By Jim Hernandez (Click here to read article in Latin Business Today).
SELLING IS ABOUT 8 SIMPLE STEPS AND A LOT OF DISCIPLINE (Do it and business will grow a minimum of 15%… Guaranteed)
This is the second article based on a four part selling cycle that is further broken down into eight major steps.
The four areas focus on How to Find, Sell, Close and Keep More Customers. We continue the series discussing step 2 of 8:
PART 1 – How to Find More Customers
STEP 2 – The Consultative Step: How and Why your customers want to buy
All too often, salespeople focus on the price and product, and as a result the consultative step is skipped.
The claim is that THE PRICE is all the customer cares about. The question is then, if the lowest price is the most important factor, why do high quality or high service companies have so much success? Think about these comparisons: Timex vs. Rolex, which would you prefer as your watch? Would your rather spend the night at Motel 6 or Hotel Ritz? Our research indicates that what customers really want is value for their money, based on who they are and what is important to them.
The best salespeople will take the time to get to know who the customer is and what their buying motivations are, before worrying about selling a product or service to the customer. Take a car salesperson, for example. Customers are not looking to just buy a car in most cases. What they are really trying to solve is a transportation challenge. It might involve getting their kids safely to school, reliable transportation for their business, or even something specific for weekend activities. All too often it is a combination of multiple things.
What are the real customer needs in your industry? What challenges or problems are you solving when you sell them your product or service? Knowing what a customer really needs when selling is critical in creating more sales success. Instead of trying to sell, try thinking about how you can help them. If you view it as an opportunity to help someone and not just another way to make money, you will actually make more money in the end. Imagine if doctors only focused on selling medicine, instead of making sure they found the best solution for you to get better.
So how do you determine how and why the customer wants to buy from you?
- Be a great observer. Different customers have different personalities. Knowing your customer’s personality will tell you why you might need to adapt in order to help them with their decision. There are many different analysis of personality types; we often use the DISC method. Studying your customers’ actions and not just their words will be very useful.
- Ask questions. Prepare a set of questions that will give you the basic information you should know about your customer before attempting a sale. Also have a second set of questions that will gather more detailed information from the customer.
- Listen carefully! Make sure when you ask questions to determine the customer’s needs, you actually listen to their answers. I often remind salespeople that it is not like listening to your mother-in-law.
- Don’t miss any details. When you listen carefully, make sure you are taking the information in. Don’t try and react too quickly with a solution. Do your best to listen to every detail the customer expresses. As a consumer, have you ever expressed to a waiter exactly what you want, only to be disappointed when your order comes because they were not listening?
- Build the right solution. Once you have observed who your customer is, determined how they would like to buy and then listened to their needs to determine why they want to buy, you then have the culmination of knowing how and why they want to buy.
The customer may be confused when you genuinely try to help them, because they don’t want to be distracted from their price and product strategy. Give them a nice surprise and approach each customer with a sincere “want to help” attitude. In the end you’ll be able to sell more, and more importantly, generate greater loyalty from those customers and the referrals that we all love.