Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Listen and Understand

It’s a point we've made before on this blog and will undoubtedly do so again: make sure you're selling what your customer wants to buy.

In an e-newsletter yesterday, Burlington, Ont. retail-sales specialist Kelley Robertson talks about the importance of listening to your customers and making sure you're focusing on what they want to hear or know – not what you want to tell them.

Sure, you say, that’s Sales 101 – but how often is this essential rule actually followed in day to day sales? Think back to your recent sales conversations (whether you were buying or selling), and ask yourself if they followed the right track – and specifically addressed the target’s needs, not the seller’s.

Kelley talks about a recent sales training program in which participants tried to push their values on a “customer." "The majority of people in attendance felt that it was critical that they completely "educate" their customer about their products or services.”

But most customers don't want or need all the information you think is important, says Kelley. “What they want is a solution to their specific problem.”

Understanding customer needs creates two benefits, Kelley says: they inolve the customer more and take less time. “In many cases, we can reduce the length of our presentations by focusing ONLY on what our customer/prospect wants. Far too often, we talk about aspects of our product or service that have little or no relevance to their particular situation. But, because we think they should know about those aspects, we tell them.”

Bottom line: “It doesn't matter what is important to us. What really counts is what is important to our customer or prospect.”

Checkout Kelley's blog for more useful tips at http://kelleyrobertson.blogspot.com/

1 comment:

Unknown said...

I'm amazed (as in dismayed) when the presenter's own interests take precedence over the audience's. They forget --- or don't understand --- that the purchaser has the power.

You can't buy yet. I'm not done presenting!