One of the things I mentioned in my last post is that I am a continuous sales student. As a salesperson, you never quite stop learning; and one of the things I have learnt over my 10 – 12-year sales career is that (believe it or not,) selling across various industries is the same! *Mind blowing right? *
As someone who has sold everything from food to mobile phones and software, I can tell you this with confidence. Customers want one thing and one thing only: VALUE!
If you cannot convince them that you can provide the value they seek, you have lost them forever.
Sometimes, your customers might not know what they want, and so, the onus on you is to understand this dilemma and not them provide a product or a service, but rather, a solution; a solution to their problem.
What does a hungry person want? Food? No. Satisfaction.
Why do I say this? Imagine a food court where they have different food stalls. Some of them sell the same kind of food. What differentiates them from each other and what determines whether a customer will purchase one kind of rice rather than another? The simple answer is: Value!
The customer either finds value in the appearance of the purchase (if it is a first-time customer) or value in the price of the purchase. At the end of the day, that single factor is what motivates customers irrespective of the sector.
Some customers might want to spend less money to get the solution they seek, while some don’t care how much they spend if they get the best value for their money. I have had a client say to me once, “I don’t care, I just want the newest technology”. All along, I was worried that the price would discourage him.
As salespeople, we must learn to understand how to sell value. To do this, one’s ability to listen and ask the right questions in order to understand the customer needs is what differentiates a salesperson from another.
As I earlier mentioned, consumers do not always know what they want. They know the problems they encounter but require the salesperson to proffer the solution. However, the key to providing a solution is to know the value proposition to the customer. Without this, you will be wasting both yours and your customer’s time. This could be disastrous because you do not want to lose customers to competition due to a lack of knowledge of a solution that addresses his requirements.
So, what am I saying in essence are as follows:
- Every customer wants value
- Understand your customer’s needs
- Ask the right questions
- Know your product
This last point is very important. As a salesperson, I will never talk to a customer about a product I don’t know about or don’t understand. As much as I’d like to believe that I am very bold and able to communicate effectively, what scares me above all else is not being able to confidently answer my customer’s questions. The only way to address this is to know your product and the value it brings to the customer.
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