O’Reilly Auto Parts handed me a computer last week, for free, to let me analyze my truck’s “Check Engine” light. Not long before, I had taken my car into the service department and was promptly charged $120 to check the engine. They actually couldn’t figure out what was wrong. When the truck light came on, I thought, “Oh no, not another $120.”
I happened to mention it to a friend who told me he purchased a handheld computer testing device from one of the auto parts stores, for about $120.. I then mentioned it to my Dad who said that all the parts stores will either come out and check your car for you (in front of the store, of course), for free, or they’ll just loan it to you for the few minutes it takes you to do it yourself. What a great service. It builds a perfect place for problem solving and conversation beyond “Can I help you find something?” between a customer and your sales team.
- What can you do today to create that conversation platform?
- What are you doing to engage with your customer about the problems they have?
We hear a lot of talk about walking in your customer’s shoes, but do you really stop and look at the problems and questions that a buyer has? In this economy and probably for a long time to come, the buyer has the control and the winners will be those companies that engage with painkillers and not vitamins. Customers want you to solve a problem and when they come into your online store or your bricks and mortar store, they are seeking an answer to the pain they have. Auto parts stores have quietly solved a pain point with a simple device and process. If you can plug in a computer printer, you can plug in one of these devices under your car’s dashboard and out pops an answer on the screen.
Think about how to let your customer plug into your expertise in an easy and accessible way.
TJ McCue is founder of Sales Rescue Team and looks for ways to uncover buyer needs and motivation to build sales relationships.