Many years ago, I was trained as a Counselor Salesperson (Wilson Learning). Old habits die hard I guess and to this day I assume the consultative approach to sales and marketing. The consultant method isn't the fastest, but I can guarantee you that it is the best way to develop long term business relationships aimed at generating a profitable outcome for both parties involved.
The "In your Face" salesperson wants you to buy right now. They tell you what they think you want to hear so they can make a quick sale, generate a profit and be on their way. Some people cave in under the pressure and buy from this type of sales person and later find that the product they purchased only partially fits the needs prompting the original purchase. A sale that only partially fits can be worse than one that doesn't fit at all. An item that obviously won't solve a specific problem is quickly discarded where one that partially fits the bill is often kept with the belief that the problem is solved. This only masks the problem and may leave the consumer exposed to whatever issue their purchase was supposed to solve.
A professional sales person asks questions and builds upon the answers to help the consumer arrive at the product or service that suits and satisfies their needs. Sounds simple, doesn't it? The consultant approach helps you build long lasting client relationships. Within five years of originally being trained as a Counselor Salesperson (Continuing education is crucial.), 70% of my business came from existing clients, after 10 years that figure grew to about 82%. These figures are astronomical when compared to common sales and marketing practices. Why is the customer retention, and repeat customer numbers so high? You already know the answer, don't you? In each and every case My Client's and I worked together to find the solution that satisfied the need they wanted to fill. Who do you want to do business with? The "In Your Face" salesperson or a trusted counselor that helps you find the product or service best suited to fulfilling your needs?
In today’s high tech market place it is even more important to develop long term customer relationships that are based on trust and a mutual understanding of the customers goals. Without making the effort to find out what a customer really needs (notice I didn't say wants) it is almost impossible to consistently provide true value to your clients.
This approach can be very effective in developing your marketing campaign. Once you determine who your target market is and what they have in common (besides needing your product and service) you can deliver advertisements and promotions that address those very needs. Your website can promote the benefits that your market will find appealing. You and your staff can focus on asking the important questions that lead to a lasting and productive relationship. The right question can not only make someone think but motivate them as well. What do you think?
The author has no association to Wilson Learning. They are mentioned here because I believe in giving credit where credit is due.
Well said, Good info. Communication should always be number one. Keeping the communication lines open with your customer can help you get some feedback’s, ideas and suggestions that can help you retain your customers.
Thanks for the nice comment Robin. I couldn't agree more. The feedback that open communication with clients often generates is a great way to find information you may not have gathered otherwise. PPP Design