Are you a Pain-Removal Machine for your customers…?

 

This won’t take you long to read, and it should only take you a short while to put into practice, but I’m positive you’ll find it a quick and easy tool in getting your customers to want to buy from you.

I was reminded of it the other morning as I was driving to a meeting. I was listening to my usual commercial radio station and – unlike many radio-listeners, who are probably tempted to change the frequency when the commercial-breaks kick in – my ears prick up when I hear the adverts. The reason being I’m always interested in hearing how advertisers are trying to sell their products – and how not to sell their products!

For instance, every morning I hear about how I can get my car air-conditioning recharged for only £29.99, and every morning that advert fails to get me even in the slightest bit interested in their offer. Why? Because I have no idea why I need to get my AC recharged, or why my world is going to be a better place because of it. But then I heard another car air-con advert and my ears really did prick up!

This is what I heard – “Are you struggling to de-mist your windscreen on these winter’s mornings? If so, clear your windscreen quickly by getting your air-con recharged.”

Genius! Let me explain why it was such a hit with me by deconstructing it into its small component parts – in fact, 3 simple steps…

Step 1 – The Pain Question (“Are you struggling to de-mist your windscreens on these winter’s mornings?” – it’s a straight-to-the-point question that quickly establishes if your customer has the pain you can help with or not. When I say pain I mean the basic reason why they would want to buy from you)

 So, if the answer is no, then the chances are they will probably never buy from you. But if the answer to that question is YES, then without doubt they will be interested in hearing Step 2 – The Solution!

Step 2 – The Solution (“clear your windscreen quickly” – this is your doctor’s prescription; this is the solution to take away the pain your customers are experiencing)

The last step is where you come in with your service…

Step 3 – The Method (“get your air-con recharged” – this is what your customer has to do in order to get the solution to their pain – and this is what you provide!

Let’s put the simple equation together…

The Pain Question + The Solution + The Method = The Sale

If you find yourself making your sales pitch sound too complicated, then try the 3 Steps to Simple Sales Success – in the eyes of your customers you will be a Pain-Removal Machine!

 

It’s not BIG to treat your customers like they’re small!

Another brief departure from the sales tips to let you know about a conversation I had with a friend of mine this week.

For weeks now he’s been telling me about a new wall he’s having built in his garden, and every time I see him I ask if he’s managed to get the thing built yet. And every time he tells me about how the builder can’t make it yet because he’s too busy…etc…etc…

“Is he the best builder in town?” I asked. “Because he must be with the amount of work he has to finish before he gets to you.”

If the waiting and broken promises alone wasn’t bad enough, there was one thing that our busy builder said to my friend that sent a shiver down me. He said: “I’ve got a lot of bigger jobs to get finished before I can do yours.”

WHAT??!! Just how much is wrong with that sentence for anybody to say to a customer?

For a start if Mr Builder is too BIG to do my little friend’s wall then don’t accept the work in the first place, because somewhere along the way he’s somehow (very cleverly) managed to engineer the balance of power in the customer/supplier relationship so that my friend now believes that the builder is doing him a FAVOUR by building his wall, because he is so busy!! (Is this something all builders learn in Building College? The art of making someone who is paying for services rendered feel like they have to be eternally grateful for them getting their trowel dirty!)

Seriously, telling a customer that you are too busy dealing with bigger customers to be able to deal with them within the time frame you originally told them is a cardinal sales and service sin of the highest order.

There are so many better ways to handle this situation –

  • Manage the customers expectations of when you’ll genuinely be able to fulfil your promises
  • If you are struggling to meet a deadline keep the customer in the loop
  • Don’t accept the work at all if you think you might not be able to deliver on time

I never thought I would have to write something like this because I thought it was such an obvious no-no I would never have to, but…hey, go figure!

PS – No builders were harmed in the writing of this blog!

PPS – Here’s another thing I probably don’t have to write, but not all builders are like this – I know some who give a great service and are a credit to their trade.

A to Z of Simple Sales Tips: M – Make it easier for your customers to buy from you

 

When I worked as a sales manager in the financial services, part of my role would be to accompany financial advisers on their client visits.

I would be there make observations around how they conducted the interview and give feedback in order for the adviser to improve their skills.

One piece of feedback I often gave was when the client would say “I’ll think about it” at the close of the sale.

In sales-speak, when your customer says “I’ll think about it” it actually means they won’t think about it for a second longer – in fact it means they’re not going to buy from you at that point because you’ve done something wrong!

This may seem harsh, but I know it’s true from my own and other’s bitter experiences. There are many thinks you could have done wrong, or more accurately, not done well enough, but a common own-goal is not making it easy enough for your customer to buy from you.

Customers don’t want to make hard decisions when it comes to buying – I know this for fact, because I know I don’t and I’m someone’s customer.

So make sure your sales pitch –

  • Focuses on the results they’ll get > so they clearly know how their world will be improved after working with you
  • Is presented in simple language > if a 13 year old boy can’t grasp the basic premise of your pitch then you’re running the risk of it being too complicated!
  • Doesn’t include too many options > this can muddy the situation to a point where the customer is too confused by too many options to buy, so buys nothing!
  • Includes a pain-free easy purchase > many customers like to try before they buy so let them
  • Gives an example of others who have benefitted from your service > few of us are trail-blazers, which means most of us like to follow a well-trodden path (for instance, if you know someone who attends a Zumba class, I’ll bet you they started going because someone they knew was already going!)

If you do nothing else but include the above points in your next sales pitch, I guarantee you’ll be making it easier for your customers to buy from you.

You’ll soon start reducing the “I’ll think about its!”

Next time, look out for N in the A to Z of Simple Sales Tips!

 

A to Z of Simple Sales Tips: L – Living your business…

Many businesses live and die on the strength of many things – but the one simple source of vital fuel that every successful business requires in order to sky-rocket is authenticity.

What do I mean by Authentic? Consider a genuine pair of Levi 501s, as opposed to a pair of replica jeans from Turkey.

At first you might not be able to see the difference. But after a while, especially if you put the replicas under strain, they’ll start to come apart at the seams. Yet the authentic ones stay strong despite what you put them through. And that is because they are AUTHENTIC.

Now think about your business – are you at the front-line of your business? If you are, then you are what your customers see about your business. And not just see – also what they feel and believe in your business.

We all talk about the need to live your business, but how many of us actually do?

When I was a kid, my parents used to preach to me: “Do as I say, not what I do!”

This was after I would question what they were telling me to do when I saw little evidence of them actually doing it themselves – don’t worry, parents the world over do this.

But the reason why I questioned and doubted what they were saying to me at times was because I didn’t see them