June 13th 2011 @ 3:41 pm

What Does Your Customer Want?

WoW  Sales Tip

 

How often have you been around the conference table, in the showroom, on-line, or even lying awake at night thinking what products or services are going to be the next biggest seller and how will we market them to get our customers to buy them?  

 

Selling Power Magazine  Five Success Secrets From the Worlds Top Selling Organizations   #1 tip.... Buyer Enablement.  I'd never heard it phrased like that before, but it falls in line with our WoW philospophy.  And it is so simple!

 

There is definitely an art in selling at retail, and selling technology was challenging in the early days to say the least. Average consumers were neophites and some were experts who wanted to challenge every component of every piece of technology, coupled with speeds and feed driven POS and training materials that were written for MIT grads, not consumers.   I remember the struggle of trying to explain to product managers and executives the challenges of literally TRAINING the consumer on why this product or service was the greatest thing for the customer and they should absolutely buy it.  They couldn't understand why the product wasn't selling, so their solution was  -  just train the sales associates and  the customers on the benefits and it will selll like hotcakes!   But, it wasn't until our company relied  on consumer focus groups ,trending data &  consumer feedback to build our products, that products began to be easier to market and sell.  It was the turn from a "whiteboard" mentality to one being consumer driven that changed the face of HP over the last decade.

 

Buyer enablement

Most sales organizations create milestones like "qualify the prospect" and "submit a proposal" that are all about the seller and inconsistent with the way people want to buy.

 

Set Yourself Apart - Do You Produce,  Buy and/or Create Services For Your Customer's Or For Yourself?


To better align with your customers & clients, start by redefining selling. Get rid of words like "convincing," "persuading," and "overcoming objections," and instead think of the process as asking questions to empower your customers to satisfy a need. Become a consultant and an advisor.  What products or or services do you offer to satisfy a need and who has defined the need?  You or the customer?

So why do we spend so many hours in a conference room with the white board trying to figure out what our customers and clients want?

When is the last time you walked the space where your product is sold and talked to the people who directly sell your products to the customers, or the customer themselves?   Or came out of your office and sat in the waiting room and just had a conversations with you clients?  Could you imagine if your physician or dentist or his general manager greeted you in the waiting room and started a conversation with you?

I never gained more energy and ideas than walking the aisles of a Best Buy or Office Depot, or attending a major training of enthusastic retail sales associates who sold our products.  Time to get out of the office folks - get close to your customers and clients!  Understand what they want, what they need - it makes your job that much easier and enjoyable.

The businesses that reflect the way your customers buy rather than the way you want to sell to them will grow and succeed.

 

Happy Selling,

Terrie

 

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