How to get people to buy what you’re selling
I find that pitching to a customer is akin to asking a girl out. You got sweaty palms, you’re trying to be on your best behavior and you fear being rejected.
For the most part, it’s not the rejection that stops you from doing the first move. It’s the blow to your dignity, confidence and the fear of picking up the pieces if it doesn’t work out. In order to minimize this barrage of negativity, it’s important to always keep your eye on the prize:
Learn how to show and sell your value.
When a girl is asked for a date, a million of questions go through her mind. What does he want from me? Is this person worth my time? Does he have an agenda behind his actions? Does my ass look fat in these jeans???
Potential customers think much the same way (without the last part). As if dating in itself wasn’t torturous enough. Now you have to convince strangers that you / your product is worth their time — and be good at it.
Here’s how to do it:
1. Show your value
We have to justify everything to everyone nowadays. That office expense to your bosses, that TV in your man-cave to your wife. That funny sweater to the in-laws and Facebook friends. At some point, someone is bound to ask, “why would you buy this?” — so by validating your customers’ choices, you are doing the grunt work for them.
You may think you’re having a great business relationship with your customers that’s indestructible. But if you don’t help your customer see the value within their company that your product brings, that accomplishment could be meaningless.
Gregory Koldirkaev, CEO and founder of Helprace, a helpdesk and customer service SaaS software.
Figure out what sets you apart, really.
Before setting out to sell something, think why your customers will want it.
Think of Starbucks and FedEx. Is there a reason for Starbucks to charge $2 for a $0.50 coffee or FedEx to charge a $20 premium on international shipping? Not necessarily. Yet — they’ve taken a commodity and added immense value to it.
In both of these cases, they’ve isolated key customer experience points and reinvented them. In the case of Starbucks, it’s free wi-fi and a comfortable working environment that draws non-coffee drinkers to its stores. FedEx has worldwide presence and an effortless, intuitive package tracking system.
Show me the money!
Empower your team to demonstrate how they can make a client’s business better off. Look past “star” ratings your customers give you – it doesn’t show the whole picture. It’s important to look at everything, from the way customers interact, its impact on sales and its impact on business growth as a whole. And then do some number-crunching. See something you’re proud of? Pass it on to your customers.
Add a drop of social lubrication.
People don’t do business with companies, they deal with other people. It’s common knowledge that spending time with your coworkers outside of work, in a bar, restaurant or in a wall-climbing tournament does a lot in the way of building a relationship.
Don’t be another salesman, manager or some other job title. Let loose. Take the tie off and get to know your customers as people — and present yourself the same way.
2. Sell your value
Supercharge your customer service.
In software development — when a product is released for the first time, it’s usually a time filled with stress, pain and sleepless nights. Some companies established a notion that this should be done a lot more often, so that employees are able to cope with it more effectively, making it easy and painless.
It’s the same with customer service.
It’s very important that everyone including your founders and product engineers are able to provide a certain level of customer support. It’s crucial that they are able to feel the pain point and share the confusion that customers may have with the product.
Sell an experience along with your product.
Outcomes are first, products are secondary. Customers want outcomes, and this is why articles with “How to” or “10 ways” to do something end up attracting a lot of readers.
The core of what every business is looking for is a loyal, satisfied customer base. Yet many forget about providing the experience.
- Keep track of who is using your product
- Ask what’s bothering them & make a list
- Fix it in your product
- Point it out in your sales material & literature
- Continue the dialogue with customers
Leaving customer service conversations unresolved puts your business on the path of unhappy customers. Even by “smooth sailing” your way into customer support, you risk giving your competition an upper hand when they start engaging customers way before you do.
The customer life cycle begins when your customer decides to make the effort to reach out to you. It ends? well it doesn’t really end — ever. Meaning that long after a customer service disaster strikes, you should be looking to rekindle whatever is left of that relationship.
Even if it doesn’t result in a fairy-tale ending, it’s just good karma — and maybe it will come back to you one day.