Smart Questions Pinpoint What the Customer Wants
A strong sales approach depends on quality company-customer relationships. To this end, a salesperson should act as a problem solver rather than a high-pressure seller who bullies customers into buying. Business owners who stress this role to employees are one step ahead of their competition.
To increase revenues and business growth, as well as customer satisfaction, try this multilevel strategy:
- Build good interpersonal relationships by active listening. Simply allowing your customers to do the talking can forestall potential problems, provide solutions and strengthen bonds. Working at this brand of attentiveness results in long term loyalty. In turn, opportunities to up-sell and cross-sell will abound - all good for the bottom line.
- Ask open-ended questions. This form of inquiry encourages customers to communicate what they deem important. For example, “Did you like the gizmo you bought?” is alright. But “What did you think of the gizmo you bought?” allows customers to expand on their answers and reveal what they find important. In turn, you and your staff will better understand and connect with your customers.
- Seek feedback. Surveys, focus groups, problem resolution scenarios - even informal one-to-one customer exchanges - can provide valuable insight on how to improve business. By the same token, ask employees to share ideas on service and product improvements. By implementing their best suggestions, you validate your team, which invariably leads to better customer service.
- Assure diversity. Does your business have a healthy cross-cultural attitude? Train your staff to respect the cultural differences of both customers and fellow team members. Doing this will generate better customer relationships and boost sales in the process.
Nothing distinguishes a company like a top-notch, motivated sales force. Savvy entrepreneurs will empower employees to take “ownership.” In turn, a valued, effective sales team can ensure both higher profits and a growing base of loyal customers.