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Common Questions and Answers
Today’s customer has many options available to them. Rarely are we in a position to sell to a customer something that is so unique and compelling that they have no other choice but to buy from us. To help create a competitive edge in the marketplace, we must find ways to distinguish our selling process from our competition’s.
One of the most effective ways to do this is to use each call to “learn” something about the customer and to “teach” them something about the business. When we take the time to both “learn” and “teach” the customer something, then we have earned the right to “sell” them. This is a consultative selling approach.
“Learning” something about the customer is absolutely essential if we are going to be in a position to help identify their true needs. Therefore, the questions you ask must allow you to gain information that can be used either in the current call or at a later time with the customer. An example might be finding out from a customer what their financial limits are.
“Teaching” is the way we can help the customer become more qualified in their position and, in turn, make better decisions. Teaching them something should not be centered on the products or services we offer, but on the industry and business practices. The key is to provide them with practical information. By doing so, you will demonstrate that you are interested in helping them be more successful, rather than just selling them something.
The final step is to “sell” the customer. Naturally, we want to sell our products on every call. However, reality reminds us that many times there are objections and other issues that must be overcome before the customer will buy from us. Still, it is essential for us to “sell” on every sales call, whether it is simply selling our integrity, our listening skills, or our personal style.
In the end, we have been successful if we have earned the right, privilege, honor, and respect to call on the customer again. This is best achieved when we’ve taken the time to first learn from them, and, second, teach them information of benefit.
About the author
Mark Hunter, The Sales Hunter, is a consultative selling expert committed to helping individuals and companies identify better prospects, close more sales, and profitably build more long-term customer relationships. He is also author of “High-Profit Selling: Win the Sale Without Compromising on Price.”