Sales Success – It’s Not About You – It’s About the Customer

Recently, I was in a meeting with an investment firm that was considering buying a company. They commented on how much competition there was in that market. I said it’s really simple, if they wanted to outsell their competition and be the top in their market. It didn’t matter who was in the market already, what they sell, and how good they are. You can out sell, out produce everyone, if you understand the simple facts of life.

It not about you, it’s about the customer:

Focus on the customer. I hope that’s why you’re in business. Remember, the customer is the one that pays your paycheck. You are not the only business in town and people will choose where they do business. If you want to sell yourself, let the other person talk. In most cases the customer buys you first, then the product. If they don’t feel comfortable with you, they are not going to buy from you. It’s that simple. In the short run you may get away with it, but guess what, it will come back to hurt you.

It’s about listening skills:

Do you want to sell to a customer? Then be quiet, and listen. You’ll never sell to them, if you don’t know what they are looking for. Most of us spend way too much time talking and don’t have a clue what the customer has on their mind. Try consultative selling. Develop questions that get your customers talking about their needs.

It’s about getting back to the customer:

Why is it so hard for a customer to get a company to call them back? Industry surveys that I have conducted show that only 24- 33% of sale people follow up on their leads. If you want to excel, it’s really easy, the odds are in your favor. The business is there if you want it. It’s no different than all the other things we do in our lives. I recently was planning a reception and called six caterers seven months in advance. I started off with one question. Are you available on Saturday evening April 17? All six said they were. I asked them to send me information on their services and references. Only four sent me literature, and only one followed-up and I liked the caterer. Not only were they appreciative, they were professional and their references showed the same. Guess who I did business with? They were all free that evening, only one made the attempt, and only one got the $11,000 spent for that evening.

It’s about making them feel important:

Most of your customers think very highly of themselves, and rightly so. They are the most important people, and if you treat them right, they will reward you with their business.

It’s about showing them you appreciate their business:

Let your customers know that you want to earn their business and want to help them. Make it fun for a customer from you.

It’s about doing something for the customer:

When we think or feel that in order to sell something, we have to do something TO the customer, we are off to a wrong start. Always remember, you are in business to do something For the customer, not TO the customer. Sales people who try and do things TO customers are not professionals, they are con artists.

It’s about understanding:

We feel good when we think people understand us, so why should there be any difference with our customers?

It’s about your employees, not about the product:

Companies that are growing and becoming successful are building their company around people. When a company has key people, their product excels, and the company grows. In my travels around the country, it’s sad to see companies struggling in these times. I continually see companies that are set in their old ways and don’t want to change. If a company wants to succeed, they have to learn that it is not about them; it’s about the customer. I chuckle when I see a company’s corporate office parking lot have reserved parking near the office entrance for the owner and management, and the guests and visitors have to park farther away.

It’s about giving back:

Pro-active, successful companies, are getting more involved in their community. They are making their workplace a place where people want to work. They are providing outstanding customer service, which gives them higher than normal referrals.

It’s about training:

Profitable and successful companies provide all their employees training. They want their people to be the best. Zig Ziglar has a famous saying that goes something like, “What is worse than training an employee and having them leave to go work for the competition, is not training them, and having them stay!”

It’s not about price It’s about selling value:

Unless you have the lowest priced quality product on the market, you shouldn’t focus on price. If you care about your reputation and people in general, you need to focus on selling quality and service. Everyone does not buy on price. If you think all your customers do, then it means you’re focusing on the wrong group of people. We all know that when you buy items solely on price, you generally get what you pay for. I found a deal on ink cartridges. The price sounded too good to be true, and guess what, it was. You would think I would know better, since I generally don’t buy the lowest price products. My printer ran fine until I needed to print some photos, the colors were just not the same.

It’s about what you show and how you show it:

When I mystery shop various companies I am amazed at the laziness of most sales people. You generally hear, “Hi, thanks for stopping by. Take a look around and let me know if you have any questions.” When one considers the cost of obtaining a new customer at your place of business, why not spend a little extra time to demonstrate, and show value on what you have to offer.

It’s not about the money:

If you’re always focusing on money issues, then it’s never going to change. You project what you feel and do. You need to focus on the customer, and then the financial issues will change. When you start cutting corners here and there, it shows. When you start substituting cheaper products for quality products, it shows.

It’s about referrals:

Referrals just don’t happen by accident. You have to work at it. A referral lead is the easiest and quickest sale. If you’re not getting at least 30% referrals, you’re doing something wrong. Truly successful businesses are getting over 50% referrals.

The list goes on. Can you fill in the copy for the next five items? If you can, you’re on your way to success.

It’s about customer service.

It’s about customer relations.

It’s about people skills.

It’s about how you deal with people.

It’s about your choice.

You can work hard or you can work smart. You can focus on you, or the customer. The outcome is amazing. When you say you can’t do such and such, guess what, you’re 100% right. You have programmed yourself to that end.

Best of Success!


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