What, Really, Does Customer Focus Mean?
While most savvy sales leaders advocate for customer focused selling skills, customer centricity is an oft-used term. In general customer focused selling skills are about putting the customer at the center of your business where the customer’s needs come first. Sounds pretty smart right?
True Customer Focus
Seeing the world through the lens of the customer takes the point of view even further. It implies that you interpret the world as if you were the customer and your customers’ customer. You must look through your customer’s eyes to understand their wants, needs, priorities and aspirations.
You’ll be far more successful if you approach their world in terms of how they define success – not what a sale would mean to you.
Three Underutilized Customer Focused Selling Skills
If you want to improve customer focused selling skills that will increase revenue and win rates, start by ensuring your sales team can consistently identify:
1. Your Clients Desired Outcomes
To truly help your clients, you must unearth exactly what the client wants to achieve from a business and personal standpoint. That includes uncovering the most pressing issues your target customers face, where these issues fit on their list of priorities, knowing what would happen if the issues are not resolved and articulating what a successful solution looks like in their words and from their perspective.
2. The Available Resources at Their Disposal
Once the desired personal and professional outcomes are clear, the next customer focused selling skill involves being able to identify the client’s people, time, and budget parameters so that you can determine if you have a solution to exactly meet their needs. This important consultative sales skill is not about trying to pin the client to an exact budget. It is about gracefully making sure that there is some overlap between what they want to spend and what we think it will cost to help them.
3. The Decision Maker and Decision Making Process
Once the desired outcomes are clear and budget parameters have been established, one of the most underutilized of all customer focused selling skills is the ability to clearly identify the decision maker and understand the decision making process so that you and your sales team can determine if you should win. Too many sales professionals do not understand who makes various decisions, the exact sequence of steps that leads to a final decision, and the criteria that will be used to make the final decision.
The Bottom Line
To truly help your customers succeed, you must enter their world. Invest in the customer focused selling skills and processes to shift focus from what you have to sell (products, benefits and features) to how you can support their success. That shift requires selling solutions through the lens of the customer.
To learn more about taking your sales skills to the next level, download The Top Sales Skills to Challenge Customers
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