You see, it takes just a quick glance, maybe 4 seconds, for someone to evaluate you when you meet for the first time. In these few seconds the other person forms an opinion based on your appearance, your body language, your demeanour, your greeting, your mannerisms and how you are dressed.
The next 4 minutes are usually used to re-enforce the initial evaluation.
Because of this, many sales people may be sales breakers rather than sales makers. Much of the emphasis in the training they’ve received is on the middle or the end of the sales process – product knowledge, negotiating, objection handling and closing. As we said earlier, opening the relationship with the customer in the first place is by far the most important – and hardest – part of the sales process.
Almost 50% more customers can be won by improving the quality of their initial contact with sales people acting as sales makers.
The following key findings are the results from our customer satisfaction research including ‘mystery shopper’ exercises, customer traffic surveys and customer focus clinics, which we’ve recently conducted for our clients.
We researched the sales approaches of a wide variety of organisations and found that the main causes of lost sales were because of sales people acting as sales breakers:-
1. CUSTOMERS ARE IGNORED, often for several minutes and even when they begin to show a distinct interest in buying. In many cases, it’s the customer who initiates the first contact.
2. CUSTOMERS ARE “LECTURED” about products and features that have little, if any, relevance to the customer’s actual needs.
3. CUSTOMERS ARE NOT LISTENED TO when they describe their requirements. Indeed, customers often complain of BEING TOLD by the sales person what they need!
The overwhelming verdict of customers… which stops them from buying… is that they often feel the salesperson is only interested in ‘closing the sale’ and looking after their own needs and therefore isn’t interested in them as a real person, or looking after their needs as a customer.
The frightening thing is that the Number 1 sales breaker among prospects and customers remains in the ‘opening the relationship with the customer’ bit of the sales process.
Do all your sales people, honestly, get this first bit right, every time? What’s going to happen in the rest of the sales process and more importantly to the sale, if your sales people don’t become black belts in the ‘all important’ first bit of the sales process?
50% more customers CAN be WON!
We’ve proved it time and again – yes even in these tough times. In fact, ESPECIALLY IN THESE TOUGH TIMES because customers need more reassurance and confidence than ever before … for them to part with their hard earned money.
Just take five minutes to look around your organisation. Are there more sales breakers who are mostly focused on closing the sale, rather than sales makers who regard closing the sale as the start of a long and mutually profitable relationship with the customer? Are they someone who works to find the best solution to your customers’ needs?
THE CONCLUSION IS INESCAPABLE: Organisations that train their customer-facing people with a better approach with customers and prospects, stand to increase the number of customers up to 50%!