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The way people buy has changed

By Brad Barker

While I was shooting a video recently, I spoke with a middle-aged couple about what they liked about the buying experience. I also asked her about whether she liked being sold to, and she said, -

“No, I don’t like it when people try to push things on you.”

 Thinking I knew what she was going to say next, she brought up an excellent point – she said, -

“When I was younger, you would go to a shop, or welcome a conversation with a sales person about different products, and what they had to offer. We had no idea what was available to us back then, so we enjoyed hearing all the new and latest things that were available to us at the time. These days people already know about products because of the internet.”

This was an ‘aha’ moment for me. I had straddled this period over my career, had seen the old style of selling, and how we teach people to sell these days.

I remember when I received my first lot of sales training in the mid 90’s. A lot of it was the old school features and benefits approach – making sure you got the features and benefits of why the product was superior to any other product that may be in the market.

Humans and technology have evolved quickly in the last 20 years, and some of us have still not caught up.

As our world has evolved, so too has the buying experience. These days we still have to tell our clients what the features or the benefits are for them somewhere along the line, but first we have to let them feel that we genuinely care about them.

Yes, you need to know your products and how they will help your clients. But what has become more important now are the soft skills required to make the client feel that you are genuinely there to help them, and that you care.

Other than building rapport, asking really good quality questions that uncover their emotional reasons for the buy, and the logic behind why they are buying from you will go a long way for your client to feel that you care.

Nowadays, if you start telling a client what your products are and what they can do for them, the client feels that they are being told what to do. Most people don’t like being told what to do.

Write this on the back of your hand, or at the top of your notebook – Telling is NOT selling!

So, stop telling, and start asking good quality questions. People don’t care about what you know, until they know how much you care, and they know how much you care by the quality of the questions that you ask.

Want to learn more about the art of selling? Contact SG Partners today