Getting A Customer To Want To Buy From You – Do’s and Don’ts
Let’s face it, every sales person has a “pitch” that they use to convince the customer to buy from them. But where do you, the sales person draw the line between a sales pitch and getting the customer to want to buy? Here are a few do’s and don’ts that you can help you refine your sales “presentation”.
DO – Ask the customer questions to establish what they need.
This seems obvious, but you would be surprised how many sales people don’t “listen” to the customer but rather try and tell the customer what they want. People make purchases to remedy a pain or to satisfy a passion. If you sell advertising, then the pain the customer might have is that they need more business. If you sell golf equipment then your customer is most likely satisfying a passion. Learn what the pain or passion is right away as it will make the sales process go much smoother.
DON’T – Assume that you are the “only game in town”.
Even if you are the only store in town or the only product available in a niche market, NEVER sell based on that fact. It is ok to mention it as part of a closing, but when you lead with “you should be working with us because we are the only _______ around” then you are totally downplaying the quality and other benefits that your business, product or service can offer that customer. In today’s market there is always someone or somewhere else a customer can go to spend their money. Just because you are the only one in a given town who has a service, the internet reduces geographical limits and opens up a lot of new potential places for customers to go spend their money. Sell on your benefits and quality and not the fact that there is no one else around that they can buy from.
DO – take an interest in your customer.
This is especially important in business to business sales but it applies equally to consumer sales as well. Every person you come in contact with is unique; they all have their own story, likes, dislikes, passions, pains and more. Take the time to get to know some of these specifics on your customer before you go for the “kill” and try to close the sale. If a customer feels that you really care about them as a person and not as a paycheck, they are going to be much more likely not only to buy from you but to become a long-time faithful customer.
DON’T – talk about yourself.
The focus on any sales conversation is the customer and their needs and wants – NOT your own. I have seen more times than not where a customer will start telling you about themselves and the sales person starts to talk about their own personal experience or problem. Talking about positive experiences or funny stories is good and can lighten up a conversation and build a friendship and reduce you to being a human or equal to the customer and not just a salesperson. But airing your dirty laundry or life’s problems to your customer is the kiss of death (unless the person you are talking to is a therapist in which case they might get you as a client). Remember to keep the focus on your customer and if you choose to talk about yourself, keep is short, positive and relevant.
DO – know what you are selling inside and out.
At some point in any sales conversation the customer is going to want to know specifics about what you are selling. Sometimes they might ask you a question which you might not know the answer to and that is ok; find out the answer and get back to them right away. But when the customer asks the most basic of questions you must be sure that you have answers. If you are selling advertising expect questions about your reach, conversion percentages, etc. If you are selling automobiles expect to know fuel economy, safety features and other specifics. Most importantly DON’T LIE. If you don’t know, find out and remember that answer for the next customer. Never make something up to make yourself sound educated to the customer. That will blow up in your face at some point and will lead to the customer not trusting you and potentially losing their business forever. Take time to keep up with all the details of what you are selling; it is an education that will pay off over and over.
DON’T – call customers only when you need something.
Maybe your business is built around selling a customer a contract which renews from time to time. If that is the case be sure that your customer hears from you frequently and not just when you need the contract renewed. If you only call when you need something then you have just become an “order taker” and rest assured the minute your customer no longer needs your product or service, or a better solution comes around that they will be gone. Take the time to call a customer at the very least, once a month and have the conversation be about making sure they are happy, finding out what else you can do for them, or sharing some information or advice that you found out which might help their business. The goal is to provide value to the customer from your relationship where they WANT to hear from you and not have your call be sent right to voice mail because they know you are just calling to hound them for something.
DO – remember your customer is a person just like you.
If you take anything out of this post, just remember that you customer is just like you. Treat that customer like you want to be treated. Do you like a pushy salesperson? How do you feel when a salesperson takes an interest in you beyond the sale? Pretend you are looking in the mirror when you are working on your next sales call. Making the sale is important, but making a customer for life is priceless!