Leader.co.za - Management, Training and Career Advice for Business Leaders







03 MARCH 2017
Find your customer’s urgency

by Steve Yastrow: Author, speaker, consultant and founder of Yastrow & Company, a Chicago-based consulting firm.

Imagine… you’re talking to a customer, eager to close the sale. You’re ready to move things forward, but your customer is not displaying the same urgency.

What do you do? How do you get your customer to feel some urgency to commit to moving ahead?

The first thing to remember: Your customer doesn’t care about your schedule.

You want to close the sale quickly, but that doesn’t matter to your customer. Your customer doesn’t care if you have an end of month quota to meet, or if you have any other reason that is driving your urgency. Your customer only cares about her own issues.

Your customer will want to move forward when she feels her own personal urgency, not because you’re in a hurry.

So… stop focusing on your eagerness and find your customer’s urgency.

The essence of ditching the pitch is to create a conversation that is about your customer, not about you. When you do this, your customer will be much more likely to share important information with you, helping you discover the reasons that will make her want to proceed.

Let’s look at how three key Ditch the Pitch principles can help you find your customer’s urgency.

1. Think input before output

When a salesperson is anxious, they often focus more energy on what they want to say than on what they should be listening for.

Practice the Ditch the Pitch habit “Think Input Before Output” by ensuring that you are listening more than you are talking, and by being alert to every cue your customer gives you. If you are paying close attention, you will notice the things that will generate urgency for your customer.

2. Size up the scene

As you engage your customer in conversation, practice the Ditch the Pitch Habit “Size Up the Scene” to identify the personal and contextual “hot buttons” that influence your customer’s decision making.

Notice what your customer’s personal motivations are, and how they affect her choices. And, importantly, try to understand the other influences and influencers that surround her and can affect her decision. Which of these will prompt her to act faster?

3. Don’t rush the story

One sad reality of selling is that pushing a sale ahead too fast can actually slow it down. If your customer feels pressured by you, they will instantly and instinctively put up defenses, and your progress could grind to a halt.

At all times, pay attention to the pace that is most comfortable for your customer.

If you are focused on the reasons you want to move forward quickly, that pace might be relatively slow for your customer. If you find your customer’s urgency, and connect your offerings to that urgency, you will see your customer driving the momentum of the sale. They will want to buy more quickly, which will help you make your sale more quickly.
Useful resources:

Yastrow & Company
Steve Yastrow has acquired a singular reputation among business decision makers as an outside partner who challenges organizations to take a fresh look at themselves from the inside out. He offers clear action steps to improve business performance through Brand Harmony and ideal customer relationships. Visit our InfoCentre or website.

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