First things first, there is a bare minimum amount of information your broker will need in order to request price quotes from multiple suppliers. Submitting price requests with incomplete information is a quick way to ruin your relationship with your broker. Make sure you have the following information before asking for pricing…
1. Develop Better People Skills
First, as a salesperson you must sharpen your people skills. Yes, this might sound like a 1920’s sales tip, but superior people skills stand the test of time.
There are several award-winning books you can read to learn the basics of social skills. How To Win Friends and Influence People is a timeless classic written by Dale Carnegie.
The more you learn about people skills, you will start to realize that everyone has a unique personality trait. Psychologists have categorized the major personality traits into four main groupings. Learning the quirks of each personality type and how to quickly identify them in your prospects, will help you better communicate with your customers and turn you into a person worth being around.
In fact, it is said that each personality type hears things differently, processes information differently, and makes decisions in a unique way.
Learning about your own personality traits can also help you to become more successful. You can better understand what motivates you, and where you might fall short. A great read on the four different personality types is Personality Plus, and we highly recommend it. Don’t have time to read? Check out the full audiobook below:
2. Be a Good Listener
Next, it’s extremely important to develop your listening skills. Great salespeople, and those who have long lasting relationships with others, are superior listeners.
Not only does listening allow you to completely understand the unique needs of your customers, it also helps your customers feel heard – a key to having a strong relationship.
We know listening is not always easy to do. In a conversation, most people cannot wait to be the next to talk. In fact, it is said that most people are reactionary in conversations and simply reply to a single thing that triggers them.
It is always best to slow down, listen to what your customer is really saying, pause, and then reply to the issue at hand. Developing great listening skills can set you apart and make you a great energy broker.
3. Remember Personal Details
Another great trick for strengthening your relationships with customers is to remember personal details about them. Did they tell you about the new travel baseball team their son just made? Remember to ask them about how he is enjoying the team next time you see them.
Maybe your customer shares his/her birthday with you. Be sure to add it to your calendar in your phone, so you can send a “Happy Birthday” text. In fact, most smart phones will allow you to add a birthday to the contact and will give you a notification on that person’s birthday.
Making your relationship more than just business is a sure-fire way of becoming closer with your customers. Remember, people by from people they like – not just from the lowest-priced vendor!
4. Share Your Success
While most business relationships are one way, it’s also important to open up to your customers about your life. If you do not feel like getting too personal, a great tip is to share the stories and journey of your business with them.
Everyone loves a success story, and sharing your personal journey to success can be a great way for your customers to relate to you and get to know you better.
In fact, some of your customers may start routing for your success, and will enjoy hearing your latest updates. Sending an update email to your customers once or twice per year sharing your success is not pompous – it’s smart.
Many of your customers will stay loyal to you and will refer other customers to you if they are “bought in” to your success. Think about it. We all love Apple because they deliver great products and service, but isn’t there something special about being part of their success story?
5. Don’t Be A Stranger
Last but not least, remember to stay in touch with your customers. While a regular email newsletter could do the trick of keeping your name in front of your customer base, it is always best to get personal. Pick up the phone every now and then to say “Hello”. It doesn’t always have to be about business.
Most energy brokers think the only times they need to contact their customers is when the contract is up for renewal. But if you take that approach, your customer will feel like you only care about business and what you can get from them. Stopping in their business to say “Hi” or sending a friendly text to “check in” will separate you from your competition and help you develop a better relationship.