Customer Insight – the magic wand of sales.
Tell me if this sounds familiar: You find a terrific prospect and know you have the exact product or service they’re looking for. In your mind, it couldn’t be a more perfect fit. All that’s left is to show them your solution and wait to hear yes.
Yet, when the time comes to close the deal, they’re not interested.
In a stupor, you rack your brain trying to figure out what went wrong.
- “Was something missing from the presentation?”
- “Did I overlook a key point or fail to explain the benefits in enough detail?”
- “Why can’t they see the solution the way that I do?”
Rest assured – it happens to everybody. You can analyze the situation all day long but you’ll still never find the answer. Not because of a mental lapse on your part, but because you’re in the wrong state of mind in the first place. You need to start thinking like the person sitting on the other side of the table.
And with the right mindset and customer insight, you can.
Customer Insight – Understanding Motivation
If you’ve ever studied copywriting, you know that seeing the problem through the lens of the customer is the first step. That means NOT promoting the features of the product but instead describing the benefits to the user. Yet, for whatever reason, many people choose to ignore this basic principle. Thus spending their time toiling away with little or nothing to show for it.
But it doesn’t have to be like this. If you take the time to patiently listen to your customer, and truly hear what they have to say, you’ll receive an invaluable gift. One that, in the end, not only satisfies their needs but becomes profitable for you as well.
In short, they’ll tell you EXACTLY what you need to say or do to make the sale.
Recognize that each person is already motivated
Too often we try to push our viewpoint on others failing to recognize we are in the wrong. It’s not your fault though – that’s how the traditional sales model is built. Repeatedly hounding prospects about why they need your stuff and how it will revolutionize their lives. In essence, trying to MOTIVATE them to buy.
And if they don’t get it? You just keep drilling the info their heads until they do.
What most businesses don’t grasp is that people are already motivated. Not by the myriad of reasons we assume they are, but the specific, individual ones we have no clue about. The simple truth is that each person has their own hopes, dreams, and goals which motivate them to act the way they do.
And these are the factors that will cause them to buy – or ignore – whatever it is you’re trying to sell. This is the heart of customer insight.
Never force your motivation on others
Just as each person’s tastes are unique, so are the elements that motivate them. This is a crucial point to keep in mind. There’s no such thing as a one size fits all approach to marketing. Your presentation, proposal, offer, etc. has a much better chance of succeeding once you understand this principle.
You’ll never be able to make anyone buy something they don’t want (no matter how hard you try). Only by addressing their specific needs and concerns will they purchase willingly and enthusiastically.
So, the quest then becomes to understand what motivates your buyer. Not by manipulation or trying to bend them to your will. But by understanding what’s most important in their business, whether your product is a good fit, and how you can help bring about the solution they’re looking for.
Customer Insight – Accept that motivation is different for each person
Another principle to remember is that motivation means something different for everyone. What you think is ridiculous may seem perfectly reasonable to someone else. It’s rare to find two different people motivated by the exact same things. There may be commonalities, but the specifics will undoubtedly be different.
That’s okay though.
For, in the end, we’re all searching for the same thing – increased happiness. And the truth is that no matter what anybody says, the motivations behind their actions are 100% based upon increasing the happiness in their lives.
It’s not your place to snark at their motivation or make fun of their beliefs. Quite the contrary. If you genuinely want to make the sale, your focus should be in understanding people’s motivations and figuring out how you can best address those needs and concerns.
Customer Insight – Working to Uncover your Prospect’s Specific Motivation
Now we know that each person’s motivation is unique and we should never try to force our own viewpoints on them. Just the opposite – we need to work to uncover each prospect’s individual motivation and utilize this information as part of our sales framework.
But this realization ultimately begs the bigger question: “How do we find out what our prospects motivations are?”
Thankfully, the answer is easy – You ask them.
Most businesses tell their customers why they should buy, but they fail to ask if prospects ever even need anything in the first place. This is a prime opportunity to differentiate yourself and stand out from the crowd.
Ask the customer what they need, focus on what they’re saying, and then carefully decide if you can offer anything that will be of value.
For example, the single best question that can ever leave your lips is this:
“What is your biggest problem right now?”
The answers may vary but will all have one thing in common: a goldmine of information.
Pay attention to what the person tells you. For if you do, you’ll have the exact strategy needed to close the deal. That’s right – your customer will actually tell you how to make the sale.
They’ll share with you what benefits and features are most important to them. On the flip side, you’ll also know what topics they could care less about. And that’s the magic. You now have a customized blueprint for which sales approach will resonate most with the prospect.
For the icing on the cake, try one of these as a follow-up:
- “If you could wave a magic wand and make the problem go away, what would that mean to you?”
- “What would that solution look like?”
And then you become the hero. Feed them the information they care about (and ignore the rest).
In our next lesson, we’ll show you how to continue building upon your new connection. And if done correctly, the results may forever change the way you approach salesmanship.
Most people make obtaining customer insight a lot harder than it has to be.
To see results, you need to shift your mindset about how you go about making sales in the first place.
It all begins with realizing that you don’t need to motivate anyone to buy from you. After all – you can’t. Each person already has their own logic for what motivates them. You simply need to figure out what it is.
When you do, you’ll learn exactly what you need to do to make the sale (and be armed with the information to make it happen).
How about you? What techniques have you used to uncover your prospects’ motivation? Leave a comment below and tell us.