If you want to know how your business is performing, simply ask your customers, they are the best sounding board you can find. Listening to your customers is crucial to building your business and paving a roadmap. Emotional responses from buyers be it anger, excitement or apathy, can show you the way if you only listen, and can establish personal connections, trust and solidarity.
Creating Customer Relationships
Business owners who overlook the importance of these connections will run the risk of losing potential customers to their competitors. An impersonal, one-size-fits-all sales pitch doesn’t demonstrate that a business is committed to solving common customer problems. One easy first step is to start an open dialogue with your prospects, listening to their concerns and offering up solutions based on your products or services. During these exchanges, it’s also vital to ask specific questions and acknowledge your understanding of each prospective customer’s unique situation.
Being a Relatable Brand
Transparency and communication are important components of the selling process at any of its phases. Whenever possible, work in your own anecdotes that relate to your prospects’ common questions and concerns. This tactic builds personal rapport and tells your prospects that your business is committed to making their day-to-day lives a bit easier.
At least 50% of buying decisions are made based on perceptions, opinions, and feelings surrounding the seller. While customers may think about price, technical features, and returns on investment, these are only half the equation. Everyone’s emotions influence their behavior and choices, even if they sometimes don’t consciously realize these patterns. Many of their feelings surrounding your brand may be on an unconscious level, but they can have a definite impact on your sales numbers. Building emotional connections with your prospects takes time, effort, and excellent communication skills, but the results are well worth the effort.
Listening to Your Customers
To improve and strengthen your rapport with your current customers and future prospects, it is essential that your sales force understands how to truly listen to them. To know who you are listening to, you obviously need to know the person you are communicating with. A common situation in call centers is multiple mentions of the same contact. Imagine having 3 mentions of John Smith in your CRM system. On the first call to Mr. Smith, he will appreciate you listening to him. On the second, he will politely explain that your company already spoke with him. And on the third, he will be so annoyed and may decide to go with your competitor. For this reason, Customer Data Management solutions are key to effective communication.
Communication training is another worthwhile investment for this endeavor, and it can include discussion seminars as well as roleplay scenarios. This kind of advanced sales training will have your employees better equipped to adapt to different customer expectations, concerns, issues, and personalities.
Listening to your customers and prospects illustrates your company’s commitment to them, above and beyond simply closing a sale. Building these personal connections will drive long-term loyalty among your customers, and it can easily transform them into brand ambassadors who will recommend your business to others. This kind of word-of-mouth promotion can be more valuable than a multi-faceted marketing plan, since it’s based on established customer relationships rather than other types of promotional investments.
Business owners (and therefore their brand names) stand out in their prospects’ minds when they take the time tolearn what’s important to each prospective new customer. A common mistake is to assume you already know this, based on demographics. These common characteristics provide a good starting point, but listening to your customers and communicating with them on an individual level will boost not only your sales numbers, but also your credibility and positive reputation as a trusted authority in your particular niche. Assumptions are frequently incorrect, and you may well be surprised at the insights you gain from this kind of open communication with your current as well as prospective customers.