Five Tips for Better Customer-Centric Selling

Updated: July 19, 2009

When you're selling, your first challenge is always to connect with the prospect - build rapport and a basis for why they should care about you and what you have to offer. But too often, selling companies approach this conversation in a seller-centric way - fronting with what the company has to sell vs. what the customer needs.

Turning this around to focus more on customer-centric sales - especially at the front of the process - can be relatively easy. Here are five initial ways to pivot quickly to a customer-centric selling approach.

Treat the first sales call like an interview: Even if you've already qualified the prospect, your first call should still be about them. Even if you only have a few minutes in person or on the phone, ask smart questions to not only better understand the prospect's situation, but also get them to directly admit the challenges and pain currently faced by life without your solution. In your first call, ask a handful of smart questions and spend at least 75% of the time listening. With the right questions, many prospects will walk right into the sale.

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Align yourself with existing customer priorities: Too many sales professionals waste hours of time trying to sell something their prospects don't need. And even if they would benefit from it, you must align your solution with an existing problem or initiative in the organization. Your prospects are too busy to start juggling yet another priority not already on their plate. But by aligning your solution with something they'

When you're selling, your first challenge is always to connect with the prospect - build rapport and a basis for why they should care about you and what you have to offer. But too often, selling companies approach this conversation in a seller-centric way - fronting with what the company has to sell vs. what the customer needs.

Turning this around to focus more on customer-centric sales - especially at the front of the process - can be relatively easy. Here are five initial ways to pivot quickly to a customer-centric selling approach.

Treat the first sales call like an interview: Even if you've already qualified the prospect, your first call should still be about them. Even if you only have a few minutes in person or on the phone, ask smart questions to not only better understand the prospect's situation, but also get them to directly admit the challenges and pain currently faced by life without your solution. In your first call, ask a handful of smart questions and spend at least 75% of the time listening. With the right questions, many prospects will walk right into the sale.

,

Align yourself with existing customer priorities: Too many sales professionals waste hours of time trying to sell something their prospects don't need. And even if they would benefit from it, you must align your solution with an existing problem or initiative in the organization. Your prospects are too busy to start juggling yet another priority not already on their plate. But by aligning your solution with something they'

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