Aligning – Doing Business from the Customer’s Perspective
Customer-centric organizations and individuals have always been more successful in starting and growing a business. Almost every company has some reference to "our customers" in their mission or vision statement. But few actually follow through on those promises because they try to be interesting to the customers rather than INTERESTED IN their customers.
Here is a quick little guide to help you align with your potential customer's various points of view.
Apathy - Find out what is important to the customer and determine if you can connect there. If not, accept the indifference and move on.
Complaint - This is a cry for help. Explain how your product or service might help. Go slow because customers seldom believe that you can instantly solve the problem...even if you actually can.
Avoidance - The customer sees your idea as risky so your job is to minimize or eliminate the perceived risk. Offer a trial, smaller quantity, a test, a guarantee or any other risk reduction method available.
Hostility - For most people "NO" is the most intimidating customer response and it causes them to sell harder. Risk that urge! There is something wrong here so stop selling and find out what the barrier is. You have no hope of making a sale if you do not know what's wrong. Once you understand it you might be able to "fix" it. If not, move on.
Skepticism - The challenge is finding the right kind of proof for each customer. For some it may be a testimonial. For others research studies are required. Some will require a pilot project to prove feasibility.
Open - Relax, your customer is just open, not positive yet. Explain your product or service in a relaxed, easy manner. This is your opportunity to provide information to help the customer reach a decision.
Studious - For some "let me think about it" is another way of avoiding a decision. Most do really want to think, analyze and consider all the information. So offer to help them study it or give them time to study it by themselves with a date to reconvene.
Interested - The customer is asking questions so you give them answers. Keep it up until all the questions are answered.
Play - The customer is enthused and we want to close. Hold on! Enjoy the moment. Play back by considering all the positive possibilities.
Committed - Draw a conclusion, and close with a positive statement.
This short guide will help you align and be interested in your customers. They, in turn, will see your products and/or services as interesting and helpful in assisting them to get where they want to go.
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