Open letter to South Africa’s students‚ universities and government‚ represented by Minister in the .
Determination, effort and persistence maximise sales. But your determination, effort and persistence are nothing if you don't know your customers' needs.
Research shows that whatever your product customers are concerned only about how they can benefit. Master this need and customers will be hooked to your product.
You need to inform prospective customers what they will gain from buying or using your product. And your product must fulfil your promise. If it fails, you will kiss many of your customers goodbye. Remember that you are not the only source.
Pay attention to this issue to maximise profits.
Research is another key to maximising sales. Find out what your customers want and why they want it. Research is the only source of this information.
Talk to your customers and ask them questions about your product or service. Find out from them what you can do to improve your product or service.
Familiarising yourself with your customers' needs will put you in a position to serve them better and that will improve sales. Selling your wares is also much easier if you know what your customers want.
The information you get from research validates Douglas J Edwards' stock aphorism: "Questions are the answer."
Douglas was one of the world's best salesmen before he became a trainer. As a top salesman, he knew how to get information from the customer so he could improve his service.
He maintained that a prospective customer's question gave him the answer he needed to satisfy the person's need.
Ask a question because you need information. You assume that the person being questioned has the information, which makes that person an expert for that moment.
Canadian salesman and writer Daniel Levis says: "Questions also appeal to our sense of self-worth because they solicit our opinion. Don't we all like to give advice?"
People like being engaged, which gives them a feeling of worthiness. In this state every person is likely to give you an honest answer or opinion. So take advantage of this.
But you also need to be able to come up with answers. One business writer advises that you become a consultant to your customer or customer organisation.
This allows you to use your intellect for the customer and gives you a chance to provide more information about the product. This will show customers that you care and they will continue doing business with you.
Remember, they can get products, services and solutions anywhere they like.
Another important way to determine your customers' needs is to test your product.
Testing helps you find what your customers are looking for. There is no better way of doing that than putting the product in front of them.
You must then use that information in a way that will please them and thus maximise your sales.
You also need to improve customer service and to maintain a good relationship with your customers.
No matter how small your product, you need to make all your customers happy about it.
Your customers must be able to enjoy the benefit that you promised for buying the product or using your service. All that customers want is the benefit and nothing else.
l You can try every trick in the book to maximise profits and sales, but it won't help you if you don't have a marketing plan and a strategy.
More about that next time.