5 Things Your Clients Hate About You

by Riaz Sidi | Follow Him on Twitter Here

how-to-sell-business-to-businessIn sales we typically sharpen our skills by looking at what works.

And then we attempt to improve upon it.

But it is also beneficial to avoid denial and address why your client may not be opening up to you.

We like to hold on to the small details and say to ourselves:

“I think it went well, she kept going on about how they need to improve their business.”

However, that doesn’t necessarily mean a fit for you and your client’s business.

Worse off you may have tricked yourself into believing your prospect is further down the sales funnel than they actually are.

In an increasingly competitive marketplace, there are mounting pressures to really blow your clients away with innovative tools to improve their business.

So let’s take a look at 5 things your client may hate about you and your pitch that you don’t even realize.

1. Speaking Dollars Without Making Sense

It happens surprisingly often.

You are getting increased pressure back at the office to put up some numbers.

So in your mind you keep thinking ‘sell, sell, sell…’.

But you gotta remember that your sales target being achieved is a result of you knowing your stuff and helping your client to improve their life.

The moment you lose sight of that is the moment you fall into the sales quota trap.

On the frontlines, this is a hard trap to escape if you forget why you started selling your product or service in the first place.

Don’t bring up their budget or available resources to fund your anticipated transaction until you have clearly defined the benefits of the transaction to them.

Everyone knows how money benefits them but your product or service won’t sell itself – especially if it is an intangible like advertising or software.

2. Not Thoroughly Conveying the Benefits Quickly Enough

‘Get to the point buddy,’ thought every customer ever.

If you can’t identify a problem within their business quickly that your product or service can help your client with, it is going to be extremely difficult to hold your client’s attention for very long.

It is always important to do your research and ideally you will have identified a few problems prior to arriving to their establishment.

Solution-based sales needs a client-problem to truly highlight the benefits of your product or service to your prospect.

So hopefully you know your product or service well enough to start from the end and work backwards to the beginning.

Identify why your client would benefit from what you are doing and then identify how not benefiting from it would create a problem for your client’s business.

Ultimately, the most important part is to convey the impact this lack of your benefit has on the overall problem to their business.

Do they have an information gap? Are they not marketing their business the right way? Does their website look terrible? Are sales down because their employees want something they are not receiving?

If you can identify the impact these problems have on your client’s business, you will be their greatest asset and not someone they hate.

3. No Education

Entrepreneurs are extremely busy juggling a million different hats deciding which one they have the time and capacity to wear.

If they have called you to help their business or invited you in after a cold call by you they either don’t have the time or knowledge to take care of that angle of their business without you.

So don’t assume they know what the hell you are talking about once you get there.

If they did they wouldn’t have invited you to begin with.

Get to the benefits by educating your client in a simplified manner about what you can do and how you can do it – and what it means to their bottom line which not only includes their money but time as well.

Do your research on their specific industry and tie this into case studies of other clients having success using your product or service.

If you can teach your client you will not only be looked at as someone who can help with their immediate explicit needs but a person who can help to innovate their business.

4. No Market Research

Your customer hates meeting a sales rep. who hasn’t taken the time to visit their website, check out their LinkedIn page, or even know what their business does before coming in for a sales call.

You may be thinking:

Riaz, it was just a needs assessment. I didn’t need to go to all that effort just to find out they aren’t interested.

Well do yourself a favor and learn now so that you become familiar with different verticals into which you can expand your sales funnel.

Do your research now because a client won’t tell you they hate you, they will just never answer any of your calls ever again.

When I say market research, I also mean understanding how your competitors are tailoring their services to your client’s industry.

Help your prospect to understand what your competitors are doing (including benefits) and how what you are doing trumps them.

You are not pushing them into a sale, you are guiding them into doing what is best for their business.

It just so happens that means giving the sale to you. ;)

5. Lack of Creative Design

In the new economy, there is increasing pressure to have customized solutions to meet your clients needs.

And this is actually the fun part that a lot of salespeople forget to address because they are focused on only one thing: money.

Well creativity leads to competitive advantage which leads to a more unique selling proposition which leads to a premium service which leads to:

MORE MONEY!

So if you are selling a photocopier, focus deeply not only on what they will be using it for, but where they will use it – will it be in a position of nuisance? Will the people who use it most be closest to it?

If you are selling an air conditioner, will your client benefit from a more compact, higher efficiency unit to give them increased backyard space? Will it make a noise that is under a bedroom window that might leave a lasting negative impact for years?

Be creative by thinking about how people will be functioning on an everyday basis and the potential pitfalls that you may have never even imagined yet and certainly that your client won’t fathom until it is too late.

Be Loved

I believe people inherently want to love others.

Make it easy for your clients to do that by being considerate of all of these potential things that will make your client cringe if you don’t address it.

To avoid the above points is to really be sticking your head in the sand.

And your competitor will sweep in, be that transparent person who uses a consultative sales approach – and win.

Be fearless and you will succeed.

And if you believe you have benefited from this post, you can help out one more person (me!) by liking the Progressive Sales Strategies Facebook page and sharing this post with your colleagues and friends.

Thanks in advance for doing that!

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Aaron Wright March 7, 2013 at 9:11 pm

You make some good points. When someone is trying to sell something to me, I hate it when they only focus on what is in it for them. I don’t care about that. They make money from the sale; I already know what is in it for them.

Instead, answer “What is in it for the customer?”. If you can’t answer that question yourself, you need a different product.

Reply

Riaz Sidi April 7, 2013 at 9:18 pm

I absolutely agree with this!

I think the word we are looking for here is customer-centric. In the new world of sales and marketing, if we are not putting the value we provide to our customers before anything, our bottom line will definitely suffer.

And besides, there is nothing more gratifying than knowing you have helped someone who would have went about their business without realizing a problem existed. It is that feeling why I love sales – fitting the person with value!

Thanks for your comments Aaron!

Reply

Eric March 27, 2013 at 7:32 pm

I agree with Aaron here.

We all know what’s in it for us: money.

That’s where we lose focus because our focus should be on providing the most excellent service and products we can to our customers: value.

If we lose site of the value we provide, we lose the money we never had.

Get to the point, know your market, provide value that you can quickly explain the how and why about, and over-deliver.

You shall be well rewarded.

Fantastic article here, Riaz!

Reply

Riaz Sidi April 7, 2013 at 9:20 pm

I love this:

“Get to the point, know your market, provide value that you can quickly explain the how and why about, and over-deliver.”

It pretty much captures the article in the size of a tweet!

We must never lose site of the value we are providing or we are definitely setting ourselves up for failure!

Thanks Eric!

Reply

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