Great Sales Techniques Focus on Customer Satisfaction
The way you build long-term customer relationships eventually will command real loyalty - even when your competitors try to sweeten the deal. Given this, it’s a good idea to employ sales techniques designed to put your customers first.
Listed here are the five fundamentals of direct selling - with particular emphasis on customer needs:
- Attention: Use online or print advertising to generate customer interest in your products and services.
- Interest: Develop interest via emotional appeal, a highly effective sales tool. For instance, a furniture retailer will sell a sofa more quickly if the focus is on the feelings of comfort, home and family it generates - as opposed to its actual properties.
- Desire: Stoke your customer’s need for that special sofa. This is a good time to address its features, such as stain resistance and reversible pillows.
- Conviction: Use national sales statistics to showcase the sofa’s popularity. A quick reference to customer testimonials can be effective as well, because these demonstrate non-biased feedback.
- Action: A call to action is the most direct way to close the deal. If customers have additional questions or reservations, address them.
Research has shown that virtually all closed sales transactions go through the stages discussed here. More importantly, most experts agree the key to success lies in the salesperson’s approach in conjunction with these steps.
Build Better Relationships
A number of factors go into a successful sales record, among them consistency and trustworthiness. Above all, remember that satisfied long-term customers - besides boosting your bottom line - will spread the good word about your business.
Also critical: Don’t be all over the map in your sales approach. Go with proven techniques, most of which ride on the following practices:
- Qualifying happens even before you meet your customers. To target the right demographic, put together a “perfect customer” profile, and find ways to identify that group. This step assures that once these individuals come into your venue, you’ll more easily satisfy them.
- Bundling works in tandem with relationship selling, described in detail below. Selling products in groups - for instance, body lotion and bath soap - with a discount attached, puts your customer’s needs first, a terrific way to bolster your relationship.
- Up selling can be a good way to entice customers to buy more expensive items than the ones they are shopping for. Use this technique carefully, though. Pushing too hard can lose sales - and potential loyal customers in the bargain.
- Cross selling is a technique in which the vendor suggests complementary products the customer in addition to the primary purchase. For instance, when a shopper is looking for a bathroom towel set, you might cross sell a matching soap dispenser and bathmat. This strategy is particularly successful when items are on sale.
Finally, relationship selling is the gold standard to work toward. Here, positive buyer-seller communications drive sales, as opposed to product attributes or price ticket. This typically is an outgrowth of healthy long-term vendor/customer relationships.