Ruth Schwartz: A positive relationship with customers pays off
In this economy, customers want good prices. However, it is also true that when people are ready to buy a product, they will pay for value.
Jack was pained when he asked the question: “I am losing sales to competitors who are cheaper. But since no one can sell my product cheaper, how come people don’t understand what a superior product I have?”
In this economy, customers want good prices. However, it is also true that when people are ready to buy a product, they will pay for value. I believe this so much that I will stick my neck out to say that when people want it badly enough, they will pay whatever they have to pay to get it. I suspect the “cheaper” story is not the whole truth.
According to the Infinite Horizons, “our brains automatically set up a fear pattern of distrust of anyone who is not like us. The ‘primal lack of trust’ causes prospects to put up an emotional defensive barrier when dealing with someone they feel is trying to sell them something.”
In other words, if you haven’t bonded with someone, you’ve made it easy for them to go elsewhere. We can neutralize this primal lack of trust by proving that we are trustworthy and genuinely interested in them. Here are a couple of tactics to put people at ease:
1) Ask a broad opening question designed to get people to reveal their personality, interests and priorities. As a customer, we know what it is like to have a salesperson talk over us and not listen to what is important to us.
2) Listen for their emotional needs and address only those needs. Do they want to feel safe, comfortable or adventurous? It is probably not all three. So don’t talk to me about adventure if safety is the emotional need.
3) Don’t talk about yourself and your product’s features until you get the signal to do so. People don’t care about you until they have bonded with you. Leave out I, me, my and mine.
You haven’t neutralized the primal lack of trust when you start getting objections like “I can buy it cheaper from the other guy,” especially when you know they really can’t buy your product cheaper.
Jack and I reviewed his lost sales and he admitted that he assumed he had the sale, but he really hadn’t taken the time to bond, address emotional needs and build trust. What about you?
Ruth Schwartz is the author of Taking Care of Business. She can be reached by calling 530-288-0180 or visiting www.TABGoldCountyNorth.com.