What happens to a seller who has a very good conversation with a customer, but initially does not sell the product? Is long-term planning carried out here taking into account the entire potential portfolio, or are there quarterly sales goals? Of course the figures have to be right. But it is also a fact that it is more profitable to keep loyal customers than to acquire new ones. If you were able to delve deeper into the customer portfolio through strategic sales in order to develop future offers together with the customer, would that not be a fantastic result?
During a customer dialogue the seller should focus on the customer’s requirements and present the arguments for the product so that they comply with the customer’s wishes. I once found a good definition: It’s not about listening as long as it takes to gather sufficient arguments for one’s product. It’s about listening in order to understand what the customer really wants and what he wants to achieve with the product.
Do you know the film Billy Boy, in which the son who has been living the life of an idler has to go on a sales tour in order to save his father’s company? He travels with a technician who quickly bores customers because he simply lists all the product advantages. Billy Boy suddenly has an epiphany when a customer keeps on saying that the competition provides their products with a warranty. So he then says: “If you want a warranty, I’ll give you one. But what you really want is a product that works. And that’s what my product does”. Of course he then closes the deal.
So here it’s not about finding the desire (warrantee), but the root for the desire (a product that doesn’t break down). In this case, the consequence for the company is simple. But what happens if the ideal fulfilment of the customer requirements consists of a solution that your company cannot provide? In such a case there are actually three options: 1) You say nothing and sell your product. 2) You say so and recommend a suitable supplier. 3) You think together with your customer about which one of your products may be a good alternative. We are all familiar with a typical example of such a situation: when buying shoes or clothes. Has it ever happened to you that a shop assistant said: “actually, that doesn’t really suit you, but how about this one instead?” Even if the offered piece of clothing may not be what you are looking for, it will probably still be able to fulfil the same purpose. I for myself always feel very positive about such methods, as I am honestly and competently advised. So why should that be any different with your customers? What does your customer loyalty analysis say?
Are you interested to find out how you can achieve sustainable sales and how to set up and align your team? I’ll show you!
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