I am sure you have walked on a car lot at one time in your life, where you encountered a really terrible salesman.
You know, the guy that makes you feel uncomfortable from the second he opens his mouth. Talking more than he listens, telling you about a great lease they have, which you could care less about. Now I don’t want to give all car salesmen a bad name, because I have bought cars from some great men and women at dealerships. I am going to use the car salesmen in this article to give examples, as most of us can relate to buying a car. However, no mater what industry you sell in, before selling you must know these 5 things about your customer.
Before Selling You Must Know These 5 Things
1) What is your customer looking to buy?
This is such a simple concept, but so many times a salesman will try and sell you on an offer you have no interest in. What if you walked into a car dealership because you saw an internet ad on a specific truck you wanted to finance, but right away the salesman started telling you about great lease offers they have on their new gas saving cars. Chances are you will be turned off immediately. Find out what your customer wants to buy, so you can sell them what they want.
2) What is your customer’s pain?
So what is customer pain? It’s their personal reason they want to buy what you are selling. How do you find pain? That is an art of its own, but the basics to finding a customer’s pain are do not give them an immediate answer to their first question. Dig deeper, ask questions, and make sure they are talking more than you are. The customer needs to want your product more than you want to sell it to them. In the example of the car salesman it would sound something like this.
Customer: “What warranties do you offer on this vehicle?”
Salesman: “That is a great question, why do you ask?” (let the customer talk, if they ask you the same question, answer them directly, however more than likely they will give you some pain in their response)
Customer: “Because the last car I bought from XYZ dealership, came with a 3 year warranty that didn’t cover anything, and I was left with a huge repair bill, I want to make sure that does not happen again.”
Find your customer’s pain and you will know why they want what you have.
3) What is your customers budget?
Not knowing your customers budget can lead you down a road of wasting energy and not making a sale. Everyone is afraid to talk about money with customers. However if you want to excel in sales, spend more time making sales and less time chasing people who “walked off the lot”, then you need to find out your customers budget before you start your sales pitch. Sometimes it can be as simple as asking them “did you have a budget in mind for this purchase?” You will find out quickly that if a customer does not have a budget, they are not ready to buy.
4) Is your customer the decision maker?
This is another great piece of information that will save you a ton of time and headaches as a salesman, if you can find out who the decision maker is before you start your sales pitch. If you do not have the decision maker present you will end up down the same path so many salesmen walk down, and will be wondering how another day passed without getting a sale. Let’s say I went to go look at cars for my wife, however in the end the decision is hers to make. I could spend all day wasting the time of the salesman, only to let him know at the end, “well this car is for my wife, so she’s going to make the final decision”. Don’t be that salesman, find out who your decision maker is first!
5) What is your customers time frame for this purchase?
For 20 years my uncle has visited Porsche dealers across Southern California, he has always wanted a Porsche but he is not ready for one yet. Think of all the effort that has been wasted over the years, by numerous people, on test drives, going over features of the car, talking about finance options. If any of these salesmen knew he would be shopping for 2 decades, do you think they would want to be wasting anytime with him, while the other salesman sold a car? Find out what your customers time frame is, and know when it’s time to politely send them on their way with information for the future.
At the end of the day to be a great salesman you have to know as much information as possible about your customer before you start your sales pitch. It’s about asking probing questions, letting the customer talk more than you do and delivering to them exactly what they have asked for in their responses to your questions. If you learn to find out these 5 things before you ever start your sales pitch, you will end up spending more time on the customers who are going to buy, and have a more rewarding sales career.
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