As we discussed in posts last week, well defined goals are very important to a business. If we had to guess, we’d say that the majority of businesses have some form of growth or revenue goals. To meet these growth goals, sales need to occur. Selling can be a daunting, anxiety inducing business activity where it feels like you fail 10x more than you succeed. But it doesn’t have to be this way.
As we started our business, we realized that we didn’t know much about selling. We set out to learn more, so we read books, purchased sales training courses by the famous salesman and speakers, and ingested many Podcasts, YouTube videos, Blogs, other online content. While this “traditional sales knowledge” was helpful in some regards, much of it made us feel like we were going through the motions to convince a purchase a product. We felt that the intent was in selling, not actually solving a problem for the customer.
As product information is at customers' fingertips through the internet, Yelp and Facebook reviews, etc., customers are more educated than ever. This causes customers to make much more informed and confident purchasing decisions. This is changing the way that sales have been traditionally made. Now, as customers have the ability to find information about products, it is our job as sales people to establish trust with the customer, by educating and confirming product information that customers may have already have learned to position yourself as an expert to solve the problem that the customer.
The key here is your intent and mindset towards the sale and your interaction with the customer. You aren’t selling a product, as much as you are selling a solution to a problem. With information at their fingertips, customers are less likely to make a poor decision when purchasing a product. If the customer purchases a good or service and they realize they didn’t really need it, feeling “sold”, your credibility is tarnished, and you can almost guarantee that the customer will not return for a repeat sale. On the other hand, if you are able to solve a real problem for the customer, or even let them honestly know that what you’re offering won’t solve their problem, you will gain trust that will lead to many more repeat sales and referrals downstream. It is vital to ensure that your solution solves a problem for your customer.
Build trust and act as an advisor to help your customer solve a problem, achieve a goal, or satisfy a need.
Next week we’ll discuss how to find these customers and attract them to your company so that you can help solve their problems and create lifelong, trusting relationships.