Three Messages to Reach Over-Messaged Customers
- by David Shedd
Today’s customer is overwhelmed with too much information and not enough time and attention to digest it all. In response, the best salespeople have evolved and simplified their approach to be more responsive to overburdened and oversaturated customers.
To do so, and to sell more, we need to be hyperfocused on what is most important to our customers. The three keys are:
1. Listen to WIIFM
No longer can we give presentations about how great our company and products are. Instead, we need to ask questions and listen intently to customer “WIIFM”—the customers’ what’s-in-it-for-me station. It is about, and only about, the customer.
2. Focus on Customers’ Two or Three Hot Buttons
By listening to WIIFM, we can also determine customers’ two or three hot buttons. What will determine their buying decisions? What matters most to customers? How will they benefit from buying our products or services?
Then we need to focus our sales time and attention exclusively on these hot buttons, showing how buying our product or service satisfies these consumer desires.
3. Say No More and Sell Less
Now comes the difficult part. Once we have focused on and demonstrated our product benefits, we are done. Say no more. Any more information or discussion of benefits will dilute the effect of how perfectly our product satisfies those two or three top needs. Customers will believe that we can satisfy their three hot buttons; they will not believe that we can satisfy every one of their requirements. Further, our additional sales efforts may end up confusing the customer.
The net effect of these three keys to sales will be that our sales teams talk less and listen more, and that is exactly what our customers want. As an example, take the industrial conglomerate General Electric Co., which regularly surveys its customers about what they think of the GE sales team. Year after year, one comment surfaces more frequently above all the others: Your salespeople talk too much.
Let’s take that customer feedback as our guide and keep all of our sales meetings and sales communications short, simple and hyperfocused on the most important hot buttons of each of our customers—nothing more.