A Customer-Centered Sales Cycle
Let’s face it, if you’re in sales – you probably care about your sales. The more sales you make, the more money you make. It’s pretty much the cycle of sales. But, the problem with any cycle is that if the wrong motivation is behind the wheel, eventually, you’re going to head off track.
What I have found in my sales experience is that very few salespeople are customer-centered; rather, the majority is quite self-centered. They want more sales and more success for themselves, and they are willing to get it at any cost. They are willing to drive anybody off the road to get wherever they want to be. But, at the end of the day, when they get to where they thought they wanted to go – they end up feeling quite lost, realizing that they went the wrong way.
The truth is – what matters most is the customer. The customer’s needs, wants, priorities and concerns should ultimately steer your sale’s approach. Yes, it takes a bit more preparation and effort on your end, but your time and energy will be rewarded and respected.
The catch to all of this is that your customer may not know what he needs. And just because he doesn’t know, doesn’t mean he doesn’t have a need; rather, it means your job is to help him determine what it is. If you make this a collaborative effort, the customer is much more likely to stick around for the solution.
Here are a few simple tips to help you tailor your approach to the customer:
- Ask questions. This will help both you and your customer dig deeper. It’s also a great way to remind the customer that this is about her.
- Observe and respond. Your customer is bound to be communicating in both verbal and non-verbal ways, so pay attention to these cues and adjust your mannerism in ways that mirror them. In other words, if your customer is talking quietly, be sure to adjust your tone of voice, so that you’re not volumes above her. Nod to affirm the customer you’re listening and maintain eye contact.
- Be intentional. Plan accordingly for your meeting together, respect your customer’s time and adhere to whatever schedule you both originally set. Make the most of your time together without misusing it.
- Thank them. Customers are doing you a service by taking time out of their day for you. For this reason, a thank-you letter or email is always appropriate and usually appreciated.
Stay customer-centered to avoid the self-centered sales cycle.