Top 7 Needs of Every Customer
By Tom Koziol
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Customers come in all sizes, shapes and dispositions. The common thread among each and every one is an intangible called needs. The successful sales people understand how to ferret out the actual, versus perceived, needs of the customer. These 7 should help.
- Value- A lot of salespeople think of value solely in terms of price, engage in bidding wars and forget value may be something as simple meeting or beating a delivery date. Or, it may indeed be a lower price with customer support only a toll free number away. Value is in the eye of the customer and a smart sales person would ask a series of loaded questions to learn as early as possible in the sales call exactly what the customer thinks.
- Service- A second cup of coffee without asking the waitress. A sales person stopping by to ask if there are problems or questions. Calling the customer to inform him/her of an improved version of the product. Insuring the purchase order sails through the company bureaucracy so the customer gets the discount, the number of ordered items, the correct item, etc.
- Action - Separate from service. Service is the result of action. Action means you answered the customers question(s), fixed the problem(s), are fixing the problem(s), and are following up to insure the concerns are being attended.
- Quality - Too many of today's business people promise the moon but only deliver a tar pit. How many times have you been told that the whatchamacallit you just bought is the best, most long lasting whatchamacallit on the market today. Three days after installation, you are making a service call. Six days after delivery you are making a service call. Etc., etc., etc.
- Appreciation - Have you ever received a thank you note or a thank you phone call for your business? Appreciation is expressed in many ways. Special discounts, preferred customer mailings, courtesy, name recognition are but a few.
- Future business - Believe it or not, the customer doesn't consider himself a one night stand. The sales person might but the customer is in business for the long haul and reorders have already been factored into the cost of doing business. Will you get your piece of that pie?
- It boils down to being the recognized solution provider for the customer's problems. You become that person by understanding their needs. Solutions follow understanding.
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Article Submitted On: September 20, 1999