, NOT A SALESMAN
When the salesman introduced that subject, the homeowner was no longer dealing with just a salesman.
No, the customer was now dealing with a human being he had something in common with.
He was dealing with someone he knew, someone he liked, someone with whom he had rapport.
The homeowner gladly signed the order on the spot -- an order costing $7,000 more than he had originally planned to spend.
Schmoozing worked for this salesman.
PRACTICING WHAT I PREACH
It has also worked for me -- many times.
One of the most memorable came when I was attempting to sell my marketing consulting services to a manager from a major corporation.
I had not known him, so I asked him to lunch . . . just a get-acquainted lunch because I had no particular project or service in mind since I knew nothing about his needs.
At lunch, we chatted for about an hour and quickly established a common ground -- because he was a marketer, too, and, I found, he was a golfer, like I am.
The result: He did not have a current need for my services, so no sale resulted . . . at least not then. However, a month later I got a call from him and he told me a colleague of his out of state might be able to use my services.
The result: Over the next year, I did $50,000 worth of business with his colleague, and later, did several thousand dollars worth of business with him, too.
All because I took the trouble to schmooze.
Sometimes in the business world, you're not necessarily trying to make a sale, but, rather, gain the cooperation of someone.
One of the best examples of the power of schmoozing in this area comes from a story in a national business publication about an attempt to locate and close down illegal moonshine stills in Kentucky.
The Federal government had sent in a series of agents, but could get no information from the locals to help them locate the stills.
THE PERSUASIVE PEDDLER
At length, they decided to send in an agent in disguise as a fish peddler, asking him to make friends with the locals by schmoozing with them at every opportunity.
In short order, the agent had gathered information from the locals leading to the closing of more than 100 stills.
The moral of this story?
Your ability to make conversation -- to schmooze -- to build rapport and relationships with people -- is one of your most powerful selling tools.
So, when you're selling, think of it this way:
Schmooze or lose.
Paul Barton is a marketing consultant and conversation coach, and author of several books, including: How To Be GREAT!!! In Conversation, How To Build Rapport And Relationships and How To Make People WANT!!! To Buy From You.