Customer Centric Selling – been around for ages, but more and more sales people often need reminding.
Here’s a quick reminder.
Customer Centric Selling – What is it?
Put simply, you put the buyer at the heart of your sales pitch and sales process.
Your agenda, your need to sell, your ego and your portfolio/brag sheet left left at the door.
With your pre-packaged solutions and one size fits all sales broadcast.
You enter the meeting with two ears, one mouth, an over whelming sense of curiosity and bundles of carefully researched relevant questions.
Did I mention two ears?
Leaving your sales pitch at the door is critical, you’re their to understand, process, challenge, educate…but more than anything else…you’re there to help.
So Why is Customer Centric Selling Different?
It shouldn’t be.
But, it is.
Cast your mind back to the last time you listened in on your sales team, or maybe if you’re a sales person, think about the last few sales calls you made, and ask yourself these questions:
How much did you speak versus the prospect?
Clue: you’d ideally be speaking less than 20% of the time. Most of the sales calls are 60/40 where the sales person talks the most…so how customer centric is this call?
How many open questions did you ask?
Clue: I’d expect a minimum of 10:1. Absolute minimum. Many sales calls have a 3:1.
Why? Because many sales people are walking the buyer down exactly the same sales pathway they walk all of their sales prospects down….so how customer centric is this call?
Final thing to think about…
How much do you understand about the buyers buying process?
Many sales people won’t even go this far. A good day is when the sales person thinks to BANT the buyer…because they think that’s all they need to do to ensure the deal will close (eventually!!)
So how customer centric is this call?
I could go on but I won’t.
Instead let me share with you the consequences of not applying Customer Centric Selling.
Customer Centric Selling – The Cost of Getting It Wrong
The sales process and the customer’s buying process don’t align. There’s no common ground, or understanding, which often means poor forecasting and sales planning.
Customer needs remain unmet; and the customer doesn’t feel understood, so trust is slow to grow.
There is mismatching of expectations. This needlessly extends the sales process, meaning sales acquisition costs are higher and there is more chance for a competitor to slip in at the end and steal the order.
Additional sales, cross sales, up sales or even extended contract opportunities are missed through doggedly sticking to a predefined sales structure and sales pitch. Inevitably this means lower average order values and, again. another opportunity for a competitor to sneak in.
The opportunity to create a raving fan is missed…that could cost your business hundreds, thousands, maybe millions depending on your market. That high ranking, influential, senior decision maker, well respected, trusted and rated as an influencer, well s/he could have been out there promoting your business for nothing….
I could go on but I won’t.
I’m sure you get the message
Customer Centric Selling – The Solution
If all you do is encourage your sales team to listen more than they talk, that would be a win, a big win.
Maybe the next stage is more about getting your sales team to think differently in the hope they will do differently.
Every single customer is unique. Every business challenge. Even the same presenting business problems can have a dozen causes and even more potential solutions.
Maybe your sales people need to think more about diagnosis before prescription, to avoid any malpractice.
If you’re struggling with sales performance, think your sales team could be sharper, more attentive, more attuned to the buyer’s needs, let’s have a chat, you can call 0779 002 1885 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
If you’d like to have a more detailed chat, why not check out our Free Sales Health Check.
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Remember – Customer Centric Selling is the fastest way to position the sales person and the buyer on the same side – question, listen, challenge to deepen understanding, repeat.