Too often, we promote our company’s values to the neglect of the customer’s needs. A common mistake is to sell your product or service from the first meeting without understanding the needs of the prospective client or customer. The classic example is trying to sell your product or service on price alone, typically assuming the lowest price will close the deal. This may be true in some cases, but a number of marketing studies show that that approach, overtime, if carried too far, will reduce your profit margins to a drastic level of inefficiency. Rather, you should start any initial presentation by focusing on an understanding of the prospective customers perceived values. A customer’s definition of the value of your company’s services or products are limitless. Thus, you need to be alert to the different ways in which a potential customer will determine their level of need to use your company. Each potential customer, even in the same line of business, will consider different factors before they elect to obtain your services or products. You cannot assume one approach will work in all cases.
Get to Know Their Needs
Start your initial conversations by having prospective customer tell you about their business and some of the issues that keep them up at night. From these early comments, you might begin to ask questions that would cause your prospect to tell you the values they consider important to solve their problems, they will then be able to identify the level of significance, relevance, and interest necessary to achieve resolution to their concerns. Your objective should be to have a conversation with your prospect that includes so much value that they thank you for speaking with them, and that they welcome future conversations with you. How do you achieve this degree of acceptance by your prospects? Well, as it turns out, it is easy. Most often, none of us are asked meaningful questions that help us clarify our problems and how much they cost us. Offering clarity of thought and appropriate business information is enormously valuable. People will see you as a person with unique skills and will want to have further conversations with you. These types of conversations will develop an on going relationship that will allow you and your prospect to possibly identify ways in which your company can be of assistance. In most cases, this approach will have gained for you an appreciative customer who is receptive to listening to your suggestions because you seem to understand their needs and the value they place upon certain approaches to running their business. You have in essence, provided a valuable service by helping to solve a problem and justified a buying decision that added value that your prospect accepted as mutually important.