By Doug Rooker, Vice President of Sales

This month’s Sales Tip learn what those five words are…and how words guide your approach to sales.

In Jeff Harden’s March 12th, Inc. article, he encourages salespeople to use their words to help build relationships with customers, and he reminds us to choose them carefully.  It’s simple.  Words build relationships; and people buy from people.

Words can also guide your approach to sales, because attitudes are often based on words.  Sometimes just changing one word can change the entire approach for the better.

1. Focus on benefits vs. specifications.  Customers only care about specifications and features in relation to how those qualities meet their needs. Start with the benefits, help the customer feel their needs will be met… and then dip into specs if it seems appropriate and they seem interested.

2. Focus on value, not price.  Shift the focus onto how the customer can get more, not how they can pay less. Cutting prices can result in higher sales, but if you don’t provide a context for a price reduction customers immediately adapt to lower prices and resist a return to pre-sale price levels.

3. Focus on show, not learn. Learn implies the customer has to do some homework. Who likes homework? Show means you’ll help. Customers are much more inclined to buy from people who help them.

4. Focus on emotions, not reasons. Haden notes that we like to think we’re rational and logical when it comes to making purchase decisions, but if that were the case Gucci, Coach, and Porsche would be out of business.
Emotions play a major role in most purchase decisions. Never lose sight of how potential customers want to feel: Safer, healthier, smarter, more productive….  In some cases your customers may just want to feel good about doing business with you.

5. Focus on you, not I. This really hit home.  We need revenue. We need to make a sale. Maybe we even desperately need to make a sale.  Here’s the real story: The customer doesn’t care; nor should he or she. Declining revenues, high targets, or increasing internal demands are NOT the customer’s problem, but it’s easy for those factors to creep into how many of us approach a sale.

In his article in Inc., Haden points out that desperation is the mother of pushiness, and the average customer hates a pushy salesperson.   He’s right.  Channel your energy and make the sales process a conversation focused on the customer’s needs, motivations, problems, and emotions.

While we may desperately need to make a sale, only the customer can choose to buy—so always make the process all about the customer.  When you think about, it’s common sense.

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