Sales have come a long way since the 1800s, when the structure for goals and sales steps was formulated. The traditional process focused on the customer’s need and not the product — it was a script that moves the customer through that value identification. While much has changed, a lot of the principles have remained the same.
Currently, customers start the conversation having done their research and being equipped with information about competition, pricing and a clear understanding of their problem and the solutions available. By adapting to the evolution of the customer and preserving traditional steps, a salesperson can harness the best of both worlds.
Below are 8 sales strategy tips for how you can evolve to keep up with the modern client using basic sales principles:
Offer something online shopping cannot.
In the current day and age, most customers have experienced online shopping and probably enjoy the perks that come with it. But the Internet can only offer so much. Customers are looking to you to make the exchange easy, provide insight and keep the conversation productive. Try asking, “How can I help you?” Then determine what else the customer might require so you can add value beyond what they find online.
Change the method for the media.
You are the expert in your arena that can personalize your solution to your customer. This can be done in person, on the phone or by email.
Know your solution arena and show that you care about the customer experience by making recommendations. How often has an enthusiastic waiter convinced you to try something they like?
Give without expecting anything back.
Understand what your customer needs to make this buying relationship successful. It may be personal or it may come down to keeping his job.
Give them space while helping them explore.
It is important to be appropriate and respectful but if you are not pushing the edges of the box, the customer is not learning. Help them explore by having a set of questions at the ready that help you learn what will delight them. You will need to tailor the inquiry and you only have a few minutes to get them into a conversation.
Understand what your customer wants.
Since customers have refined requests and questions, it is important to understand where they are and what need so you can matter to your customer.
Make commitments and keep them.
You are the voice of your organization and what you do speaks to what a customer can expect of the relationship. So when you make commitments to deliver information, be sure to keep them.
Don’t waste their time.
Keep communications short. Deliver what they asked for first. Have you ever tried putting the price at the beginning of the proposal and saying that the following pages cover what is included? It changes the conversation because now you can talk about value.
While the tips above are great starting point, they are not set in stone. As the customer continues to evolve, so will the sales strategies and tips. Sales Professionals need a new set of tools to assist with customer insight, setting priorities and managing critical communications. With solutions that alert you to next steps, you can enter into strategic social conversations and track relationships through your pipeline.
The race is on. Let’s roll!
This piece is a guest post by the Chief Revenue Officer of ModuleQ, Sherry Harmon. ModuleQ develops actionable-insight apps that make it easy for field sales professionals to manage their funnel and close deals faster.