Stop Trying To Sell! Solve Your Customer's Problems In Order To Make Money!
We have all been unfortunate victims of the unwelcome sales pitch. You know what we mean--whether the intrusion on our day is a pushy telemarketer trying to tell us why their magazine is going to revolutionize our lives, or even a friend or relative trying to market products and services that we don’t need. The image of a pushy sales pitch is almost enough to invoke a certain resistant feeling in our guts as we think about how to let the solicitor down and go about our day politely.
As business owners, we’ve been on the other side of things as well. We see the monthly sales statements, and sometimes they aren’t what we would like them to be, and so we panic. We ask our staff to make cold calls to round out the month with a few more precious sales in hopes of putting a few more dollars in the bank. If we could stop and think about the transaction from the customer’s point of view for a minute, our sales process would be radically different, and we might find ourselves looking forward to fostering the kind of customer relationships we genuinely want--partnerships.
A Customer Relationship Should Be A Partnership--Not A Dictatorship
How do customers want to be sold? The fabric of the customer/business relationship has changed drastically over the course of the last twenty years. There has been a complete redefinition of how the customer searches for and begins relationships with vendors. The world wide web has blown the door wide open for competitors, and you must now rise above all of it and stand out by offering superior products, top notch customer service, and continuing value time and time again. It is now easier than ever for customers to switch their loyalties to businesses offering more significant and better deals, so staying on your competitive toes is essential for continued business success.
Customers do not appreciate, nor will they tolerate the standard sales pitch any longer. In fact, most people do not want to be pitched at all. Instead, they are turning their attention to those businesses that offer relevant content, incredible value, and solutions to their “problems.” If you as a business owner are promoting yourself correctly as a partner in helping them to find solutions for their unique needs, you might win their loyalty.
If you continue to develop relationships before, during, and after sales, you are sending the message that their continued business is essential to you and that you value their input. Selling and closing out cash transactions and your monthly sales goals should no longer be your focus, or at least not in your prospective customer's mind.
"You and I need to be positioning ourselves as the person or company with a unique solution advantage, instructs Jeff Peltin, Chief Marketing & Training Officer for MaxGroup, "and our #1 goal should be building lasting client relationships that satisfy needs for all parties involved. This method is the only way we should ever be conducting business."
Sell Your Solutions, Build Your Relationships
An essential piece to any stable client/vendor relationship is an understanding of what each one of you wants in the relationship and an authenticity up-front about it. Vendors should focus on what their customers’ needs are and then commit to delivering products that cater to those needs.
Customers should focus on communicating with vendors to let them know what is needed, whether products and services offered "fit the bill," and what more they would like to see as they continue their relationship with you. Ongoing dialogue and personalized communication are essential to creating satisfying relationships.
Creating A Sense Of Urgency Is Key
As your relationships grow, being able to create a sense of urgency for your customers, a feeling that they “need your products and services,” is key to creating a successful sales transaction. Still, no one likes being told, "You need this, need that, should do this,” and we put up walls of resistance to hearing messages like that, especially during sales pitches.
The goal is in getting customers to realize, with your help that they need your products and services to help them solve a problem and then presenting your business as their solution. This model often results in a sale that is nearly effortless. How can you go about doing this, and creating the need in the customer’s mind, driving them to perceive you as their solution?
Help your customers recognize their “needs.” A customer is not going to purchase a product that they don’t first realize and acknowledge that they need and want. Ask them pointed questions that cause them to understand that they first have a need, then present your products to them as the only acceptable solution for them.
Reinforce your value by stating the obvious fact that “you are head and shoulders above your competition,” and in displaying that confidence, your customers will gain confidence in your business and your brand. A driving need and problem will become a compulsion to buy; be there when the opportunity presents itself with your product solutions.
“Some people say, "Give the customers what they want." But that's not my approach," said Apple Founder Steve Jobs. "Our job is to figure out what they're going to want before they do. I think Henry Ford once said, "If I'd asked customers what they wanted, they would have told me, 'A faster horse!'" People don't know what they want until you show it to them. That's why I never rely on market research. Our task is to read things that are not yet on the page.”
Temporarily tune down your selling skills and excel at listening to your customers. The key to a successful client transaction is the ability to listen to a customer’s needs, then fulfilling them! Not just performing, mind you, but exceeding every single one of their expectations. What do your customers want? How can you meet their needs right now? If you can’t fill them, what must you do to make sure that you can?
Embrace integrity with every single transaction, and deliver what your brand has promised every time. Expect to be changing directions as your customers change, and be willing to ride the wave of change as your business grows and flourishes. Providing opportunities for customer feedback and helpful suggestions will let you know where your demographic’s interests are, and what you must do to gain their loyalty, trust, and business.
Build up the expectation and your reputation as a problem solver. Whether you find yourself dealing with individuals or businesses when making sales, first concentrate on getting their attention through sizzling content and probing questions, then emphasizing that the reason your business exists is to meet their needs.
Don't "tell," but prove to them that you can add value to their lives in some way, and state very clearly that you can minimize issues as a result of their decision to do business with you. Personalize all communication with your customers to emphasize that your relationship means a lot to you, and take advantage of issues to solve your customers’ perceived problems. In today’s business world, it’s the "problem-solvers" that close the sales, not the hard closing salesperson.
As you create your relationship together, continue to communicate information that is of high value to your customers. Providing personalized communication through notes, texts, phone calls, and emails will bring that special touch to your relationship.
Keeping your website current with the latest high-quality content and making regular additions to your growing business blog will keep repeat customers coming back to look for additional products and services that may be of value to them.
Providing your customers a chance to offer helpful suggestions, fill out surveys indicating their future needs, and giving other opportunities to maintain open lines of communication will make them feel like they are heard, valued, and respected. A customer that feels valued will be a loyal customer for life.
Going the extra step to anticipate their needs and offering freebies in exchange for personal communication is another way to bolster customer loyalty. Taking all forms of personal interaction between you and the customer and using it to tailor your business to fit your target audience is one way to ensure that you close your intended sales every single time.
If your customers need your help identifying their problem, steer them carefully. Don’t be a gloom and doomer; your customers don’t need you forecasting their issues without offering up a solution to them. Start by asking a series of thoughtful questions designed to make them realize on their own that they have a need. Let your clients recognize that you have what they need. And then, genuinely provide it, and then some.
"Regarding selling our products and services," reflects Mark Skovron, Ph.D., and CEO of MaxGroup Business Solutions, "I prefer to allow the customer decide what it is that they need. I want to be known as the guy with the company that did what our competitors either did not or could not."
Gather information that will allow you to develop your products and services in such a way that they fit those needs perfectly. You become the solution to their problem, and through having personalized dialogue through an ingenious marketing plan, they realize on their own that you are the only one that will fulfill their need! Boom! The sale has just become effortless, because you have presented them with a solution they didn’t know they desperately needed, and you’re only too happy to oblige. It’s a win-win situation for everyone.
Becoming A Systematic Problem Solver For Your Customers
Business owners who are good at solving problems approach those problems systematically. They put the issue in proper context, they don’t jump to conclusions regarding a decision, and evaluate all possible alternatives before arriving at a solution.
Many business owners who are seasoned vets with this type of marketing strategy employ some necessary steps in the problem-solving process:
Identifying the problem--learning to find the “pain point,” or the most pressing need, of the customer, is essential to the success of any sale. Don’t waste time with smaller, less critical problems that may come up during dialogue; find out what will motivate the customer to decide to purchase, and then play upon that by offering up your company and products as the solution.
Analyze this big problem--find out more about it. How often does it occur? How long has it been happening? What are the causes of it? Can anything be done to eliminate the root of this problem? How is it affecting processes and people around the customer deciding to purchase? Has it gotten worse? What will it take to alleviate the issue?
Partner with the customer to create decision criteria--How are the two of you going to make decisions when the time comes? Can you identify standards mutually beneficial in the transaction? How will the two of you ensure that the deal has been satisfactory?
Create several possible solutions--Don’t be satisfied with only one solution to the customer’s problem. There may be an even better way of approaching a customer need than your first thought. Much better choices may exist, so evaluate other alternatives objectively, and make sure to weigh the pros and cons of each.
Choose the best solution--in general, this is the solution that works best for you and the customer. Collect feedback from the customer regarding their level of satisfaction, and be prepared for constructive criticism. Accept this, as this will be a vital part of your growth and success as a flexible business owner.
Quality Customer Service Will Make Or Break Your Business
If you want to succeed and flourish, you must be willing to do what your competition is not willing to do. Anticipating your customer’s needs, then consistently exceeding their expectations will ensure that you are creating loyal customers for life. Friends and family will receive information from your satisfied customers, building a network of potential new business with whom you may get to work. Maintaining a premium standard of customer service and guaranteed client satisfaction will ensure that your ethical business practices will create a steady stream of income for you and your business.
Accentuate The Positive
Becoming a problem solver has a sticky side to it. You won’t want to spend too much time dwelling on the issue with your customers, or they’ll leave interactions with you feeling even worse than they did before they made contact with you. Focus instead on the solutions you can provide them, and emphasize your passion for forming a partnership in business. Emphasize that you are the answer to fulfilling their needs subtly and persistently that leaves them excited about doing business with you. Have open lines of communication between the two of you, and commit to learning more about their needs and desires as you tailor your business to grow with them.
What An Incredible Opportunity!
Even the most seemingly mundane service can change a life with the transaction is done with integrity and a passion for helping others. You have the opportunity to improve lives at the same time that you are making your dreams come true! By communicating an honest desire to help others fulfill their needs, customers will quickly come to realize that you are different, and they will be lining up to see what makes your service and quality so much better than that of your competitors.
MaxGroup: A Passionate Peek Into Effortless Sales
There is no better example of a company run with passion and integrity today than MaxGroup Business Solutions. The perfect pairing of high-quality service and state of the art marketing techniques, MaxGroup can work with your small business to bring the ideal tools to your sales kit at the perfect time for the complete sale. If you find yourself struggling to build the kind of relationships that involve effortless selling, let the experts at MaxGroup show you how. Better still, let us do it for you! We lead by example, we build with integrity, our client base and their feedback is our private board of directors, and we deliver what we promise every single time, or, we make it right. Visit www.maxgroupbusiness.com for more information today. We are primed and ready to take your business to the next level of success--are you?