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Inside the Mind of Your Buyers

Entrepreneur Magazine: Inside the Mind of Your Buyers

A look at what motivates customers to buy — and six ways to tailor your sales pitch.

No two customers are the same. To a small-business owner, that truism means paying close attention to what motivates people to buy. Customers approach buying with their own agenda, says George W. Dudley, chairman of the Behavioral Sciences Research Press, a Dallas, Texas-based research and development firm focused on sales productivity. For example, they could be shopping for specific product features, hoping to build a long-term relationship with the seller, or seeking a strong commitment to reliable service.

That means you should tailor your sales technique based on the primary reason your customer wants to buy. “We have our preferred selling style and it’s one we have built up with layers over time,” says Jeff Tanner, professor of sales and marketing at the Hankamer School of Business at Baylor University. “I don’t always see entrepreneurs trying to understand the need from the buyer’s perspective.

Here are six ways to close a sale by focusing on what motivates your potential customers to buy…
1. If the buyer is detail-oriented, then showcase the features of your product. Sometimes a customer just wants the facts and might be turned off if you ask lots of questions about his needs rather than give him information, Dudley says. These buyers will be well informed, having researched your offerings and those of your competitors. So pay attention to cues. If the customer’s office walls are covered with data charts or he asks for quantifiable results, chances are he’s most interested in the details of your product or service rather than the relationship he’ll have with you.

2. If the buyer doesn’t know what he needs, then be an advisor first. Some customers don’t know exactly what they’re looking for. That’s what Carrie Chitsey learned not long after she started 3Seventy, an Austin Texas-based mobile customer-relationship management company in 2008.

3. If the buyer is fixated on the relationship, then make a personal connection early. Some customers care about more than the current sale. What matters most is the long-term connection you establish. That’s great for future business, but it means you’ll need strong interpersonal skills and plenty of time to get to know one another before closing the sale. “They will be looking for ways that you show you care,” Dudley says. To demonstrate your willingness to devote time to a customer, you need to meet face-to-face and get to know them beyond simply their business needs. What are their interests? What’s their work-life balance like? Be curious and attentive.
Read the full article in Entrepreneur Magazine

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