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Sales: Know Your Audience

Apr 17, 2017
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The top rule of sales is to Know Your Audience. If you don’t know anything about a person, how can you expect to relate to them? Sales can get tricky quickly if you don’t know anything about your targeted consumer.

As an example, Jill Schiefelbein, in a contributing article to Entrepreneur, recounts a situation where a salesman reached out to her to sell college textbooks. Unfortunately for him, she is one of the authors of the text currently in use at her institution.

How awkward is THAT???

He certainly could have still initiated a conversation about a sale, but had he done some research on her he would have avoided a very awkward situation. And he probably lost any shot at selling her additional materials.

The three elements every sales person should know about a potential client is their backgrounds, interests, and needs.

Knowing Your Customers’ Backgrounds

Sales men and women will appreciate the importance of this a little more than an entrepreneur necessarily would. An entrepreneur may be selling a product or service to multiple consumers at once and does not necessarily need to know as much about each individual.

First, you should thoroughly research important facts about a potential client such as his current place of employment, education, or living location.

If a potential client is a company, create a Google Alert along with Mention and Talkwalker alerts. These will gather a variety of information from social media, blogs and the internet in general.

So when you meet your potential client, you can insert little facts about them into the conversation to let them know you’re on your A game. But don’t be creepy about it.

Knowing Your Customers’ Interests

No, we’re not talking about football or pie-eating contests.

Rather, it is important to understand which of your products they might be interested. There’s no point in pitching bicycles to someone who does not enjoy cycling.

So interview them. Interesting thought, huh? If you take the time to create a template of questions to pitch to new prospective clients, you can move through this process quickly and efficiently.

Take them out for coffee. Walk through your store with them (if you have one).

Everything is becoming so automated that people value human interaction more than ever. Spending this one-on-one time with a client can make the impact you need to help the deal go through.

Knowing Your Customers’ Needs

Sales personnel and entrepreneurs break off again in their techniques to assess a client’s needs. For salesmen, half of the battle may convincing the client that they do need something.

Whereas for entrepreneurs providing a product or service, it is important to focus on clients within a certain niche.

Use the sites mentioned previously to see what kind of changes and developments the clients may be going through. Also, the information from the client interview can be helpful. This can help you prep ahead of time for certain areas that the client would be more likely to purchase.

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