Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Are You Listening To Your Customer?

All of us want to make a sale. However that sale will only come if we offer our customer exactly what they want.

Today, there are many many choices, both online and offline. Do a web search for any one product and you’ll find there are thousands out there selling the exact same product. Then look in your local phone book. Again, you’ll find there are many choices.

A friend of mine loves the phrase “I was given two ears and one mouth so that I should listen twice as much as I speak”. This phrase fits right into business and sales. If we listen to our customers and only answer what they’ve asked us, it becomes much easier to close the sale.

Let me provide a personal example. I was looking to buy a new digital camera. I went to the first store and was very clear that I did not want to spend over $200. I was also clear that I hoped to have a larger sized screen. The sales person only heard half of what I said and choose to show me a camera that did indeed have a huge screen, but the camera was $500. Apparently this person had been taught to start high. I once again said “I really don’t wish to spend over $200”. The second camera shown to me was about $250. I said it wasn’t what I was looking for and I left.

I went to a second store. I repeated the two items I wanted, a camera under $200 and a camera with a larger screen. This sales person showed me 3 different cameras, all under $200 and all with screens that were a size I was happy with. He asked me questions about my needs and based on my needs, helped me choose one of the 3 cameras. I made the purchase. He received the commission.

The consumer today does not want to be sold something they have not asked for. If a customer asks about one of your products, concentrate on that product. Sell them what they want. Help them feel good about that purchase. If you’re selling a camera, throw in a guide on how to take awesome photos. If you’re selling health supplements, throw in a recipe book of healthy recipes. If you’re selling jewelry, throw in a guide on how to color coordinate clothing and accessories. Give your customer not only what they’ve asked for but a small bonus for choosing you to make the purchase from.

Audrey :)

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