The one term that sets top performers apart? – Customer focus!
Outstanding sales results depend on:
– The ability to think from the customer’s point of view
– Understanding the customer’s agenda, buying cycle and best interests
• Beyond a superficial reading of immediate customer needs, salespeople must gain a deeper understanding of both the buyer’s long-term goals and the overall business climate
• 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 – to-day 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 – customised to support specific goals
• Another myth which can be exploded is that whilst 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 summary, 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 now costs fifteen times as much to attract and sell to a new customer as it does to an existing one!