There is a general attitude among the public that most sales pro’s are like:
A- The High Pressure huckster, that is forced by his management to turn some car lots into one of the most unpleasant experiences that you will endure in the marketplace; AND
B – The Pariah, that suckers low income people into time-shares that they can not afford with circular questions and aggressive sales techniques. [Note: There is a big difference in aggressive and assertive.]
And because of consumer’s having experiences like this in the marketplace, it is easy to understand why sales rep’s sometimes have a bad image in the public eye. Still, regardless of this perception, more and more in the contemporary marketplace; it is value oriented selling that wins at the end of the day.
Today’s consumer has too much information at his or her fingertips, through computer and online resources to be easily duped into popular cons. So, in an increasing way; today’s sales pro must rely on more value driven strategies. By seeking more to benefit the customer, than to persuade the customer to another point of view; a high quality assurance is conveyed and people feel safer to buy and in fact, buy more.
Do not get me wrong; there is an undeniable value in making sure that you know how to close assertively and be unashamed to ask for the money. It is just that in today’s economy empathy combined with prudence generally yield better results.
1- Stress can cause them to buy less
Eliminating high-pressure sales practices and creating tools that shift the burden of satisfaction over to the buyer can transform your sales environment. One of the best way to prevent buyer’s remorse is to give customers more control of the sales process. And be willing to do this to the extent that they create their own contentment.
Last night, I took my daughter and some friends to my favorite Mexican Restaurant in this area: http://travel.yahoo.com/p-travelguide-13062985R-mazatlan-i
As I walked in, I made a special request of the owner / manager; which I was not sure he could do; His reply to me was: “Your preference is always our First Option.” Wow! I was stunned at just how much his reply set the tone for me to appreciate his restaurant more.
Even so, customers can feel it when they are appreciated. And creating an atmosphere where customers are sure of two things; 1- That there is value in the product or service AND 2- That they themselves (the customer) are valued: creates a dynamic #Sales atmosphere.
A distressed purchase is normally a poor purchase. You will not go back to the business. You will not send your friends or neighbors to buy from the business. And if you are smart, you will learn not to buy is such a sales environment. It makes for a situation that would be funny to present in a sit-com but very un-funny when it happens to you in real life.
What is the answer to avoiding this type of hucksterian environment and still thriving in #Sales??? One approach is to slow down the sale. Make sure every aspect of the experience is relaxed and unhurried. Instead of pressuring the customer, invest your energy in the premise that you will obtain a more satisfied client, if they get to make a buying decision in their own sweet time.
2- Make the customer responsible
Nobody likes a know it all sales rep. Even when, the rep. really needs to know it all. The way to be an expert in your field and not drive customer’s off with your attitude is to give more respect to customers knowledge. When you shift some of the value proposition, to the knowledge of the customers; you are beginning to talk their language.
As a general rule, prospects do not mind bearing some of the load, to ensure the authenticity and quality of the product. Let the customer verify in their own mind and with their own resources the value of what you offer. Independent confirmation that the item meets the seller’s claims will shift the responsibility for ensuring product integrity from you to the buyer. And this way the customer always feels better about their purchase. Because of instead of having a fast talking sales person’s opinion shoved down their throat. They were empowered to see for themselves, the wisdom of buying from you.
Make sure that your program ensures an informed decision before the customer pays. This will decrease your liability and increase the customer satisfaction. In so doing, your company will have more stability and predictability in its client base. Full disclosure is a healthy sales tactic practiced by those who are sure of the value and worth of what they are marketing. Never forget that today’s shopper is also an Internet shopper, and often as savvy as the marketplace itself.
3- Take your time vs. you must buy it today.
The whole idea of selling slow is based on believing that there are intelligent, deliberate customers that prefer their own dimension of service. It is sometimes true that it takes longer to get this customer to the cash register. But this technique of giving the customer room empowers your customers to contemplate, choose, commit and feel good about their purchase..
There are after the sale benefits to this type of strategy also. This type of approach can avoid the extra costs of returns, greater customer service involvement after the sale and negative feedback that can kill your reputation.
There is an impulse market place that seems to defy this type of marketing. And that is another topic, for another day.
But overall, there can be huge dividends in revolutionizing your approach to sales. And communicating that you want what is best for the customer to the customer and them believing it, because you really do.
4- Brand Quality vs. Sale Priority
If you are looking at the overall picture of the success of the business and not just personal sales; then the view of the customer must change. The lifetime value of a customer should not be defined only, by how much he or she buys, but how strongly he or she and defends a brand choice and advocates it to others. If you treat your customer with patience and hand some of the reigns of the sales process, over to them, they’ll often take care of the rest, because of this customer centered approach..
This is a radical departure from the conventional approach to the sales process. But if you intend to make it in today’s marketplace, long term. Then you better give some serious thought to the creation and maintenance of a healthy brand. Selling Slow can sometimes be the way to go.