Focus on customer needs and wants to close faster. Focus on why he wants a hole in the wall, not the drill he says he needs. This is what customer-focused selling is. In addition to this one trick, customer-focused selling is yet another trick to closing the sale faster.
Taking a selling approach that focuses on identifying and addressing customers’ needs, accelerates your closing rate and creates sustainable business. This, in turn, creates more sales for you in terms of repeat business because you made a customer not a sale.
How do you focus on customer needs?
Understanding customer needs in sales is at once the simplest and most complex thing to do. It is simple because it calls for just active listening, which comes with patience and remaining intelligently stupid. And it’s complex because none of these three come easy in an industry where closing the sale doesn’t happen fast enough and sales people start by assuming they know your problem, or worse don’t even bother with it but only telling you about their product! It’s complex because that industry culture means sales people are under constant pressure to close ‘yesterday’.
Seeking first to understand the customer before being understood therefore tends to take a back seat. The successful sales person slows himself down and takes a doctor approach. He does not pull a drawer and hand you pain killers simply because you’ve said you have a head ache. No he probes, takes notes and LISTENS. It is only after he has understood your problem that he prescribes medication. And when it works, you go back to him next time you have another problem. Repeat sales. Focusing on customer needs and wants means not selling but instead helping buyers make purchase decisions.
Types of customer needs
There are many types of customer needs and wants. They aren’t just 4 or 5 and a list of customer wants would be endless. People, just as businesses, may be similar but they are not identical-each has its own nuances. However, whereas individual customer needs and wants vary, each fall under two basic categories-rational and emotional.
Even when selling to the C-Suite. Focus on customer needs and wants helps you in identifying both, before showing how you can help. This also moves you faster towards the close. This is how to meet customer needs and expectations. The speed of course is determined by what you are selling. B2C sales tend to have a shorter runway than B2B sales. For instance, a bank sales rep selling a personal loan to an individual account holder does so relatively faster than a corporate banker selling an overdraft facility (loan) to a manufacturing entity.
Example of methods to use to identify customer needs
Rational needs tend to be logic-oriented, emotional ones are elusive. For instance, the buyer says, “I want to buy a house.” The salesperson has some that fit the buyer’s budget. But, focusing and customer needs and wants, noticing the ring on his finger, he doesn’t rush to close. No. He knows from experience the prospect’s (unsaid) emotional need. That is, ‘It’s my wife that’ll decide but my ego won’t let me admit this.’ And so he says, “We have several units you would like. Come along with your wife this Saturday for a free viewing. We find ladies give very useful insights. Would you both be available this Saturday, or would next Saturday be better?”
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