Thursday, 29 January 2015

Why should I do business with you?

Every salesperson should be able to answer this question on demand.

Consider for a moment how you would respond if a potential customer asked this question of you.

Most salespeople answer this question directly by giving the customer what they perceive to be strong reasons to do business with their company.  The mistake many people make is that they feel they need to provide an exhaustive list to convince the customer.

Take a look at the example below:

...Because we offer exceptional, award winning customer service with phone lines open from 7am to 7pm.  We have 20 years experience in this market and we also have a price match guarantee.  You will find our back up service second to none and we will provide you with a dedicated Account Manager...

This response sounds impressive in terms of quality (if true) but the salesperson has fallen into the trap of reeling off a list of reasons without knowing if any of these factors are important to the customer.

You could list 20 fantastic points or USP's about your business yet still fail to hit the right button from the customer's perspective.

To avoid the list trap there is a simple 4 step process to follow:

  1. Answer the question by telling the customer that there are a number of reasons why they should do business with your company.
  2. Select one (or maximum two) of the most impressive areas of your business and present these to your customer (tailor these to the customer where possible).
  3. Tell the customer you are interested in understanding what's vital from their perspective.
  4. Finally, ask the customer what are the most important factors that will influence their final decision.
    Customer - I have 3 companies on the shortlist, one of which is yours.  So tell me what's special about your company and why I should go with you.
    Salesperson - There are a number of reasons why you should use (our company) such as the fact that we manufacturer our entire range here in the UK and offer a 5 year guarantee on all products.  However I am more interested in finding out what the priorities are for you.  So what are the most important factors you will consider when making your final decision?
    The beauty of this type of response is that it directly answers the customer's question / challenge without boring them with a long list.
    It also throws the spotlight back on the customer and invites them to open up on their key areas of importance, thus demonstrating genuine interest in the customer.  The customer's response to this question is gold dust for the professional salesperson.  If you gain an understanding of what the customer wants and also what's important to them you are in a fantastic position to successfully present your proposition.