You can have the best product in its category and it can be in the ideal price range but if you can’t tell the customer what it can do for them it will not sell. Customers don’t buy products, they buy solutions to their problems. As long as the product continues to be a solution it will sell. The day the product creates more problems than it solves, it will stop selling. So, knowing just what the customer needs is crucial to the success of your business.
How do you find out what the customer needs?
You find out what the customer needs by listening to what the customer is telling you. There are many channels through which your customer communicates with your business. One of the most common ways that they communicate with you is through anyone who provides direct customer service. A regular debriefing of what common questions and doubts a customer asks them will give you helpful clues to what their expectations and desires are. This is instrumental in planning your sales strategy in the future. Of course your sales staff will be able to help you here as they deal with the customers every day.
Capitalize on their desires and motivation
Find out what is the desire behind buying your product. Is it a choice that they are making by shifting from a regular brand to try out something new? Or is it a solution to a problem that they have faced? Are they happy enough with the product that they bought? Can you somehow improve the product to help them meet their desires better and stay motivated to buy future replacements from your business? Remember motivation often comes from unmet psychological needs, so it is not just a physical problem that you may be offering a solution to. It is a physical product but it meets a psychological need. Learn how to pitch the product best with this understanding.
Gather information through different sources
Information is the key here, so ensure that you gain the relevant information from different sources. If you rely on just customer conversations you may not be getting the full picture. It is well worth doing some market research into the demographics and income slabs of your existing customers to profile the kind of customers you are likely to sell to in the future. Feedback forms given to customers can provide valuable information, so can independent surveys conducted by hired consultants. Don’t breach a customer’s privacy; be ethical when you gather your information. This is a concept that you must be especially careful about if you sell online.
Understand the customer’s needs and meet them
Once you know your customer it becomes easier for you to service them better. You can increase your sales by addressing the right desires and needs of the customer. Make sure that each time you sell your product you solve a problem for the customer. That way you will ensure that you end up with a great reputation and a fairly loyal customer base.
Written by Sarika Periwal – part of the team that started up KarmaCRM.com, an online CRM software. She specializes in marketing and writes for various online publications.