Why better customer focus will make you better at sales.
Ever heard the fateful phrase offered when asked the question ‘who is your customer? Who is your buyer?’ that ‘everyone’ is your customer? I often recoil inside when people tell me proudly that everyone is there customer like this is the magical response that means they have nailed their sales and marketing. I will fire back across the bow the question of ‘well, if everyone is your customer, then what does everyone look like?’
Can you, do you, or have you drawn the picture of Mr. Everyone? What do they look like exactly? I bet you are thinking now of ways to answer that question, but really you are finding a mental picture of a hodge podge mess of people, cultures and attitudes all blended in to one, messy persona?
That’s because it just isn’t possible to have everyone as your perfect customer. Everyone doesn’t exist, and by trying to picture everyone in to a one size fits all approach and a one product for all approach you are in fact bypassing the needs or wants of your true perfect customer and most likely not talking to the perfect partner for your product or service. You are in fact screaming in to a metaphorical void in the hope that the one true customer for your product just happens to be listening.
So my first myth busting tip for your business planning is simple; Everyone is not your customer! Think about the last few things you bought or the previous few conversations you have and the ads you thought were funny or engaging. Chances are the very same product will have wound up in the hands of someone else not like you but who did find another ad campaign funny or witty, they had different conversations that led to the same outcome. People buy an overpriced coffee for example for a multitude of reasons; perception, taste, brand association, convenience, loyalty. If your favourite high street coffee chain just focussed on their product and not the varying sets of needs of the customer types, then it would really be a different story for that brand.
The second myth busting tip therefore is this. One product or service may be right for many, but the route to that product or service is different for each buyer type. What the heck do I mean by that?! Well, like in the coffee shop example above, I identified very quickly five different motives for buying the exact same product.
Mr X buys the coffee because he aligns himself with a certain brand to make him appear more elevated than others whereas Mrs Y grabs her coffee from the same chain as she is motivated more by the rare coffee bean and ethical conditions which the bean has been grown. Perception or ethics , it doesn’t matter – the solution is the same cup of coffee!
By adopting a customer first or customer focussed approach to sales you can quickly flip the conversation from selling a product (commodity and price focussed) to a conversation based on solving a problem (solution led).
But why should people listen to you of all people?!
So you have drilled in to your customer identity and now you know your solutions on offer you need to position yourself in the same space as those groups of people. Don’t be that guy or girl who walks in to the pub or café at the weekend screaming about what you are selling – nobody likes that! It is lazy and won’t work. Step out from the void and start to talk to the people you want to work with. Our myth busting tip #3 is this: Aim to become the expert solution for your chosen market – become the leading voice! Why should that buyer buy from you and not the person who calls them next or the person they chat with online or bump in to more frequently at networking events?
What makes you the go to reference in your industry??
So to summarise, there are three key tips here that formulate a starting point for you to better position yourself and your business for better sales.
- Understand quickly that not everyone is your customer!
- Aim to become the expert solution for a chosen audience
- One product may be right for many, but each solution should be uniquely catered for a specific group.
Don’t assume there is a mad rush for your product or service. Everybody doesn’t exist as a customer type. You must identify issues and problems that your product or service can resolve.
For more about this and other topics of modern selling, check out the info around our Plan. Grow. Do. Training programme designed to help business owners and sales teams understand and apply a modern sales approach.
Further Reading and sales support from Plan. Grow. Do.