Valuable sales intro

3 customer preferences that businesses need to know to grow

Are you looking for an advantage? A way to differentiate your business from your competitors? A sure-fire way to be memorable with customers and to be the ONE business they look forward to meeting?

You can do all of that (plus increase your sales!) if you make these simple, subtle shifts. Research in Stop Selling & Start Leading reveals that the secret is to create such an awesome connecting experience that customers will go out of their way to come to you.

More and more businesses are aiming to create experiences that connect customers to their brands and their products. In the past, product capabilities and satisfactory service made a customer loyal to a brand. These days, every business offers similar quality in their product and service offerings. The only way left to distinguish your brand is through the experience you provide to each buyer.

Taken together, these three shifts will enable you to create an awesome connecting experience for your customers.

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Create Value

Unlike the value inherent in your products, created value is unique, relevant, and timely for each customer. It isn’t generic. MIT Sloan Management Review defines Value Creation this way:

“Value creation is defined by the experience of a specific consumer, at a specific point in time at a specific location, in the context of a specific event… The experience space is conceptually distinct from that of the product space. In the experience space, the individual consumer is central, and an event triggers a co-creation experience… The involvement of the individual influences that experience. The personal meaning derived from a co-creation experience is what determines the value to the individual.”

To create value, you need to understand the individual buyer and make every interaction – meeting, conversation, and transaction – a meaningful experience.

Your customers recognize and respond to personally meaningful interactions. And the response is an emotional one. Strong interaction and customer experience increase customers’ desire to engage with your brand or even make an instant purchase.

How can you offer an unexpected happy experience for your customers? Here are a few ideas:

  • Ask thought-provoking questions that pique customers’ interest.
  • Listen exceptionally well and have a human-to-human exchange (no scripts!).
  • Remember and respond to the little things a customer tells you.
  • Show empathy, curiosity, and humility instead of pretending to have all the answers.
  • Build trust by keeping your promises and commitments.

Co-Create Insights

Gone are the days when you could simply pitch a product that would meet the needs of a target audience. Today’s empowered customers expect a customized experience. They want to be involved in activities that make your product or service better. They respond enthusiastically (even euphorically) when you get them participating in creating something special.

“Insight Selling” employs the concept of co-creating to create the euphoric experience for your customers. When you take this approach, you engage customers before you pitch what you think they want. You co-create a vision for the outcomes your customers desire. Then you co-create the solution that will move them toward this shared vision.

This approach will differentiate you from your competitors who usually develop unilateral insights and then deliver those insights to customers. In such cases, customers have a ho-hum reaction rather than the euphoric response that they show when they are involved in the co-creation of insights.

Bonus: Watch this webinar to learn how the best sales professionals engage with their prospects

Generate Demand

When you create value and co-create insights, you’ll generate demand too. Customer referred prospects convert better than those generated through cold calls. So you’d want to focus your efforts on generating buyer demand by creating “such an awesome connecting experience that they will go out of their way to come to you.” This is where all the buyer research points. And it’s akin to what the most successful businesses have already been doing, even before the rest of the sales industry has caught on!

The more you create value and co-create with customers, the more demand you’ll generate. More opportunities with more customers lead to more sales. The demand you’ll be generating is the direct result of making behavioral shifts that customers desire.

About the author

Deb Calvert Deb Calvert is the President of People First Productivity Solutions, offering sales training, coaching, and leadership development programs. Deb leads the Stop Selling & Start Leading® movement and founded The Sales Experts Channel.
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