Customer Experience News & Trends

What do you look like through customers’ eyes?

The decisive factor in any sale is the customer’s receptivity to what you’re offering. Viewing the sale through your customers’ eyes is a great way to pinpoint objections or clear up any perception problems. 

What you’re selling is more than the product or service itself — it’s a bundle of values, including service, reliability and continuity. It’s important for your customer not to lose sight of those values.

Don’t make assumptions

It’s usually not a good idea to make assumptions about your customers’ preferences.

There are two basic problems that hurt companies that use this approach:

  • They think they know their customers so well that they get complacent. It’s dangerous to assume that a customer is satisfied, loyal and not looking elsewhere. Consider customers as free agents who can get information quickly and are not beholden to a business.
  • They believe their customers’ assertions that everything is good. More than 80% of customers report they are “satisfied” before switching to another supplier.

Where to look

Here are three key areas to dive into to get customers’ perspectives of you:

  • Customers’ view of you. How are you doing in your customers’ eyes? Customers’ first impression is not about the product or service you sell, but about you. Customers’ unspoken concerns about you revolve around two particular issues: your integrity and your understanding of how your product or service will meet their needs.
  • Customers’ view of your competition. What are your competitors’ major advantages, as perceived by customers? What would it take for customers to drop a competitor and buy from you? What can you do to separate yourself from the competition in ways that impact customers?
  • Customers’ view of your company. Customers want to be convinced that your company is dependable, that it supports service after the sale and will be there to back them up. What does your company stand for? What does it offer that is better than the competitors?

Stay in step

Stay in step with your customers. What’s happening to them? What changes are taking place? What problems are they facing? What are their opportunities? What internal changes are taking place?

If you don’t have current, up-to-the-minute answers to these questions, you’re in no position to understand their buying conditions.

Wanting, not selling

It isn’t what you want to sell that’s important today — only what your customers want to buy. Some salespeople are so eager to make the sale, they fail to make sure customers understand they’re buying a company, as well as a product or service.

Adapted from: “Break the Rules Selling,” by John Graham, the founder and president of Graham Communications, a marketing and sales consulting firm based in Quincy, MA. 

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