Nobody likes being sold to.
The sooner you accept that the sooner you’ll learn what you need to know to be better at sales. When people hear the word salesman they immediately start conjuring up images in their head of pushy charlatans with their foot stuck in the door who can’t take no for an answer. You don’t want to be that guy.
That guy doesn’t care about what the consumer wants, only what he has for sale, and he’s ready to sell it at any means necessary.
Even if it requires big fat lies to do it.
Too many years of these tactics have left consumers with a bad taste in their mouths, and if you want to get more sales, then you’ll need to try another tactic. You’ll need to focus on customer centric selling.
What is Customer Centric Selling?
Customer centric selling is a term coined by CustomerCentric.
It’s a selling strategy that abandons pushy sales tactics in favor of establishing a more meaningful relationship with your customers.
Instead of telling customers what you want them to buy, CCS instead focuses on asking customers what they need. Since people love talking about themselves more than anything else, they’re far more receptive to this tactic, resulting in increased sales and reputation for your business.
While this strategy seems pretty simple, it can actually be a lot harder than you think.
Your customers need to feel that you are actually invested in their happiness.
If you try to fake this, they’ll know, and the results won’t be pretty.
How do you get started with customer centric selling?
If you’re looking to become a customer centric selling pro, then you’ll need to start by forgetting all about what you want. Instead, shift your focus to what your customer wants and you’re well on your way. Here are some other things to keep in mind.
Find out what your customer needs
Do you know who your customer is? If not, try asking them. Most people are happy to tell you why they aren’t buying your product, and they’ll be brutally honest about it too. However, if they aren’t giving you any useful information, then a little probing can sometimes help.
Try asking them about their ideal product. What are their must-haves? What will they be using their purchase for? This is important for the second point on our list because it will give you the ability to recommend a possibly even better product to them than the one they were looking at.
Asking the right questions will reveal their needs, and it will also allow you to suggest a product which solves their problem. A win-win situation.
Play the role of consultant
While the most common business advice is the customer is always right, they actually don’t always know what they want. Sometimes certain purchases that are necessary but loathed can actually be a source of anxiety for your customers.
This can be particularly true if your product is from an industry they don’t understand well like computers or vehicles. While your customer may end up purchasing something anyway, they could end up being dissatisfied with their purchase if they’re confused about what they need to buy.
Even though this isn’t really your fault, it could still come back to bite you in the way of bad reviews and possibly lose you the ability to sell to them the next time around.
Make yourself an expert about whatever product you are selling so that your customers know that you can suggest items to them that will fit their needs perfectly.
Not only will they be happy to come back to you for repeat purchases, but they’ll also be glad to tell their friends how helpful you were. The downside to online shopping is that it often lacks a personal touch, and many people will be thrilled to get that back from you.
Learn to speak their language
Customers don’t understand or care about corporate jargon or technical specs. Apple knows this, and that’s why they made the iPod’s slogan “1,000 songs in your pocket”. The everyday consumer doesn’t understand gigabytes or hard drives, but 1,000 songs was a metric they could grasp, and that made the iPod the hottest selling Mp3 player ever.
You can do the same thing by changing your language to communicate the benefits of your product in a way that’s easier to understand. Tell them about how your products are easy to use, that they can help them get things done faster or fulfill some other goal that they have. You did find out about their needs in step one right?
Take some time to write out all of your product’s features and ask yourself what problems they can solve and find ways to better communicate those benefits.
Put their fears to rest
Everyone has certain reservations about products that they need to be addressed before they purchase. While these needs will be greater for higher priced items, they still exist for all products. Being able to answer any and every question nets you more sales.
However, worry can also be a great purchase motivator. Does your product do something that can help them with their greatest fears? Everyone wants security, and if your product can offer them the protections that they desire, then your job is that much easier.
Honesty really is the best policy
While this saying has been beaten to death, it should be your gospel if you want to get more sales and have happier customers. Don’t fudge your numbers and don’t say that your product will do everything except make your customer breakfast if it doesn’t.
The internet has allowed people to connect in ways never before possible, and social media spreads news quickly. If a customer finds out that you’ve pushed a product on them that’s not what you said it was, everyone will know about it very soon. Your business won’t last long with these kinds of tactics, and it’s probably the fastest way to go viral on social media, for all the wrong reasons.
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