The customer is perceived as a partner
Respectful and appreciative relationship with the customer, this is customer management.
However, because this is a very comprehensive term, I would like to limit this area here to the acquisition, selling and complaints.
Our customers expect …
- … as the first thing that they can trust us.
- … also that they are directly helped.
- … in addition, we provide reliable and accurate services / products.
- … consequently also that we think and deliver good and, above all, measurable results.
- … that we can see them as human beings and put us into their situation or position.
- … that we coordinate our service to the complexity of the factors and stakeholders, finally.
This is an all-embracing approach, which represents a great overall picture and thus the reality. However, each customer needs different requirements. That is why it is important to find out exactly what our opponent wants.
Therefore target-oriented selling needs the focus on…
- customer expectations
- right attitude to me and to the customer
- a good conversation preparation
- good questioning techniques
- perception of different “types” better said their motivation and behaviors
- right / appropriate benefits
- and as a result, of course, the conclusion of the deal!
That sounds easier said than done, because after all, it is about my counterpart about a human being. This person has feelings, and consequently sends out many signals which must be perceived and applied. While these are often signals of non-verbal communication, the verbal signals must also be taken into account. Particularly relevant is to pay attention to filling words. These often provide the decisive direction for further communication. Therefore it is important to ask good questions and to come to a good conclusion!
Often, it seems as if you are talking at cross purposes, so the understanding for each other is missing. But most of the time it is holding up a mirror to our true selves.
It may be that the following feedback from a customer conversation comes from the respective sides:
- Office and theory meets practice
- Details were not considered
- Low initiative
- but helpful (partial)
- must pull everything “out of the nose”
- not actievely listening
- does not communicate at eye level
- Customer is under pressure
- He does not have qualified employees to operate the machines properly
- Wants only offers to compare
- is arrogant and snooty
- does not communicate at eye level
- does not values us as a supplier
Did you recognize it?
Looks like it’s both gone! It is remarkable that, without knowing it, almost exactly the same words can be found in the feedback. Both want to communicate at eye level. Because of these many emotional feedbacks, the result was – no job!
So what went wrong here?
In the course of the conversation both have thought they discuss professional, factual about the products and service. But right from the start the fronts were hardened. To be fair, chemistry did not agree. Unfortunately, these feelings were not openly expressed to the other. For this reason alone, it is often very difficult to draw the right levers in customer management and to learn as much as possible from them.
Keep your courage and self-confidence; finally, there are a variety of ways to avoid such a situation. Through good preparation, analysis, execution and follow-up of the conversation or possibly also a termination of the conversation you can achieve a lot.
Finally, I would like to add that the supplier / service provider should also be allowed to say NO!
The goal should always be a win-win solution. So both participants will gain out of it. You, as a supplier / service provider have the choice. If you have the feeling (and that is, as is well known, subjective), “this is not my client”, then you should find a different solution alternative. You are equally justified as partners. You are not a slave to your potential customer!