Think about how you buy the next time you sell. I recently became a buyer to make two major home renovation projects. You want to make the best buying decision when you’re spending tens of thousands of dollars. Here’s where a few salespeople went wrong with their sales strategy.
Too much personal information.
I’m looking for a contractor, not a new best friend. I don’t want to hear too much personal information. I certainly don’t need to know it to make a buying decision. I can understand a contractor asking for a telephone number and clarifying whether it’s a mobile or land line. I don’t want to hear a joke his sister told him about rednecks having only cell phones.
You may think that sharing personal information helps you establish a relationship with your prospect. It doesn’t. Personal stories can strengthen relationships when they are told at an appropriate time. When you share too much personal information too quickly and too early in the sales process, it breaks all sociocultural norms of behavior. You appear awkward and needy. That is not what you need to establish your credibility.
What does the customer expect?
I’ve had to deal with unreliable contactors in every previous major home project that was unsatisfactory. Their unreliability ranged from saying when they would arrive in the morning and being hours off to saying they would fix inferior work and then not doing it. I want to be sure that the contractor I hire this time is reliable.
Two contractors told me they would get me a bid to my in a few days. The first thing they did wrong was using the word “few.”
How many days are few to you? For some people a few days are 2 days. For other people a few days might be 5 days. I thought a few days would be two days. Using words that aren’t quantified make what you say open to interpretation. Your prospect might build up expectations you can’t meet if you use them.
What happened to me? I didn’t have a bid after two days. I was disappointed and it made me think the contractors were unreliable.
What do your prospects expect from you? I’ll bet it ranges from competence, proof of performance and reliability. Everything you say and do counts to contribute to their judgment of your ability to meet their expectations. Make sure what you say matches what your customers expect because you have promises to keep.
Show me what I don’t know.
One of the contractors listened to me and what I asked him for without asking me a question. He came back with a bid that was exactly what I asked for. What’s wrong with that? He never learned why I wanted the things I wanted.
Another contractor asked me questions about why I was requesting certain components. Then he made suggestions that would give a different, but better result for me.
Your job is to help your customers make the best buying decisions for them. They often don’t know what they don’t know. Your job is to help them buy.
Think about how you buy. Your buying experiences just might make you a better salesperson.
Best wishes for your sales success!