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Build a better business with relationships

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BY SANDY NELSON

Finance New Mexico

No one likes to feel hustled while shopping, whether it’s in a retail store or trade show booth. 

To attract customers without brazen hawking or downright pushiness, businesses need to refine the art of the soft sell. That begins by making the store or trade show booth an intentional destination for people who are truly interested in what the business sells.

Create relationships

While any business would like to sell at least one product to every person who walks in the door, that’s the type of unrealistic goal that can turn sales reps into apex predators.

A long-term perspective toward potential customers focuses on developing a relationship that lasts longer than one transaction. It lays a foundation through attraction rather than persuasion.

A retailer might begin with an irresistible offer that draws customers into a store — say, 20 percent off on purchases over $100 or one-day-only sales on a hot-selling product.

A trade show vendor might offer freebies to customers in return for contact information. Some vendors create a sense of urgency by offering something of value to the first 20 customers who sign up. A startup financial planner, for example, could offer a 15-minute consultation to the first 15 visitors as a way to build a client base.


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