21st July, 2014
There is a well-known truism that while some consumers might base their purchases on price, most will gladly pay a premium to get great service. Turns out, this is both practical and profitable advice. But what amounts to ‘great service’, and how can you develop it in your business?
Most customers are loyal if you are able to provide them with a solution to their number one source of pain. As long as you focus on solving their issues — and prove you can — you are likely to get more customers and sales. Your customers will continue to buy from you until you stop solving problems and start peddling your features and benefits.
That’s the moment when most people start considering your competitors and questioning your price. In a nutshell, great service means more than just getting back to people in a timely fashion. It means that you have solved the problem that your customer has when he or she came to you, and they no longer have to worry about looking for the solution.
Here are some tangible strategies that you can use to attract new loyal customers and keep your existing ones coming back for more.
Your customers are not thinking about you, your brand or your product’s features and benefits — they are thinking about their own survival and whether or not you can cure their primary problem. If you are able to correctly diagnose the pain and provide the best solution to cure it now, you will trigger the part of their brain that makes decisions, and you will stand apart from everyone else.
Think about one of your customers right now and his pain: What questions do you need to ask him about how it is affecting him financially, personally and strategically? Ask to the extent where you can diagnose it correctly, allow him to acknowledge it and provide the solution to it. He or she will make time to listen to anything that you have to say. Price becomes less important to the customer as he or she feels confident that a real solution is at hand.
The part of the brain associated with making decisions (the old brain) processes visual stimuli about 500 milliseconds faster than the thinking part of the brain (the neo-cortex). As a result, you need to critically assess the pictures and words you have used in your last catalogue, email, or sales presentation.
Is your message cluttered and bogged down with words, data, graphs and technical jargon, or have you chosen to show your prospect how his life will be better once he acquires your solution? How long did it take you to get to the point? Your customers will decide very quickly based on the visual picture that you have (or have not) painted for them, regardless of price.
Stop wasting your time talking about your products, your background, your brand, or who you have been certified by. Your customers don’t care. If you want to increase your ability to influence and persuade, your primary mission is to show your customer you understand his pain, offer the solution and prove that you can deliver it.
This means that you should never waste your prospect’s time with a pathetic opening statement such as, “introducing our new spring line”, “let me provide a background summary” or “here is how we came to be in business”.
While important to you, these things mean nothing to the part of your customer’s brain that makes decisions. They are like a bedtime story for your customer, and they are the surefire way to drag the decision-making process and lose sales.