There is a right way and a wrong way to sell anything. Here's how not to do it.
A couple of months ago, I walked into a local electronics store looking to buy a new laptop. Within minutes of my arrival, a young salesman sidled up to me. He lost the sale within 30 seconds.
What did he do that was so wrong? Well...
...he treated me like an idiot.
OK, I am an idiot. But I'm an idiot who knows just a little bit about computers.
Unfortunately, Mr Super Sales Guy assumed I knew nothing about computers.
As soon as he opened his mouth, I could tell he was using a sales script. Probably the same script he'd used out on every person that morning, week, month and since he started his job.
What he didn't do was try to understand me. He didn't ask me any questions. He didn't find out what I needed. And he didn't want to know what I already knew. Instead, he launched straight into a pitch about how great this or that laptop was. Within minutes I realised he was only interested in my cash.
The sad thing is is that I was ready to buy. But I left the store empty-handed and he didn't hit his sales targets. Lose-lose as they say.
So, what should he have done?
Ask Lots of Questions
Well he should have started with me and not him. He should have asked me lots of questions. He should have asked why I needed a new laptop and what I was planning to do with it. At the very minimum, he should have treated me as a human being and not as a walking wallet.
Of course you know what a silly salesman he was. You also know that you would have done it differently. Don't you?
Not so fast smarty pants. Let's take a look at your website shall we? Or check out one of your social media feeds. And just past me that sales brochure of yours will ya?
I thought so! You're just the same as Mr Smarm the Super Sales Guru I met.
Okay - maybe I'm being a bit harsh on you.
How Customer Focused Are You?
It's just that the majority of clients I work with their websites are SO self-centered. Their social media feeds are really press releases cut up into 280 Twitter characters. Their LinkedIn posts are similarly self-obsessed and less useful to the average reader than a chocolate teapot. And just don't ask me about their email newsletters! They're often so dull that they make watching paint dry the preferable choice.
The lesson then, for all of us in the sales and marketing game, is that care more about your customer than you care about yourself. Your customer does NOT care about you. Sorry to break to you but they don't. Guess what? Your customer cares only about THEIR problems, THEIR concerns and THEIR issues.
You've probably heard that a thousand times. But it's true. It's really true. All you have to do is to act as though it's true.
Take a cold hard look at your marketing output. Count the number of times you use the words, 'We', 'Us', 'Our' and compare it to the number of times you talk to your customer using words such as 'You' or 'Yours' or 'Which means for you'.
How To Win The Sale
Think about your customer. Understand your customer. Get to know your customer. Show them that you care and want to help and don't treat them like idiots. Even if they are sometimes.
You might, just might, win the sale.