When it comes to sales one of the more important aspects is know your customer. Not just knowing their name but knowing as much information as possible. This is not always an easy task, and it is not always something that you will do from a single interaction with a single customer, but something that you can build upon over time.
Getting an idea of what sort of information you need to or may want to know about your customer is a good place to start,
- Who your customer is – This is not always a clear cut question, and it is not really about a name or any external feature. It is a profile of your ideal customer, eg they want a certain product, in a certain price range, and how much do they care if they have that product or not.
- What does the customer want – Knowing what your customer wants is a key part of your initial problem as well, if you believe that they want free giveaways with products, but what they actually want is just an honest sales person with the product knowledge to guide them to the correct product. Then your whole sales pitch may be causing you to loose more customer then it gains.
- When do your customers want it – In many respects the time frame that your customers are willing to wait for a product can impact whether a sale is made or not. So knowing the time frame they are comfortable with waiting can help to know your customer better.
- How do they want it – Another important thing to know is how the customer wants the product, maybe if it is a gift item the customer would really like gift wrapping available, or maybe if it is a big item, they would like to be able to have it delivered. Knowing how they want the product made available can be a key to catching those few extra sales.
- Why do they want it – Knowing why a customer wants a product can give you an advantage. Of course though this is going to be something different for everyone. But still having some idea on what people’s motivation is to buy a certain product can have an impact on seeing the correct buying signs in a customer.
- How much are they willing to pay – If you have a customer that is willing to pay withing a certain price bracket for a product, and you are price to far above or below that point then you may end up losing sales, due to a skepticism, in perceived value. For example a bottle of milk i would expect to pay $3, If i went and found that same bottle for $1, i would be looking for what is wrong (out of date, damaged, what is wrong?) Where as if they were selling it for $7 i would not be even looking for anything but the door. If something to far away from what you expect to pay it is a almost certain deal breaker.
- How far will they go – The length that a customer is willing to go to, to get a product, can be a big indication on a number of other key points above, and it is a sure point not to miss. If a customer really wants a product, they will often pass by many of their hesitations, price can sometimes become irrelevant, and waiting time is not such a big deal. The best place this can be seen is an exotic car, people that want these cars often have no problem paying the price, will wait months for delivery and that is because it is such an attraction to them. You may not get the same level of attraction to your product but it will still be there to some extent.
There is a bit of information there to take in, but if you can manage to bring it all together and get to know your customers in a way that your competitors are not interested in, you can gain an advantage. So it may take time and it will not always be easy to get the information directly, but once you have worked it out, there can be a big difference.