Advantages Magazine December 2012 : Page 80
STRATEGY By Troy Harrison Comfortable Customers Buy selling something that isn’t truly a ﬁt for what ails your customer. To retain trust, credibility and respect, you must be vigilant in making sure that your products or services are really a ﬁt for what your customer needs – and if not, don’t offer them. Losing today’s sale (which is already lost because you’re not a ﬁt) can give you a jump start on tomorrow’s. 6 You present good value. “Value,” in this instance, simply means that your customer perceives that what you’re selling is worth what you’re asking them to pay for. It doesn’t mean lowest price, most features or any other nonsense. It just means that your customer believes that the money spent is justiﬁed by the beneﬁts received. Where salespeople get into trouble is when they try to bypass these essential traits. Offer the lowest price? Fine – your cus-tomer will shop your price to the salesperson that they want to buy from. Creating a “buy today” sales tactic? Your customer will ask you to leave. For you to be the successful salesperson, you must hit these six touch points – and then and only then will your skills in clos-ing, overcoming objections, etc. come into play, because only then have you created comfort in your customer. Á Troy Harrison is the author of Sell Like You Mean It! and the President of SalesForce Solutions, a sales training, consulting and recruiting firm. He will be speaking at the 2013 ASI Shows. For information on booking speaking/training engagements, consulting, or to sign up for his weekly E-zine, call 913-645-3603, e-mail TroyHarrison@ SalesForceSolutions. net , or visit www. SalesForceSolutions.net . Editor’s Note: Don’t miss Harrison’s education session, “Reach Out and Sell Someone: Proven Lead-Generation Strategies,” at the Orlando ASI Show on January 5. I’m going to let you in on a secret. In fact, it’s the biggest secret in selling, and those who master it have a much greater chance for success than those who don’t. It’s this: customers are people. That’s it. That’s the big secret. Of course, there’s a secret that goes along with this one: comfortable customers buy. In fact, the more comfortable we make customers, the more likely they will be to buy more, early and often. The trouble is that too many salespeople make customers uncomfortable. That’s because salespeople tend to deal with com-petitive selling situations with fear-based tactics designed to prevent the customer from buying from anyone else. In doing so, they usu-ally kill trust, price and proﬁt. It doesn’t have to be that way. When you’re in a competitive selling situa-tion, ultimately you should remem-ber that the customer will buy from whom they want to, regardless of your tactics. Hence, the key is to become that person (or company). Here are the characteristics of a comfortable customer. 1 They trust you. There’s no replacing trust. Your buyer must believe what you say; if they don’t trust you, all your claims, features and beneﬁts don’t matter. That doesn’t mean that you don’t have to prove your claims with evidence (such as independent reports, testimonials, etc.), but it does mean that those items of proof will enhance your credibility. 2 They believe that you have their best interests at heart. As salespeople, we represent to our customers that we are intent upon generating wins for them by selling them our stuff. That’s great – as long as the customer buys into what you’re saying. The moment that the customer disbelieves you, and thinks that you’re out to pluck their wallet, kiss your sale goodbye. 3 They like you. Honestly, I hesitate to include this one – it’s led to more stupid and insincere selling than anything else in our profession. But, it’s still true – they have to like you. That doesn’t mean that you have to strive to be their best ﬁshing or golﬁng buddy. It just means that they shouldn’t recoil at your pres-ence. Customers buy from people other than buddies, relatives and best friends all the time – but they seldom if ever swing that busi-ness to someone they don’t like. So instead of the tired old ﬁsh-on-the-wall rapport-building tactics, just be natural, recognize that we are all connected in one way or another and be a good person. 4 They respect you. This is trickier. Respect is often confused with likeability and trust, but it’s not the same thing. Respect is all about ﬁnding you a worthwhile person, which is why “underdog” selling or begging for business doesn’t work. If your customer perceives you as unsuccessful, they will perceive that you are unsuccessful for a reason – and they’ll stay away. 5 Your stuff ﬁts their needs. Ever tried to push a rock uphill? That’s what you’re doing if you’re 80 "%7"/5"(&4t%&$&.#&3
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Editor’s Note: Don’t miss Harrison’s education session, “Reach Out and Sell Someone: Proven Lead- Generation Strategies,” at the Orlando ASI Show on January 5.
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