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Why Is The Customer Always Right?

We need to ask ourselves this question every time we are about to approach a prospective customer or client. Why? Because the answer will give us the ability to give the customer exactly what they need. This ties into my previous postWhats more important: The Product or the Customer?

Before I go any further, there is the customer who describes a 42-inch HD Plasma TV as “the big flat telly’s with DH“, and do you know what? They are right too! But sometimes eager sales people want to show off knowledge in a tactless way, making the customer feel silly.

Cars are my knowledge weak point, they have four wheels and get us from A to B. That is all I need to know for my purchase. A sales person who asked “why is the customer right?” will ask me what I need it for, what my budget is, is there anything I specifically want/need. Our eager sales person will start speaking a foreign language of car knowledge… and essentially lose the sale…

There is the customer who buys after hearing all the fancy jargon that was used in the pitch, but in my experience that can lead to follow-up calls, visits and sometimes dissatisfied customers. We need our Sales Teams to have knowledge of products but we also need them to have knowledge of all possible customers, not just specific targeted markets.

For me, the most important reason why the customer is always right is because it’s their money, their hard-earned cash that they are spending with me. They want to feel, heard, understood and special.

A major supermarket tries to ensure that there are never more than two in a queue it doesn’t always happen, but they try (customers complained about the large number of un-manned checkouts), good marketing on their part. But I know for me, I’m way less grumpy by the time I am paying if I have been ushered to a newly opened checkout, I’m happy paying for my goods. Queuing for 20 minutes whilst seeing staff meander around does not make a happy shopper. I have walked away from a trolley, essentially taking my money elsewhere.

The customer is the person who has the money to buy your service/product, they know in their head what it is they want/need, making them right in their mind. They have chosen your product/service, so in your mind they have made the right choice.

So if your staff ask themselves that one small question before they stepped into the showroom, “why is the customer always right?”, they will find out what the customer needs rather than sell what they know.

These are just a couple examples of Sales Techniques that can go wrong or work, what do you think does or doesn’t work?

The Training and Up-Skilling of your team, whether it is just you a Sole-Trader or you and a team of 200 is vital in the development of your Business. I have worked for over 15 years in Traditional Sales & Direct Sales spheres; I advanced from being a Direct Sales Agent to becoming a Business Development Manager involved in the Recruitment and Training of other Direct Sales Agents. I have developed Sales Training Programs that are effective and fun, bringing Sales Teams together up and down the country. Because I have worked in a Sales and Customer Service capacity for over 15 years, in both the retail and direct sales environments, I have learned vital techniques that can establish Customer & Sales Agent behaviors. This has allowed me a great understanding of Sales Processes. I have gained valuable experience in all aspects of Sales, Sales Training and Customer Service: Sales Pipeline Establishment and Development, Objection Handling, Closing Sales, Business Development, Networking, Customer Service, Complaint Handling, Complaint Resolution, Training and Education of Sales Agents.

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  • Hi Tori, Following on from the customer is always right theme, I’ve come to realise that sometimes what the customers wants and what they need can be two different things. So should the salesperson sell the customer what he/she wants or what he/she needs?

  • Torihawthorne

    Hi Niall, nThanks for the comment, its true they can be two different things. Sometimes what they want isn’t what they need and vise-versa but a good salesperson will find out and let the customer know without offending them and ultimately sell them the product they want and need. (if they have it) A good sales person shouldn’t be affraid of losing a sale if they don’t have the right product/service. The fact that they have put the customer in the right direction will bring the customer back to them or recommend them…

  • Customers always wonders to themselves – WIIFM (what’s in it for me?)nVender should ALWAYS ask themselves WIIFT (what’s in it for them?)nnBy knowing what a client/customer wants to buy, we know the right product/service to sell.nA sales person in 2011 needs to be much more than a seller of things, they need to be a SME (subject matter expert), a confidante, a coach, an advisor. It should get to the stage where the client involves the sales person in their decision making, referring back before any decisions are made.nnA match made in Heaven one may wonder, but I believe it works.nnGreat post, nothing like a Monday morning discussion about customers :)n

  • Torihawthorne

    Thats SO true Elaine, we are so many things to our customers. A good Team/Sales Leader is all those things to their team too, if a sales person feels support in all those areas from above, they will in turn have the confidence to be what the customer needs…nnPeople think to be a great sales person you have to be able to talk.. You do, but you have to be a better listenernWe could chat about this forever ;)nnThanks for your comment Elaine

  • I know this mightn’t be as relevant in B2C but I now don’t attempt to sell unless the prospect has a good grasp of what they need, if they are in denial or are unprepared to invest in the right way, I send them elsewhere, there are plenty of other companies that will take their money. I found that I was spending too much time with companies who were not yet ready to buy what they needed. In my opinion, the key in B2B sales at the mo is to ensure that you spend your time talking to prospects that are in a position to buy.

  • Hi Tori,nnI agree with you and i do like the way you said that they are the ones with the money. Even if they are wrong in their mind they will always perceive they are right especially when businesses try and convince them otherwise.

  • Hi Tori. For me the only way to develop a truly focused and relevant sale for the customer is to understand how your product or service will help them overcome their problem or make their lives easier. Without a solid understanding of the customers business or need, it is almost impossible to make your offering relevant to them and the sale won’t happen.nThanks for sharing

  • A salesperson must be a chameleon, in a way. That allows them to relate to many different people while still maintaining their true identity. Sometimes this requires stepping up or down so you can be on the same level as the consumer or possibly a little below their level but never above.

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