Think Like a Customer or Lose the Sale

We all use shortcuts for coming up with answers quickly so we can get the job done as quickly as possible. But in sales, this leads to believing we know more about how customers think than we actually do.

Without even realizing it, opinions become facts and certainty supersedes questioning, doubt and curiosity – the essential tools for understanding customers’ thoughts and behavior.

At what cost? Lost sales. Here are four basic rules to help zero in on gaining a better understanding of how customers think:

1) Never assume you know what a customer is thinking.

This is the place to start. Believing we know what someone is thinking is useful – it gives us the feeling of being in control, even though the deck is stacked against such a notion.

2) Avoid thinking about what you want to say or do next.

The human mind isn’t up to speed on multitasking. When we’re with a client and our mind is on our proposal or what we want to say next, we’re distracted and unable to concentrate on what a customer is saying.

There is nothing more important than what a customer is saying. If we don’t get it at that moment, it’s gone. Try as hard as we can, we are unable to recall what we’ve missed.

3) Make notes.

Taking notes can disrupt listening, while using a smartphone to record the meeting is a questionable practice.

How can you keep your attention on what you’re hearing and recall it at the same time? Keyword notetaking helps. Instead of trying to jot down even four or five words at a time, let alone sentences, use one or two key words to aid recall later.

4) Use “rewind reviews.”

Missing essential information or getting it wrong undermines a marketer or salesperson’s credibility – and the chances of making the sale.

Avoid such unneccessary mishaps with the “rewind review.” You might say, “I want to be sure I understand what you’re telling me, so let me put it in my own words. Correct me if I get it wrong.” This not only will help get it right, but also sends the message that you’re a serious listener.

Article By: John Graham

Source: IA Magazine