Recently, an associate made an astute and intriguing observation, one that captured my immediate attention. He stated that “most customers buy the who (us) not the what (products) that they can easily buy from anyone.” What a statement of fact! That is such an important distinction and a lesson well worth additional discussion and remembering. Why would anybody want to buy from just anyone?
While most salespeople represent a company’s product line, ranging from pharmaceuticals to cleaning products, they are typically not the owner of the company. They do however, represent that company, sharing their brand image and reputation in the marketplace, whether good or bad. Customers tend to see salespeople, not the companies they work for. From a customer perspective, salespeople are often synonymous with their employer. Their individual identity often fades into the background.
The superior salesperson is continuously aware of the critical importance of nurturing customer relationships in their daily selling efforts. These salespeople strive to expose their own identity, their own brand, in addition to their employer’s presence. They inject themselves into the process, making a personal investment in the selling experience. By cultivating relationships with their customers, salespeople endear themselves to their customers as dependable and valued resources. In this manner, salespeople become indispensable.
Let’s face it salespeople: Assuming that your customer knows what he needs, almost without exception, he can locate an alternate source for virtually any product that you sell, many times at a lesser price. The internet is loaded with sites ready to sell almost anything at unbelievably low prices. These dot-coms usually offer many generic products for sale, well-known products requiring little assistance from anyone to put into immediate use. A mere press of the “Buy Now” button your product is well on its way to you.
Of course, many customers do not know what it is that they need to solve their problems. They require careful assistance and guidance. This very fact is responsible for your presence. Your role is to add value to the equation by being a knowledgeable and helpful resource, providing solutions, not merely products and services. Value is the determining factor. They level of value added dictate the importance of price in the selling equation. The greater the value added, the lesser the importance of price in the transaction and the greater the potential for profits.
Customers do indeed buy the who, not the what. Learn that critical distinction and prosper.