Customer Experience News & Trends

The No. 1 question you must be able to answer for customers

If your salespeople can’t answer this question, prospects and customers may either demand the lowest price or buy from someone else.

The No. 1 question buyers want you to answer: Why should I buy from you?

Selling to prospects and customers without determining their needs is irrelevant selling. Lack of relevance distorts your aim. It’s like shooting at a target with a gun that has a bent sight.

Mistaken beliefs

When salespeople survey their prospects and customers to find out what they want most, they may find that their prior assumptions are wrong. The two biggest misconceptions on the part of salespeople involve price and relationships.

A recent survey shows salespeople rated price and relationships as critical, while buyers listed both well down their priority list. Buyers placed more emphasis on quality, on-time deliveries and customer service.

More research also shows that about 90% of salespeople don’t adequately sell what their prospects and customers want most, because they can’t answer the simple question: Why should I buy from you?

The best way for your salespeople to answer this question is with two questions:

  1. What do you think are the top three things that customers and prospects value most when choosing to buy your product or service?
  2. What do you think is the least important?

Ask your salespeople to compare their answers to those of prospects and customers. Are the answers similar? If not, your salespeople will have a tough time convincing prospects and customers not to buy from someone else.

Prospects may initially buy from you because of your product features or quality. But after they become customers, their buying criteria may change. They may continue to do business with you because of your reliability, prompt deliveries, top-notch service, product durability or the fact that you stand behind everything you sell.

Staying abreast of these changing needs will help you deliver the sharpest, most relevant, most productive sales messages.

The biggest complaint prospects and customers share

The biggest single complaint of prospects and customers is that salespeople talk too much and don’t listen enough. Poor salespeople dominate the talking, while top salespeople dominate the listening.

It’s possible for a salesperson to talk too much, but it’s rarely possible to listen too much. When salespeople are excellent listeners, prospects and customers feel comfortable and secure with them. They buy more readily and more often.

Two things may stop salespeople from listening:

  1. They have a lot to say because they’ve developed so much expertise. They don’t understand that the fastest way to irritate a prospect is by talking too much and listening too little.
  2. They’ve listened to the customer’s side so often they can predict what the customer will say. As a result, they learn less about customers’ changing needs that effective listening would uncover.

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