I didn’t recognise it at the time, somewhere, somehow I had transited out of the condition of self-centered ‘salesman’. I had metamorphosed, developed greater awareness and thus, over time, a real understanding of ‘Client Values’ and the massive importance of client centric awareness. More importantly, I came to understand that Client Values are the core, the vital center of sales success.
Let me explain.
Ask most salespeople the value of clients and they will look somewhat confused by the perceived obviousness of the question! Of course a client is the sale, the point of the process, the source of income?
Maybe he is, but here’s the killer – focusing on income will guarantee failure to maximise it!
A client has much more value than simply buying the goods or services on offer, indeed the misconception that this is all he represents is in itself, a major cause of poor sales success!
A client actually has at least 4 other major values:
- A source of knowledge
- A gateway to more clients
- A source of credibility
1. A source of knowledge
A potential client is a valuable and vital source of knowledge that will help us determine not only his exact requirements (and by this I mean requirements of information and presentation), it will also help us understand what his counterparts may also require. What kind of person is he, why did he respond to the marketing? What makes someone like him consider your product/services? How will he use the product/services? What does he know about the business sector, or maybe the area he lives in, what concerns does he have etc.
No trainer can give better training than that provided by a client. Understanding what he really says, why and when he says yes and no, his reactions to what we say, how our presentation flows and impacts; it is vital to learn from each client contact if we wish to improve and grow our expertise.
3. A gateway to more clients
We all know that client recommendations are our lifeblood, don’t we? There is probably more written about the ‘how to get recommendations’ than most other elements of the sales process but very few of us ever get it as good as it should be.
Notwithstanding the actual mechanical process employed, one certainty about recommendations is that no client will introduce us to his family, friends and colleagues unless he has utmost respect and trust in us – and this means that the process he has undertaken with us has been totally focused on him and his needs and he feels secure and supported at the end of it.
We must remember – we cannot trick clients into giving us quality introductions. Their willingness to introduce us is the finest indication of their satisfaction in the sales process!
4. A source of credibility
The number, longevity and quality of our clients are evidence of our expertise, our abilities and our quality of service. Our continued success is wholly determined by the value of our client base – a high value client base will provide security and ongoing income – by default and it is therefore vital to create and nurture clients like the most valuable asset that they are.
Client awareness ensures long-term results
The importance of these major client values cannot be overlooked! Indeed, they are far more instrumental in our sales success than any product presentation or sales ‘pitch’ could ever be. Our ability to determine and truly understand our client’s real needs and desires will not only gain more clients, it will also ensure those clients remain our clients for the long term!
Focusing on these values will minimise point of sale pressure and stress for both client and salesperson alike, reduce the levels of marketing, provide clarity of direction together with many, many other peripheral benefits – not least of which is the production of more income as a natural by-product of providing excellence of client service.
For details of my books, programs, courses and speaking opportunities, please visit me at willoffen.com or write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.