Essential Selling Skills Part I: Customer-Oriented Selling

Learn how to adopt a customer-oriented sales approach.In business, it’s usually more valuable to develop a long-term customer relationship than to make a one-time sale. But, if your team is too focused on closing the deal and pushing products, they’re going to have difficulty developing that all-important relationship with your customers.

A customer-oriented sales approach is the key to increasing customer satisfaction, loyalty and business. Instead of forcing your products and services on prospects, your reps should be thinking about identifying customer needs and working to solve those problems.

Consider the following ways to improve your sales team’s success through customer-oriented selling.

Teach Them To Ask Questions

At the outset of every sales conversation, both parties have their own goal in mind: Your sales team wants to make the sale, and your customers want to have their needs met. The key to sales success is learning to fulfill both of these objectives.

How do you achieve that? It all starts with performance training. Your sales team must learn to ascertain each prospect’s needs by asking the right questions.

When pitching to potential clients, your sales representatives should begin the conversation with a focus on customer needs. In other words, what problems would the customer like your products or services to solve? Sales reps should also ask follow-up questions to gain a better understanding of how to resolve those issues.

In some cases, a client may not know exactly what they’re looking for. Again, by asking the right questions, your sales reps are able to guide their customers toward a better understanding of their needs.

Strengthen Their Communication Abilities

Once they’ve successfully identified customer needs, your sales representatives must effectively communicate your company’s offerings. Communication is a crucial aspect of customer-oriented selling.

Companies foster greater customer loyalty when they focus on communicating solutions to each customer’s specific problems. The following topics should be part of your sales performance training to achieve communication effectiveness.

  • Being respectful. Interrupting, contradicting or talking down to customers will never get you the sale. First and foremost, sales reps must treat every potential customer with professionalism and respect.
  • Creating a rapport. While sales reps should remain professional at all times, it’s important for them to connect with the customer, too. Doing so helps both parties feel more comfortable. Your salespeople should be friendly and engaging in order to develop effective customer relationships.
  • Listening well. To show that you are listening and applying what a customer has said, repeat the words and phrases used by them. Reiterating the very points they’ve made and connecting them to the solutions your company offers is a fundamental part of achieving sales success.

Show Them How To Master The Sales Call

When executed correctly, the sales call is an open doorway to making a deal. But, this call must be handled with a customer-oriented sales approach.

For instance, reps should not be telling potential customers about how great your company and its products or services are. Instead, they should be listening to the customer’s concerns and showing them how your company could meet those needs.

When sales representatives get on the phone, they need to sound confident and carry on a fluid conversation. Create a script that covers all of the information your representatives need in order to do this properly. Include questions to ask and compelling points to make about the services or products you offer. Then, run through this script with your sales representatives as many times as it takes to make them feel comfortable and relaxed when conducting the conversation with a client.

There’s more to explore about customer-oriented selling. Preview a Vital Selling course for free to see firsthand the benefits of sales performance training.

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