How you are communicating with your clients? This is a very important part of your marketing plan, as it speaks to the process you have in place when you are in direct communication with a potential customer. Last week I discussed how having some type of marketing plan outperforms having no plan at all, I also touched on a few ideas besides advertising that should be included in your Marketing Plan.
Like you, I also shop around and buy things like the everyday consumer. Besides finding the right product that resolves my current conflict, I also analyze and look at the quality of service I received, and how the product was sold to me. Unfortunately, I am often being sold the it… instead of being sold the why, and in my personal case, I went there because I found them to be the cheapest… No added value… What do I mean by this? And does your business suffer or fall in this trap?
Let’s start with a quote…
“If you listen better, you will sell more.” – Jeffery Gitomer
Selling the it…
A friend of mine recently told me about their experience of purchasing their latest laptop. I won’t name the store in question, but they needed a laptop that day and basically got sold “THE BEST” laptop…this is great right! For who?? the store…maybe…my friend…not really…
In my opinion, the store did a disservice to themselves and to my friend all to gain a potentially great “one-time sale”…maybe… A 30-second conversation with me made my friend realize that maybe they overpaid, or even worse… bought the wrong product and now they’re second-guessing the purchase. All I said when they told me they bought a new laptop was, cool what made you pick the laptop you bought…. their response was I don’t know they told me it’s the best one, to which I said do you really need the best one? 2 questions that anyone could have asked, and now my friend is un-sold and second-guessing the purchase and now the store in question is faced with a really bad situation… a product return, a loss of sale and most likely a customer going elsewhere to deal with someone who is actually interested in helping them choose the right product. A typical example of selling the it…
As you can see, I am not a fan of how the laptop was sold, I would never advise or coach my clients to conduct business in this way. To those of you who feel the store was right…there is a saying and I am not 100% sure who said it… “Even a blind squirrel finds a nut sometimes…”
If we change the scenario slightly, I am certain that my friend would have made a smarter laptop purchase and would be selling me on why he bought this particular model as he would be telling me “why” it is ideal for him!
Selling The Why…
You could say that there are countless reasons why people buy things, I believe it really only boils down to two problems… a want or a need. The problem doesn’t have to be a catastrophe… If we want to increase our overall selling we need to discover the problem no matter how big or small it is.
If you take the urgency out of the scenario above I could almost guaranty that the store would not have sold the laptop.
Let’s say my friend was maybe thinking they need to purchase a laptop. Or even better is simply curious and looking at the laptops… a better approach will include asking fact finding questions such as:
- Do you currently own a laptop or computer?
- Have you discovered any problems with your current laptop or computer?
- What type of activities do you do with your current laptop or computer?
- Do you think your needs will change anytime soon?
By asking fact finding questions like the ones above, you will discover the true problem and will now be in a situation to help your customer and become a value to them. This is the Real Win! Maybe today you didn’t sell them a laptop, maybe instead you discovered that a tablet is a better fit, or you saved them money by offering them a repair or a laptop maintenance service because what they have is still adequate to fit their needs.
By doing this, who will they most likely go to next time they really need a laptop… who will they say to go see when someone they know may need to buy a laptop… This is good marketing, my friends! This is how you build a business, by helping your customers by selling the why… not the it…
Why sell the why?
It should obvious that this way of communicating you are now educating and not selling your clients, you are helping them and yourself discover the true buying motives. You are now in a position to sell them right product or service and you will see more times than not you will be in a position to justify other products and services that compliment the first purchase and increase that particular sale. Best of all the client will feel happy about doing it!
If you recall in my unique selling proposition post, I mentioned the deeper buying motives about your product or service in order to discover how you those facts can improve and create your Unique Selling Proposition… They also help you with better serving your customer for each individual transaction. Here it is again…
You don’t go to Home Depot to buy a drill from Jay Abraham. ”You don’t ever go to Home Depot to buy a drill. You go to Home Depot to buy a tool to make a hole… so you can run a wire through your wall, so you can hang your brand new plasma, so you can enjoy watching movies with your family in HD, so your spouse won’t constantly be annoyed by a bunch of ugly cables visible everywhere in the living room…etc…)
These are all facts that you can use to build the perfect solution that is tailored 100% to your customers wants/needs.