A wise woman (Jill Konrath) once said, “Nobody cares about your product, service or solution. All they care about is the difference you can make for their organization.” Now that is what I’m talking about! Yet, I am baffled why so many sales reps and sales managers still sell the hard way. Often, it’s because sales managers send mixed messages about quotas. The truth is, when you align your products and services to attain the customers’ goals, the better chance you have of reaching quota.
The key is to make your customer the center of your sales process and show that you are interested in them. Dale Carnegie once said, “You can close more business in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get people interested in you.” Turning around your focus toward the customer will strengthen the relationship by establishing a solid foundation of trust and credibility. The more you know about your customer and can talk to them in their language, the greater the benefits for you, your company and your customer.
Putting your customer at the center of your sales process is beneficial in four key ways:
- You can align your products and services to their business goals and MBOs ensuring what you sell is a priority to your customer
- You can be viewed as a trusted advisor and have people come to you for expertise, since many times you know more about different lines of business than customers do internally
- You can increase your credibility by showing your customer that you care about helping them achieve their goals
- You can provoke and challenge early to begin to align yourself with the customer’s goals and strategies
The greater the trust they have in you, the more information they will share. This knowledge will help you identify the customer’s priorities and future opportunities to continuously help them, because you’re always ensuring your products and services are aligned with their desired goals.
In today’s selling environment, the key is this: Placing your customer at the center of your sales process is a win-win. If you truly understand what they are trying to accomplish, appreciate their time lines, reduce or eliminate risk of implementation, and help them to win both personally and professionally, you’ll not only help the client succeed, you’ll reach or exceed your quota at the same time. Then, everybody wins.