Too many salespeople either fail completely or never really succeed because they think selling is about them. It isn’t.
It’s about customers — and customers only. Here are 23 ways to improve your sales performance by getting better focused on customers:
1. Look for the demons and dreams
In other words, be alert to a customer’s hopes and fears — what they want to gain and what they don’t want to lose. That’s what they care about, not a sales pitch.
2. Be present
Far too many salespeople are not really there when they’re with customers. Sure, they’re talking and seemingly involved, but they come across as if they’re more interested in making the sale than they are in understanding and satisfying their customers — and customers know it.
3. Bring it to life
Paint a picture of what the purchase can mean to the customer, the difference it will make and the satisfaction it will give them. In other words, bring it to life so it’s real and compelling.
4. Keep it simple
Many salespeople lose sales by using jargon and trying to impress customers with their knowledge. Although it takes work, the pros make their sales messages simple, clear, and easy to grasp.
5. Respond now
Now, not later. Doing it now makes a powerful impression. Others wait until it’s convenient, or they “get around to it” (if they ever do). Does it work? A KIA customer doesn’t stop talking about a dealership service manager who responded to his email in 3 minutes. Now that makes a difference.
6. Use customer comments
It can be a customer’s experience with service, a helpful answer to a question or how much someone appreciated having a problem solved. A customer’s voice has far more value than your own words.
7. Benefit from social media
Focus on LinkedIn and Facebook. Position yourself as an expert, not a salesperson. Offer helpful and timely information, answers questions and ask for comments. You’ll create confidence and build relationships.
8. Stay in touch
Not only do customers want to hear from you, staying in touch lets them know you care. If you’re emailing, make sure the content is interesting, helpful and useful, and not a sales pitch.
Today, it’s all about connecting with customers and prospects. And sharing your experiences, knowledge and ideas is the best way to do it. Let them know how your knowledge and experience can benefit them.
10. Say thank you
Of course you thank customers when you get an order. That’s expected, so don’t stop there. Surprise them by following up with a phone call or email message a few days later. It’s not only polite, but it also makes them feel good about doing business with you.
11. Take a break
Nothing bothers customers more than listening to a salesperson going on and on without giving them an opportunity to ask a question or to clarify something they didn’t understand.
12. Help out