They want outcomes.
What they don’t want is to spend money on something that doesn’t deliver on what is expected. You could put it another way — what customers want is confidence. In fact, I’ll go one step further in saying customers buy confidence.
The confidence they’re looking for is in being able to receive the benefits they believe they will gain from buying from you. Confidence also comes from you, the salesperson, in how you interact with the customer.
If you’re not able to display confidence, then how would anyone expect the customer to be confident?
Think about this from your perspective when you’ve been looking to make a purchase. When you’re confident about what it is you’re buying and/or the buying process, you’re much more willing to buy.
An example I like to use in training programs is comparing two similar items — one being offered on eBay and the other by a store you’ve been buying from for years. Even though the items are the same in both locations, all other things being equal, you would be far more comfortable buying it from the retailer you know rather than the unknown person on eBay.
I like to share this example as a way of getting salespeople to realize the importance they play in the sale process.
If the salesperson doesn’t display confidence, then it becomes that much harder for the customer to gain confidence. Yes, the customer can gain confidence by understanding clearly the benefits they will gain from buying the product or service, but there is still an element of confidence that has to come from the salesperson.
Many times I feel this is the difference between full-price and a discount.
When the salesperson isn’t displaying confidence, it becomes far too easy for them to begin thinking the customer isn’t confident in buying. The natural reaction by the non-confident salesperson is to either forgo attempting to close the sale or attempting to close by offering a discount.
Either way it’s a recipe for disaster.
It’s a disaster for the salesperson, because they’ve either made the sales process longer than necessary or they’ve given up profit.
I also believe it’s a loss for the customer, because even though one might say they won with a lower price, they actually lost because in the end their confidence in what they bought is less than it could be.
Customers buy confidence. The more confidence they experience, the more they will pay.
Copyright 2011, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog.
Great post, Mark! What would your advice be for inexperienced salespeople to gain that confidence?