Get proactive about your business and your customers! Maybe it’s time to change the way you think about sales success. Instead of striving to just make another sale, focus on your customer’s needs and wants. Here are 9 Tips on how you can become your customer’s “go-to” guy, winning their business, and their loyalty.
We can get so caught up in our own needs and wants that our customers and prospects can fade into a nameless faceless pool of “maybe someday”. We chart, we graph, we calculate our commission checks-all based on ourselves, and our company’s objectives. Maybe it’s time to readjust our thinking to reflect the customer’s best interest. It sounds obvious, but unfortunately, it’s oftentimes not the case.
Relationships, Relationships, Relationships. Don’t think of your customer as a commodity. They are people. Just like you, they have families, interests, goals and needs. Get to know them beyond just an assigned number in your database. The more levels you connect with your customer, the better you will understand their business wants and needs, personal preferences, trigger points and how your relationship can be mutually beneficial.
Listen. Stop talking at your customers. In our fast paced, eager-tongued, bottom-line, show-me-the-money world… the best sales people take the time to listen to their customers. It will set you apart. It will give you the advantage of really understanding the best fit for them and help you know how to best serve their needs. It also communicates to them that you are there for them and you get that it’s really not all about you.
Customer Service. Don’t just focus on what you want from them-to make a commission check, up your company’s ratings or add them as a win on some internal chart. Keep the focus on them. It’s not complicated. It’s all in the words: Customer Service – how can you best serve your customer? It may not always be convenient or advantageous on the cuff, but excellent service always comes back to reward you.
Be Their Advocate. Go to bat for them. If they tell you they’ve been quoted a lower price at your competitor, don’t just shrug it off to a lost deal. Get creative with your margins and find a way to win their business. If they’ve had an unpleasant experience with one of your internal departments, follow through with it on their behalf so it doesn’t leave a bad impression in their mind. Let them know you are on their side and that you are in this thing together.
Make an Impression. Go the extra mile. Anyone can be average. Purpose to go above and beyond what they ask for or expect. This will always stand out in the long run, and certainly over your competitors. They will not quickly forget you and that’s invaluable to branding you in their minds the next time they need what your business has to offer!
Educate Them. Help them to really understand your services and products. Don’t forget your company’s history, strengths, unique value points, culture or anything that might set you apart. No one knows your company and offerings more than you do, so use that to your advantage every time you touch them. What sets you apart? Spell it out for them. Don’t wait for them to ask all the questions-guide them along the way, build the momentum for them.
Be Available. How many times have you had to follow up when a company representative should have returned your call, responded to your question or provided you with requested information? It can be exasperating. Respond quickly, when you say you will, and if you don’t have the answer-be prompt to let them know you’re checking on it, and then follow through. Surprise them by pro-actively offering tips and suggestions, inquiring of their current needs, or simply just checking in.
Stay Informed. Do your customers contact you for advice? Do you even cross their mind when they want to know the latest in the industry? Can they trust you to give them the straight story about the competition, new innovations, industry initiatives or product timelines? Strive to not settle with the ABCs of your own services or product line, but to be a wealth of information and trusted source beyond your next sale.
Is the Customer Always Right? Well, no… but neither are you. If you are wrong, say so. It will foster loyalty and respect, you don’t see that too often. Transparency and humility speak volumes.
Winning customer loyalty and business takes effort, but it’s well worth it. It’s not always about the best price, convenience or even having all of the bells and whistles. People prefer to work within established, trusted relationships where their needs are being met. Challenge yourself to become your customer’s “go-to” guy by following these basic tips and see how it enhances your business relationships.
By Vanessa Brown