Written by Sean McPheat |
If you’re in any kind of sales position, you really want to make buying and using your products easy and profitable.
That’s the real reason why people buy them in the first place; to make their lives or their businesses run smoother.
Unless you’re selling transactional, one-off items that will never be repeat buys, you want to build up some kind of loyalty from your customers.
And the optimum position to get into is where the customer treats you like a partner, trusting you to supply products and services that create consistent and promised results.
In fact, becoming your customer’s trusted partner should be your long-term objective in all your dealings.
So, what are the keys to building these relationships so that your connections with customers turns them into clients, advocates and raving fans?
Here are some ideas.
You really must understand, appreciate and have a deep knowledge of the following:
1. The customer’s ultimate goals, objectives and priorities
If you have an awareness of these, you create opportunities for yourself to present in ways that meet these prime concerns and help you achieve better inroads into their inner sanctum
2. The customer company culture and values
Very few salespeople get this far, but if you’re able to determine them it gives you a massive headstart. What’s their integrity like? Does everyone keep their promises? Will they pay good money for good quality or is saving money their prime motivator? Understanding this will help you in the long-term partnership.
3. The customer’s decision-making process
Do all small decisions have to go through the procurement manager, or do the buyers have authority and autonomy to choose themselves? How high in the organisation do decisions have to go before they are signed off? You need to identify everyone in the process, so you have an idea of what should be done to gain approval for decisions.
4. The customer’s clients and their competitors
If you can make your customer look good in the eyes of their customers, you increase their market share and offer chances of increased profitability. Also, if you know more about their competitors than they do, you put yourself in prime position to be an advisor and expert in your field.
5. The customer’s market opportunities
By showing them how your products and services will enable the customer to be stronger in their market place and possibly open up new markets for them, you create opportunities with you that wouldn’t exist without you.
Each of these key points show your customer that you are interested in their success stories and gives them reasons to build trust in you, as they realise you are not there just to sell your stuff, but also to maintain the relationship in the long-term.
Originally published: 30 July, 2015
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