Selling in CrisisDecember 17, 2017
Are you leading or managing in the 21st CenturyDecember 17, 2017
KNOW YOUR CUSTOMER
Do you know your product more than your customer does? The sales potential of your product and the impact it carries needs to be strengthened by your desire, passion and commitment to both your brand and the customer. How does your belief in your product rate against your customers belief? How many customers can do without your product and what is the degree of differentiation between your product and that of your competition? Can your customer do without you and the products? Having a clear picture and understanding of customer needs and what delights them is at the epicenter of every successful business, whether you sell to various channels and forms both directly and indirectly to individuals or other businesses.
Knowing your customer is a top of mind cliché in marketing. The key principle of any business is pioneered by knowing its customers. That definition of knowing means absolutely and entirely knowing the customer. In all intense and purpose your company starts by solving a problem for a group of people. The solution may be a product or a service. Most business have started out by fulfilling unmet needs. The need came first, then the moment of realisation or moment of magic that transforms the need into a service or a product and ultimately a sale. The defining moments the moment of “TRUTH” The moment of brilliant insight in to a new arena of opportunity. Nothing can quell the thirst for conclusion of a sale at the right time, right moment, the self-belief, personal reassurance, affirmation of the path to uncharted waters for any sales person.
My view is that if you studied your customer during great times in anticipation of the tough road that might befall your or the customers company during the stormy season the relationship will continue to prevail. During difficult times you need to see your customer through the eye of a needle. Keeping your customers constantly on the radar. So, sticking with them by consciously knowing them, you’ll get them loyal when times are both great and tough. The client needs to see you as a solution to their challenges they might be facing in whatever form, this is the essence of sales retention.
Back to Basics
Getting back to basics by constantly trying to understand your customer beyond the purchase transaction and fully understanding how they are using your products, how they experience it, the customers value chain and it is critical to understand how your product influences and consciously compliments the customers value chain
On your quest to improve your product or service, or to find new products to develop, it is critical to look no further than your current customers. Talk to them face to face. Establish the effectiveness of your product through their eyes and feedback channels. It is critical and essential to obtain factual and honest feedback on your service or product timeously despite periodic claims of how good it is. You may at first not want to hear that your product is anything less than perfect, but is it not better to hear about it first before your competitor?
Focus on the Customer
But something happens as companies grow and prosper. Gradually businesses shift from really knowing their customers by being close to them to assume they know what their customers need. They become absorbed with internal processes to reduce operational costs and increase profit margins.
As their focus turns inward, they begin to lose their outward focus on the customer. They assume that they still know their customers. This is an assumption that can eventually lead to failure. The fact is things change, customers’ needs change, their expectations change, and the competitive environment changes.
Customers like to believe that you care by listening to what they have to say. And if you listen they will tell you how to sell them more products. Customers want you to succeed. So, make a point of listening to your customers. Having a Customer centric team throughout the organisation is a recipe for customer delight. Hire people with a caring attitude and great values. Encourage employees to be great listeners. Customer passion must be like a religion in your company.
Give Both employees and customers your full support and openly recognize their importance to the profitability and success of your business. That’s how bonds of loyalty and commitment are formed, one customer experience at a time.