Delivering What Your Client Wants Will Increase Your Bottom Line
Stop trying to sell them what you have and start understanding what they need!
I was listening to an interesting Podcast the other day where one of the founding fathers of Nordstrom’s Departments stores was speaking with the host about the creation and legacy of the Nordstrom brand.
What was most poignant about the interview were a couple of Mr. Nordstrom’s fundamental tenants.
The first one was that since the inception of the business from the days of it’s founding as a small shoe store, the focus has been on client satisfaction.
What does the client need, not what do we want to sell them.
Wow, that IS a novel concept!
That someone would run a retail business, but focus on the service to the client as the center point of success, not selling them stuff?!
You see, when we treat each person who enters our business as the individual they are, and we do our best to understand what they need, then they feel connected to our business.
When they feel connected, they will eventually be empowered to spend their hard earned dollars on our business.
If we shift the mindset from what we have to sell or provide, to what is the clients problem and how can we solve it, then things get interesting.
This is true in retail, but even truer in the pure service industry.
But there are some service industry areas where the client is at the mercy of the service provider.
I have something you need and you’re going to pay me for it, big time!
Or you’re going to wait until I am ready to give it to you!
The reality is that no matter what industry you are in, the customer, the client, they must be your focus, and their satisfaction must be the intention of your interaction.
If it is, you will be in business for a very long time, you will be supported by a community of people who know you, trust you, and like you, and want to spend their money on what you have to offer.
But a lot of business people make the mistake of starting a business because they want to sell something to a customer, and make money. That is their focus.
And they believe they have something interesting to sell to people because they themselves are interested in that something.
Perhaps the conversation should be reversed, what do people need, and what do I have that can serve that need?
The next question to ask is, “Will I enjoy providing that service, creating that item, or selling it?”
Whatever IT is, the key is that it will serve someone and that you are excited to provide that service.
Next question to ask is “If I don’t have what they need, how can I help them?”
This is where people often make the mistaken judgment that if they send the customer elsewhere, they lose the sale and so they must do everything in their power to keep the sale.
Ultimately, more often than not the customer who’s needs are met will come looking for your council again the next time, because they trust you! They believe you will give them the honest answer, and the next time, you might just be selling what they need.
Or maybe they have a question you can’t answer immediately? What’s the best response?
“I don’t know, but I will find out, and I will let you know as soon as possible.”
Get the answer and give them the answer.
Money in the bank!
You can choose to be in a purely commodity based approach to selling, and if you are, just get ready to cut prices, run hard, bargain constantly, and generally get beaten down on a daily basis.
Selling is a tough life, especially when what you are selling is the focus. Then, all you have is what you have in your hand, and if it’s not what the customer is looking for, you are SOL.
But even if what you are selling is limited, if you’ve focused on serving the client over selling the client, you are going to find that over time, people will send you the clients you need because you’ve created trust.
Trust is like gold in the world of service.
Stop trying to sell people what you have and start understanding what they need.
Delivering what they want WILL increase your bottom line.