While talking to a sales client, an interesting question came up and I thought it would be good to share with all my readers. The question was – since several competitors have similar products to my company – how do can I know what they really want?
Now the surface answer is to discuss the power of questioning to discover opportunities (true, but not the right answer), having industry knowledge to provide clues (true, but not the right answer), to have internal coaches to provide answers (true, but not the right answer) or to offer the lowest price to get the business (not true or right!).
There are four things a customer is looking for in your business to business sales opportunity. Here are the big four…
- Increase Customer Revenue – Anything you can do to increase the customer’s revenue flow is a critical want by any customer. When you show they how you can increase sales – particularly new sales without taking out existing sales – then you both win. This is a key today as customers are recovering from the economic downturn and are looking for new revenue streams.
- Decrease Customer Operating Expense – In a highly competitive world, the more control over operating expenses translates into more profitability at existing prices or competitiveness with lower cost competitors. The financial decision makers will be all over any opportunity to decrease operating expenses – so show them how to decrease expenses.
- Increase Customer Productivity – Again, during a period of economic downturn, your customers are looking for higher productivity from their existing personnel. When you can show increases in productivity without any increase in expenses (or a short payback period), the customer will know you are on their side and will reward you by doing more business.
- Expand Customer Opportunities – This is the wild card of customer wants. It could include anything that gains a competitive advantage, creates a joint venture for increased sales, leads to a relationship with new vendors or trade groups. Here is where I have seen sales people see a problem in a production line and share a solution with a production manager – solidifying the sales person’s position with the customer. Everything counts here – tips, referrals, key personnel referrals, ways to be more efficient. etc. Be bold and help your customer become more successful.
These are the Big Four Wants customers have that you – the business to business (b2b) sales person can deliver to your customers. When you take care of one or all four, you have a customer for a long time.
Be successful, sell more by covering the big four wants. Sales Success is your choice – do it right.