By Bruce Keith
In his great little book Anything You Want, author Derek Sivers provides his secret to success. He explains how he built his company CD Baby to a $100 million enterprise in 10 years by simply finding out “what your customers want and then give it to them!”
Well-known business philosopher and equally successful author Seth Godin offers the clues to finding out what our clients want. Seth says our customers typically want three things: results, thrills and ego.
Godin’s answer is very intriguing. Is it really that simple? Most truths usually are. Let’s look at each of the three “wants” he identified:
Sales are all about solving problems/meeting needs. If you solve the customer’s problem, you get the sale. When your product serves a need, your customer will buy.
At the same time, what makes selling real estate really interesting is that sometimes the customer doesn’t know specifically what they want. It is your job to help them see this. Be sure you don’t get the “cart before the horse”. (“Mr. /Mrs. Buyer [or Seller] could you tell me more about what you want? If everything worked out exactly according to plan – what will the end result look like?”)
It is very important that you don’t offer a solution until each of you understands what the end goal looks like. Once that is accomplished and when you provide results, your customer is happy.
This is a much less tangible item than results. Nevertheless, thrills are significant components to the success of the sales process. Thrills can come in many different forms. Are you pleasant to work with? Do you offer an exciting vision? Does the buying decision provide inspiration?
We have all felt the enthusiasm when someone says to us, “I just bought a new car!” Do your customers feel that way when they work with you? Help your customer feel the thrill of buying/selling when they do business with you.
Start by bringing your energy to the process and give them hope. Hope is all about making the comparison between “here’s what is now and here’s what is possible.” The end result is that you are in a position to create a great experience for your customer.
Everyone wants to feel important. Clearly this is all about their ego… not yours! Every customer’s ego needs to be acknowledged. Addressing ego is not about being patronizing or fawning over your customer. It’s about treating them with respect, serving their needs, setting reasonable expectations and then meeting those expectations.
Much of the ego issue can be addressed by honing your skills by asking great questions and showing enthusiasm in your performance. Ask powerful questions such as:
“What’s the next step for you?”
“Sounds great… Could you tell me more about that?”
“How important would that be to you?”
“Can I tell you how we could make that happen for you?”
By doing so and paying close attention to their answers, you can really hone in on how to best serve your client’s needs. When you validate the client in this way you are really demonstrating your intention to perform at the highest level.
Start every day with the intention of performing these three functions for all of your customers. You can count on one thing… the more effectively you do so, the more sales you will make. The experience you bring to the sales process is what creates positive memories, repeat business and the all-important referrals.
Make sure you are having fun. Make sure you are enjoying your profession. If you enjoy it, they will too. It’s all about results, thrills and ego. Just give it to them. No excuses.