Professional selling must start with the assumption that the salesperson will always put his/her customer’s best interests first. If you are a professional, you have the responsibility and an obligation to help your customers make timely, appropriate decisions. Otherwise, they don’t need you. They can buy from the Internet.
Your entire reason for being is to help your customer find solutions that meet their needs and wants; and, then get them to make an informed, intelligent decision.
You have to ask the right questions in order to determine your customer’s wants and needs. You need to establish a sense of trust so that they open up and share information that will help you assess their needs. Then, you have to do some mental gymnastics to process what they are saying and align it against your understanding of your product or service to see if it fits perfectly. If it does, you should communicate that finding in plain language, painting a picture of how your solution will satisfy their needs. And when the time is right, your job is to make it easy for them to make a decision.
There is a process and unfortunately, I see that many salespeople hesitate to take their customer to that final step in the sales process.
Recently a salesperson said to me, “I don’t really sell. I present the facts and then if they want it, it’s up to them to say so.”
“How many have bought from you?” I asked.
“Hmm, not many.” He replied.
I believe he’s doing his customers, his employer and himself a disservice. He has a fabulous service and many of the people he’s talked to should take advantage of it. There’s often a cost to not making a decision. In his case, the cost of not deciding can range from hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars. But he hasn’t taken that step of helping them to decide.
There’s a reason that really good salespeople get paid well. They aren’t just a brochure spouting facts. They are expert communicators and they are good at making it easy for their customers to decide. In this superfast world with too much information, but not enough customized advice, customers are looking for help. They want someone to say, “Based on what you’ve told me about your situation, here is what I recommend. And just so you are aware, here’s the down side should you delay moving forward.”
With the pros and cons clearly articulated, customers buy. They want to buy. But they need your help.