MARK 362
with Duane Weaver
BUILDING VALUABLE
CUSTOMER
RELATIONSHIPS
Creating, Maintaining and Providing Value
OUTLINE
• Creating Relationships
– 20 lessons for sales success (overview)
• Maintaining the Relationship
• Providing Value
Creating Relationships
The SALES SUCCESS Handbook – 20 Lessons to Pen and
Close Sales Now, Linda Richardson, McGraw Hill, 2003
1 Create Dialogue
– Build INTERACTIVITY – assess give/get ratio
(talk/listen ratio)
– Ask more PROBING questions (look for unique problems;
look for the edge/leverage points)
– LEARN about the CUSTOMER (avoid educating the
customer)
Creating Relationships
2 Always be preparing
• Prepare all calls
– Strategic Preparation
– Customer Preparation
– Product/Technical Preparation
• Tailor all material
– Requires solid customer research to show you know your customer:
logos, current trends/issues, environmental issues, personalized
items.
• Visualize your call
– Plan the flow and allow MORE time for customer input:. Type out a
question flow chart or create bullet items to discuss (avoid written out
questions other than your VITO opener).
– Allow for flexibility to follow a customer’s sudden urgent need
Creating Relationships
3 Sharpen Critical Skills
• Presence, relating, questioning, listening,
positioning, checking. Work on skills you
need to improve.
• Commit to self-critique: assess your success
• Feedback: ask your customers how you are
doing
Creating Relationships
4 Customer Focused Opening
• Build rapport
• Opener greets, establishes rapport and has
agenda. (See selling to VITO)
Creating Relationships
5 Relate to customers
• Acknowledge
– Verbally indicate you “heard” them
• Empathize
– Genuine concern for observed emotions
• Rapport
– How will you build rapport??
Creating Relationships
6 Position questioning – expectation
management
• Bridge to asking questions and/or the right to
take notes
• Enable the customer to understand the value
to them of your questions (just tell me the
price and features – avoid, ask needs firstwith permission)
Creating Relationships
7 Questioning Strategy
• High-impact needs dialogues
– Understand obj’s, current situation, satisfaction
levels, and future needs (especially personal)
• Prep questions
• Forward thinking: Understand all elements of
implementation
Creating Relationships
8 Think questions
• Customer Needs FIRST
• Avoid answering (do not tell until you know all
the needs…take time to synthesize
answers—shows concern and forethought
about buyer needs)
Creating Relationships
9 Deeper NEED dialogues
• Slow down (avoid answering)
• Use acknowledgement vs. paraphrasing to
encourage customer discussion
• CURIOUSITY drive (like you really do care)
Creating Relationships
10 Skillfully ask questions
• Open-ended
• Pace and Pause
(one question at a time – do not answer your
own questions – let the customer think)
• Drill-down questions – get deeper
Creating Relationships
11 Effective Listening
• Listen to ALL content (not just words) with
INTENSITY and keep eye contact
• Listen for words/emotions and clarify
ambiguity
• Listen with your eyes (body language)
• E.G.: ACTIVE LISTENING
Creating Relationships
12 Position Message
• Know and practice your key message
• Update your message continuously (keep it
current)
• Position effectively (listen to key customer
benefits and integrate them into your key
message)
Creating Relationships
13 Analyze Competitors
• Know them (research)
• Get your customer’s view about them
• Tactful highlighting of their weaknesses
(get the customer to consider the area of weakness
without discussing the competitor or yourself)
Creating Relationships
14 Use objections to move forward
• Acknowledge or empathize with customer
concern
• Ask questions to learn more about concern
• Position your response (customize response and
check for satisfaction)
Creating Relationships
15 Check for FEEDBACK
• Ask for feedback before moving on
• Use checking questions throughout the call
• Reality check your objective (trial close, etc.)
Creating Relationships
16 Don’t negotiate TOO EARLY
• Understand the NEED beneath the DEMAND
• Trade don’t GIVE (Discount in return for what?
More service support in exchange for what less?)
• Use the power of silence after stating price (the first
to speak usually first to concede). (Be confident about the
value you have built.)
Creating Relationships
17 Treat CLOSING as a PROCESS
• Objective for each call
• Feedback throughout call
• End call with ACTION STEP (sale or concrete
next step – ask for ACTION)
Creating Relationships
18 Leverage all resources***
• Map customer decision-making process, question,
observe, analyze. (Access the decision makers and know
who influences the decision maker.)
• Enlist support of your team members (share the credit when you
win).
• Develop a coach within customer’s organization (champions
your sale for you and guides you to success)
Creating Relationships
19 Follow up flawlessly
• Have a system (active daily to do) ORGANIZE
• Sense of urgency (be relentless and
communicate deadlines with customers)
• Keep follow up in your court (don’t expect
customers to do your job)
Creating Relationships
20 Validate the opportunity
• Assume nothing (double check all information received
to make sure it is valid and real)
• Remember things change (revalidate and adjust your
strategy and message)
• Don’t stop at one (validate more than once and with more
than one person in the customer’s organization)
MAINTAINING THE RELATIONSHIP
“There’s no evidence to suggest that the longer the
relationship is maintained the more likely a
customer is to either continue buying from you or
to refer your products and services to new
potential customers...what are you going to do with
your customer’s today that will ensure that they are
your customers tomorrow”
Martin, S. and Colleran, G., 2003. SOLD, how
to make it easy for people to buy from you (p. 3)
MAINTAINING THE RELATIONSHIP
1.
2.
Avoid Complacency
Liking – people that like each other are more likely to engage and
maintain a relationship that those that do not. Caused by three things:
1.
2.
3.
3.
Similarities
Praise (genuinely – not cheesy)
Cooperation
Listening
“Truly effective listening is the ability to give people your full attention
and then demonstrating that you understand what the person is saying
to you”
Martin, S. and Colleran, G., 2003. SOLD, how
to make it easy for people to buy from you (p. 12)
•
•
•
Practice Active listening
Use “parrot” phrasing vs. paraphrasing
Be sincere in your concerns – show value
PROVIDING WHAT IS
VALUABLE TO THE CUSTOMER
Silence isn’t golden, it’s brown.
A silent customer leaves us well and truly
in the proverbial brown stuff.
Martin, S. and Colleran, G., 2003. SOLD, how
to make it easy for people to buy from you (p. 50)
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
LISTEN – to what they want
SHOW – what they want when they want
TELL – what they ask to know
EXPERIENCE – let them experience the value wherever possible
(demonstration or use)
DON’T tell them everything! Often salespeople TALK themselves OUT
OF A SALE (oops! That was the feature they hate to consider – too
many bad memories).
THANKS!
• Make sure you download the chapter for the
next Lecture from the class website:
Chapter 2: “Establishing what is valuable to the
customer” from:
Martin, S. and Colleran, G., 2003. SOLD, how
to make it easy for people to buy from you (pp. 23-46)
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BUILDING VALUABLE CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIPS