04 DECEMBER 2017
A sale is the result of a great conversation
by Steve Yastrow: Author, speaker, consultant and founder of Yastrow & Company, a Chicago-based consulting firm.
How do you convince customers to buy from you?
With sell sheets?
Explanations of new product features?
To lead your customer to a thoughtful decision where they choose you over the competition, you need to help them form compelling beliefs about why you are the best choice. Your customers don’t form these beliefs just by listening to you talk, or by reading your marketing materials. You’ll be much more successful if you look at the customer’s entire purchase decision process as a conversation between you and them.
Creating a conversation that matters to your customer
In workshops, I frequently ask audience members to describe the characteristics of a great conversation. They say things like:
- It’s two way.
- It is meaningful to both parties.
- Each person is interested in the conversation.
- Each person gets something out of the conversation.
- It involves a lot of listening.
- It has each person’s full attention.
- It builds a relationship.
- Each person understands the other person better as the conversation progresses.
Imagine that, over the course of a sale, you and your customer were engaged in an ongoing conversation that had the characteristics listed above. Even if that sale takes many months and many meetings, it would be a powerful experience for your customer.
Imagine that while your competitors were presenting PowerPoint decks and sell sheets to a customer, you and the same customer were creating this kind of conversation. This approach will make you (and your products) more memorable and meaningful to your customer.
An ongoing conversation
When you reconnect with a good friend, after not seeing them for a few weeks, you are able to pick up right where you left off. You and your friends have a series of ongoing conversations that continue from one meeting to the next. These ongoing conversations form the fabric of your friendship by adding both continuity and shared experiences to your relationship.
Imagine that, over the course of a sale, you and your customer formed an ongoing conversation that added continuity and shared experiences to your customer’s decision-making process.
Wouldn’t that increase your chances of making the sale?
A sale is the result of a great, ongoing conversation. Remember this. Practice this. You will improve your sales while building lasting, loyal, and profitable relationships with your customers.