Four steps to move your business from chasing sales to attracting customers who want to buy
Most of us have experienced the annoyance of being pestered by a salesperson who just won't give up. I don't know of anyone who enjoys being the target of a sales pitch, yet we all do like to buy. It makes sense then that instead of falling into the trap of trying to sell to customers, businesses should concentrate on helping their customers to fall in love with their services or products so that they want to buy them.
Here's how to move your business from striving for sales to pulling in ready customers:
Step one: change your attitude
Helping customers to want to buy requires a totally different mindset throughout your business. You need to mobilise the whole company to think differently. Moving an organisation from being sales-orientated to marketing-orientated requires a major shift. The key to this approach is to really understand what drives your customers. You need to know the answers to questions like, "What are my customers' greatest pains? Where are their biggest problems?" Once you know these things, you're able to focus on showing your customers how you can solve those issues for them.
Step two: become attractive to your customers
Do an audit on your current sales and marketing techniques. Are you focusing on interventions that make your customers want to buy what you're selling, or are you constantly trying to push them down the sales funnel? Think carefully about how you can get prospects to like you and your product or service.
This may mean that you need to spend time on educating them about your offering and the benefits it offers. You might need to start engaging with customers on social media; or learning ways to stay in touch with them in a way that is value-adding (for example, contacting them with a free trial of your product that will solve a problem they're experiencing).
Step three: concentrate on developing trust
Trust does not happen automatically; it takes time to develop. This means that you need to think carefully about what strategies you can put in place to build trust. For example, you could put together a free downloadable e-book or go the extra mile by referring them to someone in your network that can help them to solve an issue they're struggling with. Once people have a positive experience of your business, they are more likely to trust you.
Step four: learn to be patient
The hardest part of ditching the sales pitches is holding back and not jumping the gun by getting into pitch mode as soon as you think your prospects are starting to consider buying your offering.
Your job is to entice them to love what you have to offer so that the desire to buy it develops in them on its own. Be patient, keep following up and building trust, but don't get pushy.
After all, it's far easier to close a sale when it's instigated by your prospect than if you're trying to force someone into buying what they don't want. And once someone loves your offering, she's likely to recommend it to someone else, so this "soft" sales approach may yield dividends.
Donna is a branding and marketing specialist and CEO of Branding & Marketing YOU. She uses her passion and 25 years of experience in strategy, marketing and change management to empower people and teams to achieve breakthrough results. She is also author of the best-selling book, Branding & Marketing YOU, the first South African-based personal branding and marketing book, and her newly released second book, Branding & Marketing You through Teams.
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