Failure starts with forgetting the driving force of every business.
Let’s be real for a moment and realize why most businesses fail. I’ll give you a hint: it’s a four letter word which drives revenues through the door. Hopefully by now you’ve put the clues together and came across the correct answer; sales.
Sales are the thing which brings in the almighty dollar into your business. There is no other way around this. In fact, you’ll be surprised just how little attention you may be giving to sales. So, below you’ll find one major reason why owners, managers, and even associates navigate away from sales and a decent solution to help you get back on track.
Problem: “I don’t want to force someone to buy something they don’t want”.
Unfortunately, this thinking is cancerous to any business and can literally destroy a company. Often associates may feel as if they are coming across insincere by promoting products or services for buyers to purchase. The reason for this is quite psychological.
Although a company can spend tens of thousands of dollars on qualitative and quantitative market research to identify target markets in which a product or service can fill a need, the sales associate can drop the ball. Why? Because associates attempt to become the buyer to see if the product or service is worth it. This is incorrect thinking for an associate and surprisingly enough they may be unaware of this habit.
This issue becomes extremely problematic for your company when associate attempts to fill the shoes of a customer and “become that customer”. Without realizing it, they will unknowingly begin to project their own personal situation and come to quick conclusions that customers do not need that product or service.
Although they may not announce it, their action will reflect it.
So, when the associate does this and cannot find the benefits, or feels like the true benefits are not “beneficial” (again because they are not the true target market), associates then lose belief that the product or service will effectively do what it was created to do. As a result, sales will decline, not because the market research was incorrect, but because the sales associate was incorrectly trained.
Simple Solution #1: “Pursue the need before the solution”.
Everyone has a need and those needs have to be quickly identified. Begin a daily 10 minute training process with associates going over how to identify the true needs of the customer.
A good start is getting everyone on the same page about asking open ended questions. Forget the yes and no dead end questions and focus on the who, what, where, when, why and hows. I assure you, if you generate just one question for each (who, what, where, when, why, and how) a conversation will begin and learning the customers’ need becomes that much easier.
Simple Solution #2: “Everyone in the company needs to know the target market”.
This sounds simple enough, right? But think about the last time you spoke to your sales associates and managers about the target market. When was the last time you spoke about the company’s demographics? How often are you keeping it in the front of their minds? There’s an old saying which fits what we’re speaking about and it goes, “out of sight, out of mind.”
“Out of sight, out of mind.”
Customer centricity should always be the leader of your company. It begins with understanding and truly knowing your ideal customer. So, invest the time and effort to ensure each and every one of your associates knows who the ideal customer is, how they operate, what they drive, what they wear and so on. The time where this information was only privileged to marketers and top managers is over because the sooner the associates learn to quickly identify their target, the less waste they will produce overall.
Tell us what you think. What other mental hurdles can sales associates overcome to increase their overall sales?