If your prospect does not see the value in your product or service, and if the only difference between you and the competitors is in pricing, you didn’t do a good job as a sales person. The main description of your position inside the company is to create the value, not just to show your price list. Teaching and educating customers is no longer enough, giving them information about your products or services is no longer necessary. They can get them by themselves, without ever talking to you or your company, and know more about your product and positioning on the market then you.
If they know so much about you, how can you try to sell them the same product without knowing their business situation or their needs?
Remember that customers are sophisticated; they either have or believe they can get product information more reliably on their own. Information is readily available through many different sources, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Internet is full of different forums, blogs, and review or research websites where they can get information about your product easily.
Customers don’t just want a specific product; most of the times they want to solve their pain point or business issues. A customer in today’s competitive sales environment does not expect to educate the sales professional about their business. Therefore, you must already possess a solid understanding of the customer’s industry, competitors, and business direction.
Developing such a comprehensive view of the customer is a task that requires extensive researching and education to get an overall picture of the customer’s business industry. The modern sales person needs to focus on understanding the customer’s business initiatives, strategic plans, IT environment, and key customer preferences.
If you are still seeing yourself as someone who is there to educate customers, you are living in the past. The time of product-centric sales is gone. Welcome to customer-centric approach in sales.
You need to move away from the focus on presenting your products. Instead a customer-centric approach shows that you recognize and understand your customers’ needs, which is necessary if you want to survive in a 21st Century sales environment.
Your customers are tired of salespeople who come in and are unable to address real business needs, but talk about their company and the hottest feature, or unique one that nobody else has. There are many dimensions that you are selling, and price is only one of them.
Alen Majer, Sales Trainer, Consultant and Author