We’re currently looking to get our kitchen renovated at home and we’ve been doing the usual thing of calling into showrooms and having tradespeople around to give us quotes etc. In one particular showroom the sales assistant showed us all of their products, the styles, colours and explained all the features without asking us a single question! No focus on the customer at all!
Our reaction? My eyes glazed over and I started thinking about writing this blog. My partner was polite but I could tell she couldn’t wait to get out of the place.
Why do so many salespeople follow this process of hard selling, 80%+ if we believe customer research? We’d put it down to one of the following:
• Salespeople don’t know how to sell properly and they’ve probably learned how to sell by observing other salespeople that didn’t sell properly either.
• When salespeople get a sniff of a sale they try to show their expertise by going into long-winded product presentations that are more likely to turn the client off than convince them to buy.
• They think that by showing off their product knowledge they will convince the customer to buy, but in fact it has the opposite effect.
• The final reason we believe is down to the sales managers pressuring their salespeople to ‘go for the sale’ and ‘win more business’. We think the salesperson feels under more pressure to make a sale and are therefore more likely to take a hard sell approach.
Effective selling involves a complete focus on the customer at all times. No matter how hurtful it sounds, your customers don’t care about you or your products. They only care about what you can do for them.
take the time to understand their needs by asking intelligent, well thought out questions. Then listen intently to what they say, process this information and ask further questions. The only stupid question is the one you don’t ask.
Only when you’ve done this can you determine an effective solution for your customer. Remember, that most salespeople don’t do this so those that do have a huge advantage.
So, here’s a test – the next time you’re with a customer, listen to who’s doing the talking. If you’re talking 50% of the time, ask some questions, then shut up and listen.