How do you convince customers to buy from you? With sell sheets? PowerPoint decks? Explanations of new product features? Hardly.

A Sale is the Result of a Great Conversation

How do you lead your customer to make the decision to choose you over the competition?

You need to help your customers develop compelling beliefs about why you are the best choice. Your customers don’t form these beliefs just by listening to you talk, or by reading your marketing materials. You’ll be much more successful if you look at the customer’s entire purchase process as a conversation between the two of you.

Creating a Conversation that Matters to Your Customer

In workshops, I frequently ask audience members to describe the characteristics of a great conversation. They say things like:

“Each person is interested in the conversation.”
“It’s two way.”
“It has each person’s full attention.”
“It is meaningful to both parties.”
“Each person gets something out of the conversation.”
“It involves a lot of listening.”
“Each person understands the other person better as the conversation progresses.”
“It builds a relationship.”

Ditch the Pitch

Imagine that, over the course of a sale, you and your customer were engaged in an ongoing conversation that had the characteristics listed above. Even if that sale takes more time and involves more meetings, it would be a powerful, compelling experience for your customer.

Imagine that while your competitors were presenting PowerPoint decks and sell sheets to a customer, you and that same customer were creating this kind of conversation. This approach will without a doubt make you (and your products) more memorable and more meaningful to your customer.

Consider This: Selling is an Ongoing Conversation

When you reconnect with a good friend, after not seeing them for a few weeks, you are able to pick up right where you left off. You and your friends have a series of ongoing conversations that continue from one meeting to the next. These ongoing conversations form the fabric of your friendship by adding both continuity and shared experiences to your relationship.

Imagine that, over the course of a sale, you and your customer formed an ongoing conversation that added continuity and shared experiences to your customer’s decision-making process. Wouldn’t that increase your chances of making the sale?

A sale is the result of a great, ongoing conversation. Practice this. You will improve your sales while building lasting, committed, and profitable relationships with your customers.

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