People make buying decisions on both logical and emotional levels. When you are talking to them, it’s easy to see their logical requirements, but uncovering their emotional requirements and selling to those needs will give your customers a clear reason to choose you over the competition.
Virtually every person who enters your business has this question in their mind. To truly maximize your revenues you need give people a reason to buy from you versus a competitor. This article will explore a few strategies that will help you differentiate yourself from your competition.
First, it’s important to understand that people make their buying decision on two levels – logical and emotional. The logical aspect revolves around the product or service and includes such things as product specifications, warranty, price, color, size, ease of use, etc. Anything directly associated with the product is a logical need. The second buying motivator and, perhaps the most powerful, is the emotional aspect of the sale. These criteria are the less tangible needs and include feelings of success, relief, pride, joy, fear and concern. For example, a person buying a pair of jeans will have specific logical needs such as waist size, inseam length, color and style. But, ultimately, the emotional aspect of how they fit and look will influence that person’s buying decision.
To uncover your customer’s emotional buying requirements learn to ask, “What are you looking for in a…?” followed by “Why is that important to you?” The first question helps you learn the logical need while the second question will help the customer express the emotional reasons behind their purchase. In the hundreds of sales training workshops I’ve conducted, I’ve learned that most salespeople and business owners have a tendency to leap into a product demonstration before they have learned what is important to the customer. Invest the time accurately and thoroughly learning your customer’s need and wants. This will help you to begin differentiating yourself from your competitor.
The next step is to give a presentation that focuses on the customer’s needs. Rather than discuss everything about your product or service, focus first on what the customer identified as being important. This demonstrates that you listened to what they said and will help you separate yourself more effectively.
When presenting your product or service ensure you discuss the benefits as well as the features. The feature is “what it is” and the benefit is “what it means to the customer.” A great way to phrase this is to say, “Our equipment extracts 97% of the water from your carpet (feature) which means your carpets will be dry to the touch within three or four hours (benefit).” This addresses the customer’s emotional buying needs which means there is a greater likelihood they will buy from your versus a competitor.
People also make buying decisions based on their overall experience in your store or place of business. Here are influencing factors:
1. Ease of business. Are you easy to do business with or do I, as a customer, have to jump through hoops to return something? Are you well staffed or do you reduce your costs by scheduling a skeleton staff at any given time?
2. Staff accessibility and attitude. Is your team friendly and well trained in customer services procedures? Do they exhibit the mentality that the customer is important and comes first or do they spend their time gossiping and gabbing? Do they eagerly approach the customer or do they wait for customers to come up to them first. I recently bought an aquarium and although the staff was knowledgeable at the store I felt like I was intruding on their time.
3. Product selection and availability. Do you have a good supply chain management or order fulfillment process in place. Prior to buying my aquarium I placed my order at one store and at the time of writing this article almost six weeks later I still haven’t been advised that my tank has arrived. And this was a stock order!
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4. Store cleanliness and layout. Is your store clean, tidy and visually appealing? I recently visited a new store in the city and, even though they had been open for less than a week, many of the shelves were in complete disarray and products were scattered haphazardly. Make it easy for people to find product, prices, and to maneuver around the store. In his book, “Why We Buy” Paco Underhill states the importance of having aisles that are sufficiently wide enough for every type of consumer.
Lastly, equip your team with the tools they need to properly do their job. Take advantage of the product training most manufacturers provide, invest in the on-going development of your people, and help them succeed. I’ve worked with companies who invest a great deal in their employees and others who spend a bare minimum. The difference in their overall results is always significant.
Today’s business environment is more challenging and competitive than ever before which means you need to give people a clear reason to do business with you rather than someone else.
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