Famous management guru Peter Drucker once said:“The purpose of a business is to create and keep a customer.” He also imparted to the business community two other gems:
“There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all” and
“To focus on contribution is to focus on effectiveness.”
Mr Drucker was alluding to the purpose of all business, which is to create a customer by learning to be a contribution to that customer. In addition, contributing continuously will help you keep your customers.
Factor the simple wisdom of the above into the following sales process, and you can be sure your organisation is well on it way to creating and keeping its customers.
1. Be warm and welcoming
It never hurts to be full of life and to bring cheer and optimism to your customers. The world can be a monotonous and gloomy place especially in adverse market conditions. Your first purpose is therefore to bring sunshine with you everywhere you go. People love “high-tones” that brighten up their day. So start by being one, over the phone, via e-mails or during face-to-face interaction.
2. Be genuine and truthful
Forget all that you have learned as a salesman about matching and mirroring body language. Forget all that you have been told about using elaborate language patterns to win people over. These actions are disingenuous and manipulative.
Nothing works greater magic than simply being genuine and truthful. These qualities resonate with people, and they will be drawn to you. If you are genuine, your body language will match and mirror that.
3. Seek out the customer’s needs
The real reason you should be in a sales conversation with a potential customer is that you are there to solve his problems, assist with his issues, overcome his challenges, remove his obstacles, ease his difficulties and create new opportunities for him. The greater the value of the solutions you are able to provide to him, the greater the monetary reward he will consider passing on to you.
Too many times, I have found that salesmen are more skilled at telling the customer what he thinks the customer wants to hear, as opposed to finding out the customer’s true needs and providing him with solutions that are best for him.
4. Explain how what you do works for him
Quantify and qualify the degree to which your products, services and/or ideas will diminish, cause to disappear and dissolve your customer’s problems, issues, challenges, obstacles and difficulties. This will make it easy for him to appreciate your true value proposition. It will also be easier for your customer to internally justify your value proposition.
The clearer you demonstrate these, the easier it is for your prospect to become your customer or for your customer to stay loyal.
5. Explore the pros and cons of your product
This goes back to No. 2. Most salesmen explore only a product’s upside for fear that the downside may work against them. Your role as a top-notch sales professional engaging a world-class sales process is to do both.
Talk about the upside and the downside. This manages expectations and most importantly allows you and your customer to build a two-sided long-term genuine and truthful relationship.
6. Request a moving forward agreement
Once you have done all of the above, don’t hesitate to ask for something that seals the deal. It sounds simple but way too many salesmen are in a never-ending loop of “exploring”. But how fast you cover the above steps will determine how fast you can be of value to your customer. So, be aware that asking for an agreement allows you to be of greater service faster.
7. Deliver on your promises
Deliver what you promised — this is as straightforward as it gets.
8. Get feedback and testimonials
Feedback is important as it helps you to improve your products, services and ideas. Testimonials are crucial for breeding greater confidence, especially in those who have yet to hear of you, your brand and your value propositions.
9. Seek to build long-term relationships
Keep in touch, be close at hand and figure out ways to add additional value that goes beyond sales transactions. Do something meaningful that adds real value to people’s lives. Be of genuine service to your clients on an ongoing basis and you will automatically build long-term relationships.