The Daily Journal for Ad Agency New Business Hunters

Customer Focused Selling

Posted by Shane Murphy on Friday, August 11, 2006

question.jpgHow many times in your life have you been on the other side of the sales process?  You know, you were the buyer and not the seller.  When you are the buyer, do you focus more on the process that is occuring, or do you let your guard down and just let the buy happen?

Focusing on the salesperson in front of me is something that I’ve always naturally done.  And as a sales trainer, it’s sometimes incredibly tempting to stop the salesperson mid-stream and try to help them with the process.  There have, to be honest, been a few times where I’ve done just that.  Typically, my attempt to ‘help’ is met with bizarre derision, but once in a while I’ve actually been thanked.

My point in this today is that many times I notice when buying that the salesperson is more focused on his needs rather than mine.  Quite honestly, it drives me batty.  What I would like to see from a salesperson when I’m the buyer is simple.

1. Don’t try to wow me with your product.  Ask me questions to find out how your product can help me, and point that out.  I don’t care if it’s got wonderful bells and whistles.  What I do care about is — will it solve my problem?  And to know the answer to that, you’ve got to find out what my real reason to want it is.

2.  I’m not like the last sale you made… heck, I’m not like most other sales that you’ve made.  I get more than a bit put-off when I know that somebody’s trying to use some goofy sales technique on me.  I cracked up when I read this blog entry about a telephone seller trying to get subscribers to a newspaper with the well-thought out opening line of “Good morning Mr. Buntic, I’m calling from the Toronto Star. Today I would like to ask you, when you start your new subscription to the Toronto Star would you prefer it delivered to the front door or the back door?”  Be original and use your own methods… don’t be a cookie-cutter.  Drives me nuts.

3. Don’t just give me a presentation… have a discussion with me.  I was looking at car stereos today and the salesman spent what seemed like an eternity showing me how amazing one specific unit was. “It’s the best unit in the store… it can do a, e, i, o, u, and sometimes y.  We can install it at no charge, blah, blah, blah.  What say we write it up?”  My first question out of the gate… “Is this Sirius compatible?”  Guess what… it wasn’t.  How much time was wasted here?  And no… I didn’t buy a stereo from him.

Those are but three of my pet peeves… but this weekend, I challenge you to think about how people are selling you.  Take the stuff that they do that seems silly, and then think about your own sales methods.  I wasn’t in a training mood today, so I didn’t offer my thoughts to the stereo guy.  Maybe I’ll go back later this weekend.

Powerful, powerful exercise… this one.  Take the time.


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