The key to sales success – understanding your customers

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Every business has a customer it would like to win, grow or retain. In any of these cases it takes considered action and preparation to achieve the objectives. Whether you are endeavouring to win business from an owner manager or a global corporation, one-dimensional salesmanship is unlikely to be sufficient.

Instead, having a deep understanding of your customer, through assessment of their business and a candid review of what you are offering, is more likely to help you win the business you are seeking.

Think about it…

When you are in the market to buy a car or a house, the words and presentation of the car salesman and estate agents are not going to be the only reason you decide to go ahead with the purchase. It will be based upon numerous factors including price, location, condition, colour etc. All of which you will have thought about before the salesman or estate agent had even begun to talk to you.

Equally, your decision of whether to buy or not would probably involve at least one other person. Your spouse, partner, parent or friend who would all have an opinion of what you should do.

The principle is no different in a business environment. The more you understand about your customer and the individuals involved in making the decision, will allow you to prepare accordingly and ensure that your offer is as closely aligned to the customers goals as far as possible.

Taking time to understand your customer may seem burdensome when the temptation to make more calls and create more appointments is ever-present. In most cases you are probably doing it anyway but perhaps not so advanced in formalising it.

So, five key topics for you to consider:

  • Why do they want to do business with you?
  • Why is your offer attractive to them?
  • What do they expect from suppliers in your product or service category?
  • Who is involved in the decision-making hierarchy?
  • Can you connect your offer to your delivery capabilities?

It’s very probable you are already doing some of these well. Spend time refining areas where your understanding is less advanced. By doing this, you will increase your comprehension and ultimately be much better positioned to engage your customer.

By embedding these concepts into your organisation, it will become an integrated part of your thinking rather than a cumbersome task. When aligned with high levels of targeted activity – you can achieve positive results.

If nothing else, see what happens the next time you are buying a car!

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About the Author

Neil Barron
Neil Barron is the Founder and Owner of BMC. With over 20 years of experience, he has an impressive track record of supporting business leaders, managing change and accelerating growth.

Neil established BMC in 2004 to support businesses at key stages of their development, particularly turnaround, growth and exit. BMC helps businesses achieve their goals through a range of specialist Leadership services.

Neil works closely with the BMC team to transform businesses and drive value for stakeholders. He also acts as an advisor, investor and non-executive chairman.

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