What is a sure fire way to improve your sales performance? Reduce the price? Include an incentive to sweeten the deal? Encourage staff to up-sell? Set up a rewards program? Give away free products? All of these tactics and techniques will probably work, but they might not guarantee prolonged success. For that to happen, you need to focus on one thing and one thing only – the customer.
Without a regular stream of dependable and loyal customers, chances are your business will fail. Therefore, they must be cared for, given attention and held in high esteem. But above all else, they needed to be treated with respect and not regarded as another sales figure. But what is the best way to improve relationships with the customer? It’s quite simple really – by listening to what they have to say.
More often than not, a customer will approach your business because they have some kind of problem or question that requires a solution or answer. If this is the case, then there is no real need for you to do or say much at all, as half the battle has been won already.
Let the customer speak and give them time to explain the issues they are experiencing. There is a good chance you understand exactly what they’re going through and know implicitly that you possess the skills or expertise to help out, but let us not get ahead of ourselves here. This is not the time or place to begin any pre-rehearsed sales pitch. Every customer is different and your response can’t be the same to every potential purchaser or patron that walks through the door.
Pay close attention to each individual dilemma and be attentive to what every customer is asking of you. This way, you can provide the best product or service possible. Along with increasing your chances of securing a sale, there is the distinct possibility that repeat business will come to fruition too. When all’s said and done, acquiring new customers costs far more than retain existing ones, so it really is in your best interests to treat every potential sale like it could be your last.
As mentioned previously, no two customers are the same, so the solution you provide will always be different. However, your approach towards problem solving doesn’t have to change. A systematic approach enables you to put every query in context while not jumping to conclusions. Here’s how to go about it:
Identify – After the customer has explained their concerns, ask more questions and really get to the heart of the issue. It is imperative that you start solving the right problem and not one the customer doesn’t believe is a big deal.
Analyse – Come up with a list of questions that will give you the best chance of delivering the right product or service. At the same time, they also need to satisfy the customer’s wants and needs too. What causes the problem? When does it occur? Why does it occur? How long has it been happening?
Specify – When you’ve comprehensively analysed the problem, think about specifying the most appropriate way to solve the problem. This might involve developing some sort of criteria that both you and the customer agree on. It may even be beneficial to research and find some independent standards or benchmarks to work from.
Choice – Propose or put forward some additional solutions and don’t be afraid to suggest multiple ways in which you could help out. List the advantages and disadvantages of each and think about whether your proposed solution would lead to certain benefits or drawbacks.
Decide – Once all of these steps have been taken, you should be in a strong position to pick one optimal solution. Develop a plan of action and be sure that you can deliver your promises. Prepare for every eventuality as to not let your customer down and strive to provide a superior product or service to industry competitors.
This orderly and organised process should also help you save time and money in the future. By the same token, a logical approach to problem solving should achieve better results too, which in turn will increase your reputation and value. The customer is bound to appreciate the effort you’ve gone too and will no doubt become a loyal regular.
Technology has now been integrated into every aspect of our daily lives and sales are no different. In fact by 2020, 80 per cent of business-to-business transactions will be automated. According to Gerhard Gschwandtner, founder and CEO of Selling Power, this means that sales jobs will tumble from 15.5 million to just four or five million in the coming years. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean staff are no longer needed in this line of work.
Due to the rise of technology, more and more personnel are required in sales support roles. And while young reps don’t necessarily posses the traditional people skills required to make sales, they have grown up with technology and understand this world completely. Thankfully, there is a way to train and educate a generation that aren’t used to face-to-face communication as much as interacting with others on smartphones and tablets.
Wranx takes advantage of mobile technology by making targeting training available on the go via smartphones and tablets. Therefore, sales staff can learn about the importance of things like people skills and problem solving at a time that is convenient for them. Even if an individual starts their learning on one device, they can pick it up and finish on another. Changes or alterations can be made remotely, which allows you to alter your employees’ learning without having to call them into the office. And because our solution is hosted in the cloud, there is no need to download specific software either. Therefore if you want to increase sales through the aforementioned methods, Wranx is here to help.
Image By: Tim Pierce – CC BY 2.0