Step 3 of 3 for the Perfect Customer Profile

What are the common threads that run through your customers?

About You: What is important to them? Not what you think is important – ASK THEM what is important!

My experience is that most salespeople discount the things that are effortless to them as unimportant YET when I talk with their customers – those are the things that are most important.

Don’t take for granted that you know – ASK…. then ask again, because just like in life – priorities change.

About Them: When you look at who is buying from you, can you come up with a top 5 list of characteristics? Size, structure, industry, decision making, anything?

Many times I’ll hear salespeople say “Oh I can work with anyone”. That may be true – we are talking the PERFECT Customer Profile, not the any customer profile. So stop telling me it depends…. I already know.

How will you know when you find a Perfect Customer Prospect?

The next time you are making prospecting calls, listen for the clues that tell you you’re on the right trail vs. chasing your own tail.

  • Is it quiet in their office or lots of background noise?
  • Are they walking around talking to you on their cell between meetings or sitting still?
  • What is their default phone preference: speaker, handset, or headset?
  • Is there a time of day you catch them for a solid conversation?
  • What is their reaction to a cold call?
  • What does it sound like after they get to know you?
  • When you ask about process, is it someone else OR them?
  • Can you hear their level of confidence?

There are questions you need to ask yourself, look at your business and figure out what those questions are AND track the answers over the next week. This will start to solidify what you’re perfect customer sounds like when you reach them.
Need help? Can’t figure it out on your own? Give a call or drop us a note!

How to make the most of sales skill and technique books

Every time you turn around, someone has written another self help book on sales techniques or specific sales skills. Jill Konrath, Art Sobczak, Debbie Mrazek, Mitch Anthony; have all authored books, plus there are compilations like Top Dog Sales Secrets (those are just some of the ones on my shelf) – someone always is selling salespeople and managers a new book that is going to launch their sales like fireworks on the 4th of July.… Check the rest of out my article;  How to make the most of sales skill and technique books

Step 2 of 3 for the Perfect Customer Profile

Profile your top 5 or 10 customers.

What could be included in a customer profile you ask?

  • if you are selling to individuals vs. corporations: demographics will be important
  • if you are selling b2b: what does the company look like?(# employees, # of locations, structure, revenue, etc)
  • regardless of b2c or b2b – what is their purchasing process
  • how long does it take for them to make decisions
  • what approvals are needed
  • where do they get information on the products you sell (referrals, web research, etc)
  • how do they like to receive information
  • call and ask them why they buy from you (write it all down even if you think it is insignificant… see last weeks post on step 1)

Safety tip…. you probably know most of this info anyway, you just haven’t put it all together.

Think first and track your assumptions.

Research second to confirm or deny what you believe.

Hey Lynn – What if I’m new and don’t have top customers yet? I’m so glad you asked!

  • 1st – Talk with the top salesperson in your organization and see what they think is important.
  • 2nd – Ask your manager the same question.
  • 3rd – Put it all together and add in the sprinkles that make you unique.

Presto, the perfect starting point. Modify this profile as you earn your own top customers.

Play with step two until you feel comfortable. Don’t wait too long, step 3 will come along next week.

Need help? Can’t figure it out on your own? Give a call or drop us a note!

Step 1 of 3 for the Perfect Customer Profile

Figure out what information is important to your business.

Like what? Well, here are Lynn’s top 5, they may not help in YOUR business, it also isn’t an exhaustive list – rather it is to give you a starting point to create your own:

  • Buy what I sell
  • Need what makes me unique
  • There are multiple people to talk with about what I do (each of whom has a level of influence and/or authority when it comes to purchasing)
  • Have reoccurring money to spend
  • What I do can have an impact on the success of their business

Buy What I Sell: This is about the specific products that you are a salesperson for. 1st take the product itself, then start answering the question “what problem does this solve for the customer?” Think in terms of what your products help them GAIN or AVOID.

Need What Makes Me Unique: This is one most salespeople skip. Typically the things that make you unique, are the things that you do automagically and typically discount as unimportant. Instead of guessing – ask your customers why they buy from you and write it all down regardless of how inconsequentioal YOU think it is…. after all we care about the customer’s perception not our own.

Multiple Contacts: Here is a Lynn thing vs. universal thing. I prefer to be able to work with multiple people within each of my accounts. From a training perspective, VP of Sales, Sales Management, perhaps someone in Marketing, and the COO. I need to understand the value each person sees in sales training to ensure that I continue to earn their business.

Money To Spend: The first 3 points are about profile, this is all about potential. If there isn’t money, there is no sale.

Impact On Business Success: Now think about how what you do (product and uniqueness) will help your contacts be successful in their jobs. How about their department’s success – as viewed by the company they work for? Can you tie it up to the company overall?

Play with step one until you feel comfortable. Don’t wait too long, step 2 will come along next week.

Need help? Can’t figure it out on your own? Give a call or drop us a note!

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Stop Chasing Your Tail

Do you have a profile of what your perfect customer looks like? Sounds like on the phone? How they purchase what you sell? What their corporate structure set up is?

No you don’t? Well that’s ok. WAIT, no it isn’t – it’s not OK.

How will you know you’ve found
~ the perfect customer ~
if you don’t know what they look like?

In telesales many times there is a belief that smiling and dialing will get you what you’re looking for. While that may be true, how will you know you found it, when you don’t know what it is?

Read more about it in Issue 5: Dog Daze Edition