You will only make a sale if you answer your customer’s real questions.
If you know what is important to your customers, you know the questions they ask as they buy. You will make those answers easy to find, as the customer is making her buying decision.
LandOLakes provides the perfect example of proper question-answering in action. Here’s the packaging for their Cage-Free Eggs. At the very top of the package, on the part you read as you are deciding which eggs to buy, LandOLakes proves that it understands that customers aren’t really that picky about the eggs themselves. They assume that most eggs meet certain standards.
What do people who buy Cage-Free Eggs really want to know?
1) How are the chickens treated, and 2) what are the chickens fed.
These questions are answered, efficiently and in sufficient detail, right on the top of the container: “Eggs laid by hens housed in a protected area where they are free to roam, perch, scratch and nest.” And, “Vegetarian feed contains no animal fat, animal by-products, or antibiotics.”
Bravo, (assuming that what they say is true).
You think you are selling eggs. You’re not. What you are really selling is things that matter to the customer ABOUT the eggs. RELATED to the eggs. If you are guessing what those things are, you are actually preventing sales from occurring.
Find out what your customers really care about. Stop thinking you know; you don’t. Every single client I have ever worked with has told me, when we first start talking, what they think is important to their customers. It’s a list of items. Then I interview their customers, and their list is ALWAYS different. That’s why I can make the bold and definitive statement that your assumptions are incorrect.
Ask your current customers – they will be happy to tell you. They won’t tell you when you’re selling to them, but they will be happy to tell you afterwards, after the negotiation is complete and they have a vested interest in your success. You could ask the question this way: “When it comes to our type of product, what are the top five things that concern you the most?”