Customer Focused Selling Is Here to Stay
Every sales leader worth their salt knows that their success depends helping their clients and customers to succeed. We call this customer focused selling.
That part of the customer focused selling approach is a bit fuzzy for many sales teams.
An Example of Not Focusing on the Client
Let’s start with an example. A prospective client called us for help. They wanted to improve the internal consulting and partnering skills of their HR, IT and Finance organizations so they could add more value to their stakeholders. During the discovery process, we learned:
So Why Did the Client Reach Out To Us?
The sales person, who wanted to meet their end-of-year quota, told the client that they had to sign the next year’s contract before the end of the year or they would incur a 25% price increase. This is the opposite of customer focused selling. The client was planning to sign the contract, but not until the new year due to end-of-year obligations and personal family issues.
The sales person was more concerned with meeting their personal targets than in understanding their client and helping them to be successful in a way that makes sense to them. Our sales experts call it being “other centered.”
When sales people are NOT customer focused, they perpetuate the adversarial relationship, the root cause of why selling is so difficult, between buyers and sellers. So the client decided to call us. Good for us. Bad for that self-centered sales person.
Six Customer Focused Selling Tips
Based upon 25+ years of consultative sales training, here are some tips on what it really means throughout your sales process to live and breathe customer focused selling best practices:
1. Really Listen
Observe the best interviewers. They are totally present as they ask their questions. They fully concentrate on their interviewees’ answers. Rather than thinking ahead to their next question while the interviewee talks, they are able to link parts of the answer to their next question. This is how they “unpack” and thoroughly understand their subject.
2. Be Authentically Curious
The more sincere you are in learning as much as possible about your customer, the more honest and reliable their answers.
3. Know Your Stuff
Don’t ever waste your customer’s time through your own lack of preparation. Be thoroughly familiar with your offerings so your solutions can legitimately address their priorities. Be able to differentiate your offering from those of competitors and to succinctly describe the business value from your target customer’s point of view.
4. Be Truthful
What is it we don’t like about the stereotypical used car salesman? It’s that he fudged the truth about the lemon he wants off his lot. Remember that you are trying to develop a trusting relationship with a customer whose loyalty you want. Give your customer all the information they need to make an informed decision that is in their best interests.
5. Don’t Get Emotional
Most every sales process involves some customer objections…those “buts” that are apt to frustrate you. You need to react calmly and with understanding. You may well be “sold” on your solution but your customer may need more time to consider and appreciate it.
6. Treat This as a Beginning
Even if you close the deal, do not treat your customer as if this is the end. Remember this is the beginning of a relationship that can be mutually beneficial. Whether or not you admit it, salesmanship is the profession of building relationships. Stay in touch with your customer. See that they are satisfied with your solution. Be ready to help them the next time there’s a need.
The Bottom Line
The customer who is lucky enough to interact with a solution seller who understands and practices these six customer focused selling tips is the customer who will come back again and again.
If you want to learn more about how to win business with ideal target clients, download 4 Steps to Identify and Target Your Best Clients to Accelerate Growth
Corporate Change Is Personal
LSA exceeded all my expectations. We interviewed 7 potential training and consulting partners and selected LSA due to their expertise, flexibility, and breadth and depth of solutions. We were able to construct a management training course from the modules most appropriate to our needs, and are able to provide additional training from their well developed portfolio of experts. Our managers galvanized as a team throughout the session and are better prepared for the rigors of a competitive market.
“We turned to LSA to help us custom design and deliver a leadership and management development curriculum to help drive performance. They have done an excellent job diagnosing the business situation, designing an approach that fits our culture, and delivering a first class solution.”
VP Human Resources
We have worked with LSA Global for our learning and development needs and have always had great success. They helped us recently with customized Management Workshops that we held for the second time. It was fantastic, and I would highly recommend LSA to anyone that is attempting to get immediate and impactful improvements.
HR Manager, BU Radiology Informatics
The LSA Global team was very receptive and flexible to our needs every step of the way. Their staff and facilitator demonstrated attention to detail, responsiveness, and professional courtesy. The participants were thrilled with the outcome and rated the communication skills workshop and the facilitator as ‘Excellent’. I’d highly recommend working with the LSA Global team to meet your professional development needs.
Congratulations on your pro-activity in establishing this program and developing such an effective New Employee Orientation course.
President and Chief Executive Office
I had been working with LSA for many years with my prior company. Currently, I’m with a company who hadn’t done much basic management skills training. After identifying and presenting a program recently, our managers are excited and talking in the halls about the great experience. LSA saves us time in delivering the right training for our needs.
I continue to be impressed by the level of leadership development and management expertise and quality of advice and facilitation that LSA has to offer. What a smart and client-centric group of great people who really know how to help leaders attract, engage, develop and retain top talent.
Director, HR Business Partner
The refreshing thing about LSA is that they focus on understanding our business situation and helping me succeed instead of selling a product. With over 150 experts, they are an invaluable resource that helps me deliver higher quality results faster. I recommend them to anyone looking to improve the performance of their workforce.
VP of Human Resources
I’ve been associated with LSA for the last 8 years and have found them to be an extremely professional, well managed full service training organization. Since working with LSA, I’ve participated in a number of solutions ranging from Performance Management to Assertiveness Training – I’ve found that the quality of the resources is superior. They are well prepared and have definitely done a considerable amount of pre-work in order to customize our culture and business into the total learning experience – making it most beneficial for our employees.
Human Resource Manager
LSA’s approach and ability to bring the best resources to eBay has been a great asset. They really focus on helping us succeed in any way they can and are very flexible in meeting our management and talent needs.
Learning & Development
Working with LSA Global has proven to be extremely valuable and worthwhile. LSA understands our business, has deep expertise in content areas, and tailors the programs to deliver great results. The facilitator was extremely knowledgeable about Working Globally with India and her energy and passion made the session interesting, fun, and enjoyable for all that attended. The participants walked away extremely pleased along with highly useful practices and tools. I would highly recommend LSA Global to any company that has partners or offices in India.
Human Resources Business Partner
SeaTel has found our partnership with LSA Global to be very valuable and beneficial. We turned to LSA to customize a supervisory/leadership solution to meet our needs. LSA delivered a customized top quality solution. I’d recommend LSA Global to any company looking for a best-in-class training and consulting partner.
I have worked with other training companies and found it to be more of a seller/buyer relationship than one of matching the right expertise to our business issues. That’s what LSA does – ask the hard questions, listen, and understand our business needs. We receive the benefit of their expertise from assistance with personal development plans to enhancing team performance, to looking at enterprise-wide challenges. It’s all about helping our business succeed as we grow. Right now, LSA is providing great ideas, a fresh approach, and valuable guidance as we develop our management team and accelerate our client relationship management results.
Director, Team Development
PalmSource has found our relationship with LSA extremely beneficial. We worked closely with LSA to customize the right Management Training Program solution to meet our unique business needs. LSA is a quality organization, one that I’d recommend to any company looking for a first class training and consulting partner.
Vice President of Human Resources
We consider LSA Global our outsourced learning and development partner. We worked closely with LSA to customize a management development program to meet our growing business needs. I would highly recommend LSA to any company wanting to deliver quality learning solutions.
Vice President Human Resources
Download key published insights and tools from industry experts highlighting best practices in the areas of talent, strategy and culture.
Want to know how you stack up against leading organizations? Receive a complimentary benchmarking analysis courtesy of an LSA Expert.
Get up to speed on timely solutions critical to your business. Published by LSA Experts based upon client feedback and key industry trends.
First we identify the key metrics you want to improve. Then we assemble a dedicated team of elite experts who have successfully solved similar problems with similar clients.
Stay up to do date with the latest information on how we help high growth companies align their culture and talent with strategy.
Real world consulting and training approaches from LSA projects, providing insights on how your company can outperform the competition.