The New Economy changed the rules of selling: New Economy customers are weary of countless indistinguishable stores, brands, goods and services. Finances are tight, so today’s customers are increasingly discriminating. They won’t tolerate ordinary products, incompetent personnel or bad customer service. You must earn their trust, deliver value and ensure that your offering matches their needs.
Your goal is to achieve “positive results under negative circumstances,” and that requires working hard and taking responsibility for your actions. Some obstacles to closing a deal will be out of your control, such as changing political climates, new business competitors and, if you’re an employee, potentially bad management within your company. While you can’t control such circumstances, you can control your reactions to them. You already know that New Economy customers will say no more often than yes, but you can turn no into yes with these techniques:
- Take charge of the situation.
- Be determined to get a positive answer regardless of the circumstances.
- Don’t let your ego get in the way or take no as a personal rejection.
- Recognize the “erroneous no,” ignore it and make your point.
- Address the client’s real concerns so you can get to a yes.
New Economy customers will voice their objections to buying your product or service. Get past the negative by recognizing the questions or concerns hidden in their objections and providing answers and solutions. Put yourself in their shoes and list all the possible reasons they have to say no. Great salespeople prepare for any scenario and show how their product or service addresses their customers’ needs.
The other challenge once you have converted a consumer to a customer is to keep them as a customer. This is a challenge because consumers love to “game the system” by saving money and if your competitor is discounted there is a good chance they will switch unless you give them a reason to say no. The mistake that most brands make is believing that there is one marketing tactic or initiative that is going to keep your customers loyal; there isn’t. Today, consumers are micro segments and you need to find a way to reach each micro segment to keep them as loyal customers. This can be done through an integrated marketing strategy that includes social media, but you have to understand that social media is not going to have the same effect on every one of your customers.
Most economists say that even if the economy comes roaring back most consumers will still keep the saving money behaviors because it makes them feel empowered. Stop talking about consumers in old terms and start talking about people. It will save you a lot of time and money.