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Let’s say you need to buy new tires for your car. You spend time researching, find the right ones, and head to the store to buy them. When you get there, someone tries to upsell you on more expensive tires and keeps you chatting much longer than you wanted. Even when you’ve told him that you know what you want, he keeps trying to change the conversation to something that’s better suited for him. Finally you get the tires you wanted, look over all of the paperwork, and book it out of there. As you’re leaving, all you can think about is what a terrible experience that was.

As a marketer or sales rep, your job is to make the buying experience easy and enjoyable for your customers – so even if you want to upsell, you’ve got to avoid the above. Here are four things you can do right now to make sure your buyers are happy throughout the whole process.

Understand what the customer needs

Put yourself in their shoes and identify how you can help them. If the customer doesn’t feel like you have their back, you can say goodbye to an upsell or renewal. So determine a handful of pain points specific to each customer you’re talking to, and refer back to them as much as possible.

The best way to get customer buy in is to show them how big their problem is in numbers – with their own data. To keep the conversation moving forward, have a clear call to action that relates back to the customer’s pain points. Try using one of these during your next call:

  • “I’ll give you a call next Wednesday to chat more about how we can help you [solve customer pain point]. In the meantime, check in with your marketing team and share their challenges with me on our call. Let’s work together to find a solution.
  • “Send me a few examples of how you’ve tried to overcome some of these challenges in the past.”
  • “It sounds like you’ve been struggling for a while. Why do something about it now? And what’s your timeline? Let’s map it out.”

Make conversation relevant

According to Forrester Research, 66 percent of all buyers think salespeople don’t have relevant examples or case studies to share during the buying process. Even with an overload of content, the right information isn’t getting to the right people.

Take the time to to pair down your content so you’re only sharing what’s most important to your prospect. Step one: put marketing and sales in the same room. Marketing knows the full scope of available content and sales knows who’s reading it.

Step two: filter content. Here are a few questions to help you get started:

  • What device are people using to view content – for example, a phone or a laptop?
  • At what stage are they consuming this content?
  • Are your prospects more interested in learning more about your product or how your product has helped another organization in their industry?

Step three: tailor your message. Every conversation you have with your prospects should be about how you can help them solve a problem or do something better. Remember that your customers are thinking about what’s in it for them, so your conversation better be relevant to them, not just you.

Limit waste of time

If you’ve ever listened to someone tell a story and they ramble on, you’ve probably caught yourself thinking, “Just cut to the chase – what’s the point?”

Every conversation should add value – whether it’s 30 seconds or three hours. If you’re trying to woo a prospect, make sure you’re not boring them, and more importantly, that you’re not wasting their time. An easy way to do that is by starting every conversation with your agenda. If you know you only have 30 minutes, tell them that. “I want to be respectful of your time so in the next 30 minutes, I’d like to talk about x,y, and z.”

Remember that your agenda should be flexible and you might need to pivot at any time. If you can tell your prospect is interested in something, go after that. They’re going to tune out if they lose interest, so don’t waste their time (or yours) talking about something that’s not important.

Have the right resources in place

It should go without saying, but we’ll say it anyway: be prepared. A lack of resources makes for a bad experience – it can lead to a delay in getting answers or even turn a “yes” into “no.”

As a sales rep, you don’t have to know everything, but you should know someone who does. For example, know when you need to bring in a sales engineer to answer technical questions or a marketer to help draft the perfect email response.

But you also need to prep your prospects with the right tools, too. If you want to avoid a bottleneck in the decision making process (and we all do) know who needs to be on the call to give the final sign off.

If you want to create the best buying experience for your customers, try out these steps. We bet they’ll thank you in the end.

Last update: May 10, 2017
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