Sell the Way Your Customers Buy


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By asking the right questions, you can learn how to elicit the outcomes or results the customers are seeking. The previous exercise told us how they bought in the past; this exercise will help us discover how they will buy in the future. When your customers are thinking about buying something, they try to imagine themselves with your product or service in the future. They image the possible outcomes or results of using the product or service. These images are influenced by past experiences customers have had with similar products or services. They are also influenced by the present – what they want and think their needs are.

By asking the right questions, you can learn how to elicit the outcomes or results the customers are seeking. The previous blog told us how they bought in the past; this blog will help us discover how they will buy in the future.
1. Reveal You Own Interest
You are really saying to your customer “I am here to find the best solution to your needs. If I can do that for you, then we can do business and that is what I want to do” Revealing your interest will allay feelings of suspicion. In a controlled test Robert Cialdini in his book on influencing, reveals when giving someone valid reason for doing something then they become more willing to listen and be empathetic.

2. Find Out What Your Customer Wants and Needs
There is an old sales adage which says
“Give them what they want first, then sell them later”
We need to be able to distinguish between wants and needs.
Wants help customers achieve their goals, why they are willing to listen to you and talk to you about your product or service. They some idea of what it is they want to buy. However what your customers want is not necessarily what they need.

3. Translating Needs into Benefits
People have wants and needs.
Products have features and benefits.
The word benefit comes from two French words; bein or bon meaning well or good, and fit from faire or fait meaning to do or to make, so a benefit is what does your product or service do that will fit well or do a good job for your prospect, how well will your product/service fit your prospects needs.

Another way to view the benefit of the product is to see how the product solves a problem the customer may have, and the customer will make a gain or avoid a loss. The need is the perceived value in the prospects eyes so you need to present the benefits of your products that will match the perceived values of your customers, how can you find the perceived value, by asking questions, features support the benefits.

4. Instant Replay
As we have already discussed people like to buy the way they have bought in the past. Return to the answers we came up with on the exercise we did on eliciting the decision making strategy, and we will add one more question:
“Just suppose, you were to do this all over again, what would you change in this product/service?

When putting your strategy together you need to present it to fit the customers buying strategy.

5. As If
As if and Just Suppose!
This is useful when you are dealing with customers who have never bought your product or service before. You elicit their buying strategy by focussing on what results they want to receive in the future.

“Just suppose you were to go ahead with Your company on this project, what would need to happen to let you know that you had made the right decision?”

The answer will tell you what your customer will hope to have achieved from Your company and must form the basis of focus for your proposal.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Colly Graham
First working for a Fortune 500 company in fast moving consumer goods, my career progressed from selling capital equipment, financial services to internet services, with a wide management experience in both telephone and field sales, training and development of sales people. My forty years of practical experience of selling and the ability to empathize with sales people and establish immediate rapport and credibility as a trainer, NLP Master Practitioner I have trained and consulted with over 1,000 companies since the formation of salesxcellence


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