Likely, we have all experienced the type of sales people that were too eager to sell us something. They didn't bother to learn about our unique needs, failing to connect with our state of mind and making us feel uncomfortable. In fact, the two frequent mistakes leading to customer engagement failures are 1) sales focusing on making the sales rather than on the buyer's needs and 2) sales failing to use the right dialogue at the right time.
Tips on customer engagement
In this article, let's explore a few practical tips on how to properly engage with customers and to improve the chances of closing more deals.
1. Focus on your customer's problems
The sales commission model is a sales-centric mindset that incentivizes sales to close a deal quickly and move on to the next one. This sales mindset makes sales behave within a set of preconceived assumptions that best maximize their own benefits. The problems with this mindset are that often times these assumptions are wrong and customers often times accurately sense the interaction lacks genuineness.
A better approach is the customer-centric mindset where the salesperson lets go of the idea of outsmarting their customers and try to truly understand how to solve their customer's problems. This approach allows the sales to act consistently and genuinely, which is what it normally takes to close deals.
2. Offer something valuable
Along the line of customer-centric mindset is putting your customers ahead of yourself. If you strive to offer values first to your prospects or customers, they often will reciprocate with more patience and openness to hear what you have to say. In a world where every business is fighting for consumer attention, this approach can make a significant difference in your performance.
3. Focus on what you truly believe
No one likes to be sold to and therefore people often avoid sales. Often, our first reaction to receiving a sales cold call is to figure out how to hang up the phone as soon as possible. When working with customers who often have no interest in engaging, it's critically important to find a common ground in the first few seconds of customer engagement. Engage your customers with a well-defined problem statement that both you and the customer can agree upon. State what you truly believe so you can state it with confidence and defend it when necessary. Get your prospects or customers to mentally agree with you in the first few seconds so that you can have the opportunity to understand how to serve your customers and solve their problems.
4. Leverage the collective success
Oftentimes, new sales reps may not have the confidence to engage customers due to the lack of experience. In this case, you need to help the new sales reps build confidence by leveraging the collective success within the company. Rather than having the new sales rep claim what they have accomplished within the limited time in their roles, have them ready to share with prospects what the company has accomplished collectively. Make sure they know your customer testimonials and how your product or solutions have helped your other customers. Prepare your new sales reps so that they can behave confidently and believe in themselves.
Customers do not care about making the sales quota. Rather, they only care whether you can help them solve their problems. Therefore, it's important for sales to have a customer centric mindset and have the confidence to make their customers feel comfortable with the customer relationship.