GITOMER: What are you really selling?
Friday, October 05, 2012 7:00 AM
A guy walks into a hardware store and says to the clerk, “I need a drill.”
Clerk says, “Well, not really. You want to make a hole.”
If you’re in retail and your customer comes in and says, “I need a drill,” or “I want a drill,” or “Show me the drills,” you, the salesperson, begin some response dialogue.
REALITY: He didn’t come for a drill. He needs a hole.
Now you may have heard some version of “drill-hole” in your career, but you have never heard what the situation is, how to address the buying motive, how to take control of the sale, how to gain trust and how to create a vision of “outcome” in the mind of the buyer.
It’s likely the customer has no idea what kind of drill he wants – and you, in your sales brilliance, are gonna point out the “drill aisle” and be done with it. You smile and say, “They’re in the hand tool area over by the wall” or “Here’s what’s on sale.”
NO! This is your opportunity to become an adviser rather than a traffic director. So far you don’t know what kind of hole the customer needs.
• How big (what diameter) of a hole are you drilling?
• What kind of material are you drilling ?
• How deep is the hole?
• Are you drilling inside or outside?
If you’re trying to show the customer the 3/8-inch drill “on sale” and the customer needs a half-inch hole, you’re gonna have an unhappy customer. If you know it’s a half-inch hole through a wooden post, you can recommend the right drill, and also tell him he needs a “starter hole” with a smaller drill bit to ensure a perfect outcome.
OK, you get it! Drill – hole – want – need – outcome.
But how does this apply to you and your sales?
Well, it applies to every sale that everyone makes – including yours:
• I need a filling in my tooth. No, you want to be healthy and pain free.
• I need copies. No, you want to send a proposal in color that reflects your image and wins the sale.
• I need a new roof. No, you want to have no leaks, and enjoy quality of life.
• I need a credit card. No, you don’t have cash, or you don’t want to spend your cash.
• I need tickets to a concert. No, your favorite group of all time is playing and you have never seen them before. It’s on your bucket list!
NOTE WELL: Just because you don’t have what the customer needs does not mean that he or she no longer needs it.
If I call a hotel to book a room and they say, “Sorry, we’re full,” do I respond, “Oh, I guess I don’t need a room after all.”
Think past “sale” to “genuine need and desired outcome.” What do the customers need or want to do after the sale is made? And how can you show them or prove to them that you have the answers, and you are the best choice to create the best outcome?
That’s what the customer is really buying: outcome.
As a salesperson, if you’re looking to successfully sell at your price, build a relationship and earn a referral, you better stop selling the features and benefits of your product, and look to what happens after the sale – after the customer takes ownership.
GOOD NEWS: If you are able to find (by uncovering and asking for) the desired outcome, and agree that your answer, your solution or your idea will be the best one, the customer will buy.
GREAT NEWS: When the outcome comes to pass, the customer will tell Facebook what happened.
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