Turning Fun into Fealty

By Cindy Waxer

According to Mark Sanborn, speaker, author and president of Sanborn & Associates, one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to build strong customer relationships is to develop fun sales strategies. Sanborn says, “If you don’t enjoy what you do, it’s unlikely that your customers are going to enjoy doing business with you.” Sanborn offers these tips for turning fun into customer loyalty.

Put personality before product.
Leverage your winning personality to build rapport and earn a client’s loyalty. Don’t always depend on the quality of your products and services to maintain customer relationships. According to Sanborn, “Salespeople often get so caught up in what they sell, solving problems, meeting needs and identifying benefits that they get away from the idea of being the kind of person with which someone wants to do business.”

Distinguish between frivolity and foolishness.
Sanborn makes this distinction between frivolity and foolishness: “Foolishness is a distraction to doing business. Frivolity is about adding value to a transaction.” Having fun should be about creating good feelings, not behaving in a way you’ll later regret.

Find fun in the mundane.
Try to find humor in otherwise uncomfortable situations. Even tedious tasks such as making a cold call can benefit from an injection of levity. Sanborn advises, “Most people don’t like making cold calls and most people, if not all, don’t like receiving cold calls. One of the things you can do is to acknowledge this and have some fun with it. Jokingly say to your prospect: Don’t you just hate it when you get a cold call.”

Use discretion.
Not all situations call for lightheartedness, and not all people are receptive to jokes and anecdotes. Sanborn warns that salespeople always need to use discretion. “Fun should be used as an appropriate response. If you’re faced with a client who’s unhinged and you start trying to make light of the situation, your attempts at having fun are going to backfire,” he says.

For more information, please click on www.marksanborn.com