10 Things Every Customer Wants

Surprisingly, the best price and best value is at the bottom of the customer’s priority list. See what’s at the top.

Why does a customer buy from one vendor rather than another? According to research recently conducted by The Rain Group (detailed report here), customers tend to buy from sellers who are superlative at the following tasks:

1. Bring New Perspectives and Ideas

If customers could diagnose their own problems and come up with workable solutions on their own, they would do so. The reason that they’re turning to you and your firm is that they’re stuck and need your help. Therefore, you must be able to bring something new to the table.

2. Be Willing to Collaborate

Customers absolutely do NOT want you to sell them something, even something that’s wonderful. They want you to work with them to achieve a mutual goal, by being responsive to the customer’s concerns and ways of doing business. Ideally, customers want you to become integral to their success.

3. Have Confidence In Your Ability to Achieve Results

Customers will not buy from you if you can’t persuade them that you, your firm, and your firms offerings will truly achieve the promised results. It is nearly impossible to persuade a customer to believe in these things unless you yourself believe in them. You must make your confidence contagious.

4. Listen, Really Listen, to the Customer

When they’re describing themselves and their needs, customers sense immediately when somebody is just waiting for a break in the conversation in order to launch into a sales pitch. In order to really listen, you must suppress your own inner-voice and forget your goals. It’s about the customer, not about you.

5. Understand ALL the Customer’s Needs

It’s not enough to “connect the dots” between customer needs and your company’s offering. You must also connect with the individuals who will be affected by your offering, and understand how buying from you will satisfy their personal needs, like career advancement and job security.

6. Help the Customer Avoid Potential Pitfalls

Here’s where many sellers fall flat. Customers know that every business decision entails risk but they also want your help to minimize that risk. They want to know what could go wrong and what has gone wrong in similar situations, and what steps you’re taking to make sure these problems won’t recur.

7. Craft a Compelling Solution

Solution selling is definitely not dead. Customers want and expect you to have the basic selling skill of defining and proposing a workable solution. What’s different now though is that the ability to do this is the “price of entry” and not enough, by itself, to win in a competitive sales situation.

8. Communicate the Purchasing Process

Customers hate it when sellers dance around issues like price, discounts, availability, total cost, add-on options, and so forth. They want you to be able to tell them, in plain and simple language, what’s involved in a purchase and how that purchase will take place. No surprises. No last minute upsells.

9. Connect Personally With the Customer

Ultimately, every selling situation involves making a connection between two individuals who like and trust each other. As a great sales guru once said: “All things being equal, most people would rather buy from somebody they like… and that’s true even when all things aren’t equal.”

10. Provide Value That’s Superior to Other Options

And here, finally, at the No. 10 spot (below everything else) comes the price and how that price compares to similar offerings. Unless you can prove that buying from you is the right business decision for the customer, the customer can and should buy elsewhere.

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Geoffrey James writes the Sales Source column on Inc.com, the world’s most visited sales-oriented blog. His newly published book is Business to Business Selling: Power Words and Strategies From the World’s Top Sales Experts@Sales_Source

Thinking About Selling or Buying a Home??

 Here are some essential tips….

Smart strategies for sellers!

Putting a home on the market can be stressful, and some owners have hard time making objective decisions when it matters most. Make sure you also lean into your trusted real estate professional for additional insight & guidance.

When the price is right.Your listing agent will perform a current market analysis. Looking closely at the comparable sales of homes in your neighborhood that have closed in the last 90 days and take the number of available listings into account when agreeing to an asking price.

Keep in mind…

  • Homes that have failed to attract a buyer in a reasonable period of time may be overpriced.
  • Foreclosures or short sales in your neighborhood can impact your home’s market value.
  • It doesn’t pay to set the price too high; most buyers will need financing and the bank will generally use an appraisal based on recent sales to justify the loan amount.

Take advantage of your market debut.

Recent university research has found that homeowners consistently overestimate the market value of their homes by 5 to 10 percent.

Pricing your home competitively from the get-go increases the odds of a quick sale.

  • Most buyers screen available homes on the internet, and new listings get 4 times more web traffic. If your home is priced too high when it hits the market, you run the risk that active, qualified buyers will scroll right past it!
  • New listings are called “HOT” for a reason – buyers get excited about them. Showings are likely to cool off noticeably after the first 30 days on the market.
  • When weighing an offer, make sure to consider the potential costs of holding on to your property longer than you want or need to (including the mortgage, property taxes, insurance, maintenance, etc.)

Your agent may recommend that you perform repairs to correct visible flaws – or even suggest staging your home so it feels more spacious & potential buyers can picture themselves living there.

Sweeten the deal….

Sellers who agree  to pay the buyers closing costs can make it easier for first-timers to obtain financing. Offering to throw in appliances, upgrade allowances or other perks could also swing a buyer’s decision in your direction!