Sales is all about the client. That’s why in your sales career, it’s vital that you understand your clients so you can best serve them. But that’s easier said than done. How can you get into their minds and understand their buyer motivations? What will improve your chances of closing the sale… and what will put them off of working with you? A powerhouse trio of sales experts shared their fool-proof tips on figuring out your clients on a webinar here at Petite2Queen. Here are some of their key tips to get you started.
Think Like the Customer
What does your potential client need? What do they want? And finally, what do they lack? In sales, your role is to alleviate one or more of those pain points. But you’re not a mind reader, so how do you learn their needs, wants, or lacks?
Ask questions! At the beginning of a new sales relationship, remember that the conversation shouldn’t be centered on you and what you offer. Rather, you need to be listening to the client. Ask them open-ended questions to find out their needs, wants, and lacks.
Try asking why they’re searching for a new vendor, what they hope to get out of this relationship, or what is most important in a product or service. Listen closely to their answers, and aim to understand the underlying issues they’re describing. The better you understand what they need or are missing, the better able you’ll be able to position your product or service to meet those needs.
B2B and B2C Buyer Motivations
Once you have some answers on what your client needs, wants, or lacks, you’ll be able to see where it fits on the Wheel of Motivation. All buyers have motivations, and those buyer motivations will fall into one or more of seven main categories:
- Comfort / Pleasure
- Avoidance of Pain
- Profit / Gain
- Preventing Loss
- Cause Affiliation
- Pride / Prestige
B2B clients will most often have buyer motivations within the categories of Profit/Gain, Preventing Loss, or Avoidance of Pain. They’re more likely to be looking at their bottom line, and the better you can streamline their supply chain or process, the higher chance you have of closing the sale and fostering a lasting relationship.
B2C clients, on the other hand, generally fall into different buyer motivations categories. They’ll likely be motivated by Comfort/Pleasure, Belonging, Cause Affiliation, Pride/Prestige, or Avoidance of Pain. Why do people buy certain brands of clothing? Why do they prefer certain technology companies over others? It comes down to one or more of these motivations, whether it’s a matter of Belonging or related to Pride/Prestige.
How to Appeal to the Buyer Motivations
Once you’ve identified the buyer motivations at play with this client, it’s time to figure out how to appeal to them. How do you, your product, or your service solve the problem and meet the criteria of the client’s motivation?
Let’s say your client’s primary motivation is Preventing Loss. You need to focus on how working with you will result in loss prevention. Does your service speed up a key process? Would it require fewer resources? Would it help in cutting costs? Think about the ways your product or service matches the motivation.
Doing so will not only make you a logical choice, it will also appeal to the client’s emotions. You’ll make them feel understood and that their needs are being heard and met. You’ll develop a stronger bond with them, leading you closer to a closed sale.
Match Communication Styles
Another point to consider is communication. You should work to identify the types of tone and language that appeal to your client versus the types that don’t jive. It’s vital that you understand their communication styles and preferences, and work to match them. They may prefer more formal language or be happy with more casual tones. It depends on the nature of the business and their market. Rather than sticking out due to your incongruous style, aim to match theirs. You’ll feel like a more seamless fit, making you the natural choice when it’s time to close the sale.
To achieve sales success, be ready to listen and understand your client’s needs, wants, or lacks. Doing so will help you identify their buyer motivations and match your product or service accordingly. You’ll also be prepared to match their communication styles, further indicating how great of a fit you are for the client. Follow these steps to ensure stronger connections and greater sales success.
For more information, be sure to watch our full webinar on Client Motivations below.
Amanda Whitbeck is Vice President of Operations at Petite2Queen. Since earning her master’s degree in Global Entertainment & Music Business from Berklee College of Music, Amanda has played key roles facilitating growth at start-ups. She’s also worked in diverse sectors of the music industry, from live events promotion to entertainment journalism. She brings her expertise in music business, writing, and website development to Petite2Queen.