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Maybe the Customer is Always Right!

My old sales process made me an ....

Why Being “Right” Doesn’t Really Matter!

I have sold copiers for quite some time now.  I do a lot of research as to what copiers have what features.  When a customer calls in looking for information, I feel like they got lucky to get a hold of me.  If this is true, why has my closing rate been average at best?  Maybe I missed something that was more important than facts and data.  Listening…

When I get calls, it often sounds like an interview detailing facts, with far too little time focused on listening to where the customer is coming from.  Yesterday, for example, a law firm called me looking for a copier for their office.  They were only doing about 1,000 pages a month.  I thought they needed a copier that cost about $1,000.  Instead of trying to convince them they really didn’t need the big copier they were asking about, I decided to ask more questions.

Do you need hole punching?  Yes

Would you want to just buy paper that was hole punched to save about $1,500?  No

Do you need to print in tabloid?  No

Do you need to make booklets?  Probably not, but we want the capability

What’s the most important thing to you?  That we can grow with the copier and do what we need to do without a hassle.

I am so used to people trying to save a dollar here and a dollar there, I forgot that there are times when money doesn’t matter as much as convenience or features.  If I went with my values, saving a few bucks, I would have ended up in a debate with the client and someone else would have offered the copier they really wanted and got the sale.  If I am losing sales, is it because I didn’t learn what really matters to the client?  It would seem that people generally buy based on their values.  It is better to help them find products that align with their values instead of assuming that my values are correct.

What are some of the different reasons people may find  the deciding factor of who they purchase from?

  • Price is one of these
  • Quality of products
  • Number of service calls
  • Extra special features, like the ability to print really thick card stock
  • Color matching or color quality
  • Comfort with the rep
  • Previous relationship with the existing copier vendor
  • Document management plug in capabilities
  • Brand of copier
  • etc

If I simply assume that my primary buying value of feature vs costs and trying to get the “biggest bang for my buck” is the same for everyone, I will lose sales and alienate potential clients.  Be prepared to answer a few questions if you call as I am getting more and more sensitive to the simple fact that maybe the customer is always right!

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