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Tips on Selling, Business












Those who recognise the value of creating value with their customers, the importance of caring, and the value of helping the customer successfully navigate their buying process see something else. | Source: Getty Images
Those who recognise the value of creating value with their customers, the importance of caring, and the value of helping the customer successfully navigate their buying process see something else. | Source: Getty Images

Customers need help, but do we want to be helpful?

Hoping to increase your sales this year? DAVID BROCK reveals the secret to mutual success between businesses and customers.

I recently finished a fascinating discussion with two good friends. As our conversations often go, we talked about the state of selling and how we improve.

The conversation got me thinking: “Our customers desperately need help, but do we want to be helpful? Do we know how to be helpful?”

Everyone faces accelerating turbulence, disruption, risk, and uncertainty, and as time goes on, we face issues we may not have experienced before.

We are often so busy we may not recognise threats or opportunities to change, improve, or grow.

And when we do, we are overwhelmed with information and data about what we might do.

Because so much of this is outside our experience base, we struggle with what to do and our confidence in our choices.

Often, we involve more people – we need differing points of view and differing expertise to address these challenges.

These challenges impact not just our areas of responsibility but also many areas of the business.

Making the ‘right’ decision is more difficult because more people are involved. And, as would be expected, uncertainty increases.

The core issue is our customers need help. They are crying for help! And that demand for help will skyrocket in the coming years.

Your business can provide that help. The question is,do we want to give that help?

And if we do, do we know how to provide that help?

Do we want to provide that help? That’s, perhaps, the ugliest question we must answer for ourselves.

"Your business can provide that help. The question is, do we want to give that help? And if we do, do we know how to provide that help?"

Do we care about our customers and their success, or are we more focused on our success – getting customers to purchase is the inconvenience that impacts our ability to achieve our goals.

Too often, our behaviours are self-centred and not customer-focused.

We don’t understand our customers and their challenges. We defer engagement to the point when they are looking for solutions.

Our ‘interest’ in their problem is focused on how we present our solution, getting them to choose us, and we don’t know how to provide the help that is most important to them.

In my work, I often ask people who have just closed a deal a critical question – what did they buy it for?

Too often, the answer is the literal price.

If a customer chooses to buy our products, our focus should be on retaining them as a life-long customer to expand the business.

However, far too often, the support businesses provide is focused on utilising the products on offer and not on achieving the customers' goals.

In other circumstances, salespeople want to help customers but don’t know how.

They don’t understand their customers, their businesses, how they get things done.

They don’t ask what they should be doing and question what they might be missing. They only know what their products do!

Fortunately, this is an easy problem to fix. Being curious, caring, and working collaboratively with customers can solve this issue quickly – which is about more than merely selling a product.

Recognising the customers are human beings, listening, and building their confidence they are doing the right thing.

Helping them move forward in complex decisions in which they have little experience.

Leveraging our expertise in assisting others to solve similar problems.

This is an issue of business acumen, and we can learn to build skills by putting the customer first.

It changes our conversations and how we engage our customers.

You may be reading this and thinking, ‘I’m too busy for this thing; I must make sales’.

Some may suggest that this approach is more ‘charity’ than business.

In response, you are settling for your current win rates and not seeing the missed opportunities that pass you by when the customer gives up on your business.

Those who recognise the value of creating value with their customers, the importance of caring, and the value of helping the customer successfully navigate their buying process see something else.

They’ve discovered the ironic secret about being truly helpful to customers – and that is that sales skyrocket as customer loyalty increases, which drives the ability to reach revenue goals.

The secret these businesses have discovered is we succeed through helping our customers succeed.

 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
David Brock

Contributor • Partners In Excellence


David Brock is CEO of Partners In Excellence, a global consultancy focused on helping organisations engage customers more effectively. He writes at: partnersinexcellenceblog.com

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