CustomerCentric Selling | Michael T. Bosworth

Summary of: CustomerCentric Selling
By: Michael T. Bosworth

Introduction

Get ready to revolutionize the way you approach sales with the summary of the book ‘CustomerCentric Selling’ by Michael T. Bosworth. Learn about the seven core principles that will transform your sales approach, helping you converse authentically with your customers, ask relevant questions, solve their problems, and empower them in the decision-making processes. This summary will provide invaluable insights on the importance of understanding customer needs, focusing on product applications, and managing your sales process. All geared towards making you stand out from the traditional salespeople.

The Principles of Customer-Centric Selling

The book outlines seven fundamental principles of customer-centric selling. First, instead of making presentations, engage in conversations. Second, focus on the customer’s needs by asking questions instead of expressing opinions. Third, demonstrate how your product or service solves the customer’s problem. Fourth, use a businesslike approach to explain how your offering is the most valuable. Fifth, help the customer understand how to use your product or service. Sixth, manage up to sales managers by applying customer management techniques. Finally, empower the buyer with the power of choice. Effective customer-centric selling is not about manipulation or control, but about service and choice.

Reinventing Marketing

Contrary to popular belief, the sales force is responsible for product positioning rather than the marketing department. Marketing is often seen as an irrelevant appendage to many salespeople, resulting in a lack of communication between the two departments. Sales training usually only focuses on product and service features, with little emphasis on understanding the customer. This is problematic as the sales force is the primary connection with clients and the market. Rookie salespeople are often left to develop opinions on which customers belong in their pipeline and how to approach them. The customer should be the driving force of the sales process, and understanding their needs should be the foundation of everything the salesperson does. Therefore, the authors of the book suggest reinventing marketing efforts into “customer-usage marketing.” This approach focuses on understanding the customer’s experience and building a strategy around it, putting the customer at the forefront of all marketing and sales decisions.

Selling to the Mainstream

Companies often falter when selling to mainstream buyers. They require a different approach than early adopters. Mainstream buyers want convenience without risk and need sales-ready messages. Only a small percentage of salespeople are “naturals” and understand how to listen to customers and empower them. Companies must change their ways to sell successfully to the mainstream.

The book explains why companies that have sold successfully to early adopters struggle when selling to the mainstream. Early success could be due to anointing by early adopters or a price advantage. However, to succeed in the mainstream market, companies need to change their sales approach. The content states that successful selling involves conducting a series of conversations with customers.

Mainstream customers differ from early adopters in their preferences and requirements. They want products that are easy to use and install without any hassle. Unlike early adopters, they are not infatuated with technology and require convenience without risk. The book suggests that only a small percentage of salespeople have natural abilities to understand customers and empower them. Companies need to train the rest to communicate sales-ready messages instead of only product messages.

In conclusion, the book explains how companies can transform their sales approach to succeed in the mainstream market. Companies need to put the interests of customers first and sell products that are easy to use and install. Salespeople need to be trained to understand customers and empowered to communicate sales-ready messages.

Practical Tips for Customer-Centric Sales

To attain customer-centric sales, the book offers practical tips such as understanding the customer’s problem, being sincere, and treating the customer as the decision-maker. Maintain the value of your product and only offer discounts as a quid pro quo. Discover prospects’ goals and lead them to self-convince why they need the product by highlighting customer-relevant grounds. Additionally, build relationships with peers and customers, understand that buyers decide if their problems are solved, and use emotions to make logical decisions. Finally, don’t rush customers at any point and wait for the right time to close the deal.

Revamp Your Sales Strategy

Establish a Customer-Centric Sales Process for Better Results

To succeed in today’s market, offering opinions won’t cut it; asking relevant questions is what sets customers-centric salespeople apart. The key to a successful customer-centric sales process lies in understanding the customer’s buying journey, identifying steps, building awareness, and helping buyers understand how your product or service can help them meet their objectives. Clear milestones should be established for each stage of the sales process to avoid wasting time on pointless requests for proposals (RFPs).

The customer-centric sales process starts with figuring out the customer’s buying cycle and the steps leading to product recommendations. Building awareness and helping buyers understand their needs is the next step. Followed by helping buyers realize how your product or service will solve their problems, and estimate the date when the buyer confirms an agreement. Finally, a mechanism should be in place to adjust to sudden changes in timing, shifts in the competitive scene or new information from the prospect.

By adhering to a customer-centric sales process, a firm can avoid wasting time on wired RFPs that will never bear fruit. The success of a customer-centric sales process lies in asking relevant questions, identifying clear milestones, and focusing on providing value to the customer.

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