8 Jul 2016, 10:14 — 5 min read
Oh! Not another article on marketing and sales tactics. Don't we have enough of them floating all over already? Ok you may yawn now. On to the next one.
Well, I understand and appreciate your view point as I am also bombarded with numerous mails, articles, forwards and more, on how to make the customer part with his money. Hence, I have tried my best to put together in simple English, without jargon, something from my own experiences. I hope you find it interesting.
Let me know if you were able to read this article in 60 seconds!
Some of you may agree that ‘Selling is NOT easy’ - even if something is offered for free! I realised this when we were trying to provide free software to our clientele, in the hopes of enticing future sales. Believe it or not, it took six months for us to get the first customer! That was a good lesson learnt. Why could we not get the customer to trust us and buy from us? The reason - we were not concentrating on what the customer was going to benefit from our product, rather we were happy talking about the numerous features of the product – which, frankly did not interest them much.
I understood that it is easier selling to people you don’t know and extremely difficult to sell to friends and close relatives. Perhaps, we take our friends and relatives for granted and therefore do not explain to them the real benefits.
More often than not, the developer of a product (or service) is fully knowledgeable about it. They are the only people who know their product or service in and out. As they cannot be in all places all the time, a marketing executive may be appointed. This executive may not fully understand the potential of the product.
When the developer talks to a prospective customer, they will say everything about the product while on the other hand, marketing executives will say only what they have understood. Poor customer! In both cases, the benefits that the customer will gain will not be highlighted, leaving the customer confused. For a customer worried about money to be spent, delaying a decision is therefore a good decision.
So, when preparing to meet a potential customer, it is always a good idea to get his/her attention within 60 seconds. If you can achieve that, you have got your customer. One must be prepared to talk about the benefits that a product will offer, in a clear precise manner and, in less than 60 seconds.
Highlight the features in such a way the customer understands what you are talking about. What's in it for them? Too many details and they are off checking their Facebook messages and not listening to you. So watch out for that.
In some cases, even when someone is able to pitch a product in 60 seconds, they are not successful. This is because they expect to close the deal then and there, whereas it should be for generating the interest in the customer. In other words, do not expect the customer to sign the cheque immediately, but get them interested enough to start asking questions.
Know your customer. Each one is unique. Always adjust your sales techniques to what each customer wants. Do some homework. Understand what a customer does and know their preferences. Keep several lines ready and use the one which is more appropriate at that time.
We have a product for the management of retirement communities and the users are from the housekeeping, accounts and dining departments. Talking about kitchen cost control to the housekeeping manager will not get his/her buy-in. In the same way, if we say that the housekeeping tasks will be simplified to an accountant, it might be a waste of time.
In summary: Remember that the 60 seconds interaction is only for you to get a leg in the door. Be prepared with multiple content, stressing about the specific benefits and use the one that is appropriate for the occasion. Do not try to talk about every aspect of the product even though you may feel everything is important.
Here is a tip. If you have only 60 seconds to impress someone, limit the content to about 125 words or so. Last but not least, don’t use technical jargon unless the customer is on the same page as you.
If you are looking for an apt title that covers what I have written, it is – Elevator Pitch!
By the way, how long did it take you to read this article?
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views, official policy or position of GlobalLinker.
Posted bySridhar Narayanaswamy
Managing partner of Innovatus Systems, founded by him on January 1, 2013. Sridhar is a result oriented professional with over four decades in the Information Technology &...
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