Confused Customers are lost sales. This is one of the strongest messages we convey to our B2B and B2C sales training clients in Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary and Toronto. Don’t confuse your customers with too much information causing your buyer to need more time to think about it. Information-overload is a disservice to your customer and may cause you to lose the sale. Here’s how to avoid that.
We’ve all been guilty of this. We think that the secret to making more sales is giving decision-makers as much information as possible to help them make their choice. This can easily backfire. Here are a few examples:
A customer walks into an electronics store looking to buy a big-screen TV. He stands in front of the row of TVs and each one looks great. The retail sales associate who is a techie and well educated begins to tell the customer about IMAX Enhanced TV with the capability of HDR10+ or 8K. “They totally blow away last year’s models. You should determine which one is best for you based on your needs”.
The customer is asked about the use of the TV in the household. “Is it for watching cable, movies, streaming or perhaps even gaming?” The Salesperson then links the technology to the different models and is personally excited about Hybrid Log-Gamma because it doesn’t take up too much bandwidth. He just bought a TV with that feature and loves it.
The customer leaves the store with a lot on his mind. He visits his friend, also technology-friendly, and he says “I wouldn’t bother with those features. They don’t make that much difference to the viewing experience and because the technology is so new, it’s very expensive right now.”
An environmentally conscious driver tired of high gas prices wants to check out the latest in electric cars. With the advent of charging stations in large cities, it’s time to consider the advantages. However, she knows that battery range always tends to be an issue and she’s had a friend who experienced a battery fire in her electric car a few years ago. “Should I consider a fully electric car or a hybrid?” she thinks. “Do I need to worry about a battery fire?”
The Salesperson has done her homework and is well versed on the advantages of solid-state batteries versus wet lithium-ion batteries. She tells her customer “Solid-state batteries are far less likely to catch fire because they don’t use liquid electrolytes to move energy around. They are solid and made of dry conductive material. In lithium-ion batteries, the motion of the liquid electrolytes generates heat, and in certain situations, this can slip into a “runaway” effect that results in a fire.
Solid-state batteries let you make it safer to quickly draw power from (or add it back to) the battery, meaning you could charge a battery-powered car faster. It also could mean less room has to be devoted to temperature control, which could allow more battery cells to be squeezed into the same area. That increases the battery range!”. Now the customer is confused with too much information – keep it short unless they ask for more details!
Your Dentist is a Smart Salesperson
You visit your dentist for a regular cleaning and annual checkup. Everything seems OK to you – nothing hurts. You’re hoping for the best. Here’s what you’re wondering…
“Are my teeth OK? Do I have any cavities?”
“How much is this going to cost?”
“How quickly can I get out of this chair?”
The Hygienist cleans your teeth, strikes up a bit of a conversation with you which is one-sided because she’s working on your teeth. You grunt a few times and shake your head to show you’re listening. A quick X-Ray is taken for dental record keeping. The Dentist comes in and asks you a few questions…
“How are you doing?”
“Are you experiencing any pain or issues with your teeth?”
A 5-minute check-up is done and you’re happy to hear you have no cavities. Your Dentist says “While your fillings are the old silver amalgam ones, there’s no need to replace them unless you have a cavity, or they break down. If so, we can do that with white fillings later. Sound good?”
You’re out of the chair and in the reception area paying your bill to get on with the rest of your day.
The Lesson Learned? Don’t Overload Your Customer With Information
Confused customers don’t buy. Be the Dentist and only give people the information they need to know to make the right decision. Treat every buyer uniquely and ask the right questions to determine their level of desire to know more.
Smart Salespeople Ask These Sales Questions to Avoid Confusion
Product knowledge is vital in the sales process. It’s your job to educate the customer to give them the best information to make their decision. You should also assume that every buyer has done extensive research prior to talking to you about the product. Yet, there’s a big difference between education and analysis paralysis.
Ask these questions to understand your customer’s feelings.
“Would you like a technical explanation of these features or just understand what they are and what they do?”
“Would you like to know more about the technology behind this or have I answered your questions fully?”
“Is there anything else I can explain to help you?”
Let the buyer decide the level of education they want by asking questions. By doing this, you won’t confuse the customer or come up short with those people who want more information.
Great selling facts to know
- We often trust our gut instinct even in the face of all the facts and figures. First impressions tend to be the right ones. Over-thinking often results in the wrong decision. Have you ever said “Why didn’t I just go with my first decision” when the remorse sets in on a bad purchase.
- Buying decisions are made based on justification involving reasoning and logic. Buyers will tell you the justification is the reason for the purchase. It’s not. We all buy based on feeling good about the right decision. Make it simple to buy!
- 85% of the decision to buy your product is you the Salesperson. You need to be the first product purchased for a sale to occur.
- Instead of making a statement or claim to a customer, ask them a question with a smile and allow them to make the statement to themselves.
Build Your Sales Skills
Asking great questions is the first of 5 Success Skills we provide in our on-site and online sales training. If you’re interested in taking the next step to increase your sales skills, check out the free trial of our online course The Sales Skills Incubator for $199 CAD including tax. We’re also in the final stages of producing our latest online sales training course, Negotiating 2 Party Payoffs. Every great Salesperson wants to learn the skills of being a great negotiator. If you wish to be notified when the course is being launched or future sales ensure that you are signed up to receive the PROSALESGUY BLOG by email. If you prefer reading, check out our book SHUT UP! Stop Talking and Start Making Money available on Amazon.
If you are a Sales Manager who is interested in retaining your Salespeople, we offer Group and Individual Sales Training. Please give us a call or send us an email. We’d love to speak with you.
Dave Warawa – PROSALESGUY