Adopting a customer-first philosophy means aligning with what your customer wants as well as needs. So we looked at the top traits most frequently listed by customers as valuable, and discovered important ways you can incorporate these traits into your business now.
1. Active Listening
Did you know that during the average conversation your customer only does 25% of the talking? Is it any wonder customers are desperate to actually be heard? Active listening is the trait most sought after by buyers for a simple reason: they want what they want.
Problem solving is important but hearing your customer’s side of the story tells you what problem to solve. You have to understand the objective before you can deliver the solution.
Don’t overwhelm the customer with your expertise, rather listen to what they need and then convince them you can deliver it.
Active listening is the first step of any successful relationship and is key to success in moving forward. It’s more complex than simply hearing what someone has to say. You need to equip yourself with the tools to understand, evaluate, recall, empathize, and collaborate.
Problem-solving is the cornerstone of success. So stop, listen, ask questions that demonstrate that you understand the customer’s goals, that demonstrate that you have the ability to be an honest partner, then empathize with your history of dependability, the skills of your team members, and your desire to collaborate with the customer.
The trick to problem-solving isn’t pushing past objections, it’s figuring out how to demonstrate that you can solve the customer’s problems. What are their needs, and what are their peeves?
The first step to effective problem solving is asking questions, not making statements about yourself or your products. These should not be questions that you can easily answer on your own, but deeper questions that get to the root of what they need and who they are.
3. Be Confident
Confidence is one of the most important traits a business owner can have. Confidence doesn’t mean confidence in your own ability to sell, it means confidence in your ability to deliver.
After you listen to your customer, present your solution confidently. Spell out the how and why the customer should trust you with their business and why your product will solve their problem. If you are confident about solving the customer’s problems, buyers will be confident they can solve them, too.
Confidence has a language and is a skill like any other; it needs to be practiced.
4. Build A Relationship
Relationship building is the most important decision point to your customers. Your customer needs to feel that they have the power to be heard and that their needs will be met. They need to know that they are getting more than a transaction, that they are getting a relationship, a troubleshooter, an advocate, and a trusted advisor.
A genuine relationship is the foundation of trust and advocacy. Remember that buyers are more empowered than ever. They are quick to respond to a negative experience and with the internet this can have a profound and lasting impact on your business.
Put your customers first and your business will continue to be forward-thinking and set up for long-term success.