Ask your salespeople to come up with reasons why their customers buy from them, and they’ll probably come up with one or more of the following:
- “We have the most advanced product on the market”
- “It was the best presentation I’ve ever made”
- “The competition couldn’t touch our service guarantee,” or
- “We just happened to be in the right place at the right time.”
Those responses are all wrong, and they have one thing in common: None of them talk about satisfying a customer’s needs or wants.
Salespeople are used to thinking of themselves as initiators. They think of a sale as something that flows from them to their customers.
That’s not usually the way it happens. When it comes to selling, it’s customer thinking that counts. It’s their reasoning for wanting to buy actually makes things happen.
People decide to buy on the basis of expectation. They buy what they believe your product or service will do for them. Your salespeople have to demonstrate the excellence of their products or services.
Thoughts to share with your salespeople
No product is excellent in and of itself. It’s excellent only if it fulfills a customer need. That’s why every successful value-added scenario is composed of two separate steps:
- Developing as clear a picture as possible of the customer’s image of a solution, and
- Demonstrating how your product or service can provide something that fits that image.
There’s usually a logical sequence to the two steps. Customers won’t agree to buy anything without first believing that it’s going to accomplish something for him or her.