by | Oct 18, 2013

Working backwards

In one of my recent articles I talked about building your successful business as if it were a “paint by numbers” exercise.

One of the important points raised was the ability to close the sale. All business people understand the importance of making sales and the impact that has on their cash and profits. Yet so often they have a hopeful, almost wishful approach to this key part of their business.

As New Zealanders we don’t like being too overt. That often reflects on our approach to winning customers as well. Being pushy simply isn’t in our nature as the seller (or the buyer for that matter). But let me tackle this problem a different way.

Most Kiwi business owners offer their products and services out to potential customers like they are fishing. They choose what they consider to be good bait and dangle their line out hoping to get a bite. It’s a case of “here’s my product come and get it”. “I’ve told you about it and maybe you will swim past and it will look attractive enough for you to eat”.

But as we all know with communication, what we often think has been said is not what was heard. Marketing products and services is the same. We can spend oodles of money on marketing our product, using the coolest creative advertising and yet it fails to register a response in the target customers mind. Why? Because we haven’t communicated with them! We haven’t made the link.

Here’s what we do at RightWay and what we encourage our business customers to do to win their customers. First, figure out who you want to have as customers. Maybe not every sale is a good one. Spend some time working out who the ideal customer is and then get in front of them. Work out where they swim and make sure you’re in the same water. Then ask the target customer this question. “I would really love to have you as a customer. What ‘s it going to take?” A simple yet powerful question!

The reason it’s powerful is that you can now get the information you need to help do what it takes to win that customer. Do they have a concern around price? If so, then now you know. You can choose whether you wish to negotiate. If it’s not price, then what is it? Great products and services are rarely sold and a customer rarely won on price.

For example does the customer (when you get to the nub of the issue) really want a key aspect of the product or service? Do they need to try something out? Can you give a money back guarantee? Is it an emotional purchase? Are you helping them fix or remove a problem?

To sell you must truly satisfy your customers desire for a solution. You’ll never really know what that is unless you ask them.

So there it is. It’s that simple. Work backwards by first asking your customer what it will take to win their business. Keep stepping back from there to make it happen.

Fight the good fight this week.

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