Beyond a superficial reading of immediate customer needs, the very best salespeople gain a deeper understanding of both the buyer's long-term goals and the overall business climate.
They understand that:
• At the heart of customer focus is the art of listening constructively. The best salespeople are masters at capturing information.
• Customer focus means taking the customer seriously. Today, the salesperson who clings to the product orientation of a decade ago is losing ground.
• As client companies branch into new markets and unfamiliar territories, they are demanding unique, flexible solutions from their vendors that are customized to support specific goals.
• Another myth that can be exploded is that, while customers value flexibility, being too flexible can undermine the sales relationship. On the whole, salespeople imagine that customers value a vendor's responsiveness above all. However, recent research shows that their primary concern is reliability.
In order to maintain customer focus, the best salespeople become facilitators, creating a partnership that extends the selling relationship within the customer's company. The motivation to achieve this should be strong - it costs five times as much to attract and sell to a new customer as it does to an existing one!
Doing Business Is a Right To Be Earned
The right to do business has to be earned and never assumed.
Rather than doggedly asking for business, the very best salespeople work to keep the relationship moving toward a sale. They realize the need to identify how to turn their company's products into real solutions, which must meet specific needs.
Unfortunately, our surveys confirm that the average salesperson drags the customer over old ground as much as 52 percent of the time. They are unable to provide continuous stimulation and never know when to treat an existing customer like a new one.
Conversely, exceptional salespeople make such "return" calls only 10 percent of the time.
Above all, earning the right to proceed requires gaining the customer's trust, and top salespeople work diligently to establish a climate in which the customer is willing to share information and feels comfortable doing so.
The key here is integrity.
Today's News: Over at Top Sales Experts tomorrow, we are presenting this month's TSE Roundtable:
The Power Of Sales Process
Presented by: Danita Bye, Jonathan London, Steve Martinez, Craig Klein and Jonathan Farrington
Tuesday June 23rd 2009 1:00PM EASTERN(6pm GMT)
If you would like to join us, you can register with my compliments here
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