There are lots of ways you can lose business once you have it. Imagine telling a customer he could afford a price increase as a way to raise your prices. Sounds dumb? Yup, lost business! What if you never get the chance to sell to a customer? That’s more lost business. There are some useful strategies you can use to prevent lost business.
Have an idea why your customer would want or need your product or service.
You’ve got work to do before you call or meet a customer. You should be doing research before you make your call to learn three reasons why you could sell to this customer. Study the customer’s website and look for statements about their business plans and goals for the year.
Customers who are growing, experiencing problems, or setting large goals have specific needs. You are more likely to make a sale if you can meet that prospect’s specific need. Determine which needs or wants your customer has that your products or services can help address.
Confirm your customer would want or need your product or service.
You will use the reason why they should buy from you in your voicemail or when you speak with your customer. Let’s say you sell a project management program that results in cities attracting more industry and thus taxpayers. Your voicemail would be, “I work with cities looking to attract more industry to increase their tax base and wanted to see if my work is a fit for you.”
What you say is similar if you speak with the customer. You confirm what you think is correct. It’s, “Mr. Customer, I work with cities looking to attract more industry and increase their tax base. Is this one of your objectives?” You expect him to say yes. You have a reason to continue once he agrees with your idea.
It’s so important to learn from your customer what specifically interests him. What you think might not be correct. Always confirm what you think.
During your sales conversation you would ask questions to uncover two additional areas of concern. It makes it much easier to buy when a customer realizes he’s got more than one concern you can address with your products or services.
Can you prove it?
Talk is especially cheap in sales. After all, who says their products aren’t good? You would certainly not make any sales if you spoke about your products as clearly mediocre. Be prepared to show other success stories that match what you claim to bring a customer. These results are the essential proof that make you more persuasive and make a customer more likely to buy.
It’s ideal to have results that come from similar industries, job titles and stages of growth of a company. Lacking that, do the best you can to show why the results you can demonstrate could be achieved by your customer.
Try implementing these strategies if you’re telling your manager how hard you’re working, but you’re losing sales. I’ve always said, it’s not how hard you work that counts, but how smart you work. Start selling smarter.