Giving Clients What They Want

October 15, 2012

Picture this:  Your daughter takes a major tumble off her bike and winds up with deep cuts to the knee.  You run to the local medi-center and when the doctor enters the room, instead of addressing your crying child, he begins to tell you about his education, class rank, hi-tech facilities, etc. etc.  How much do you think your child cares about the diplomas on the wall when all she wants is the pain to go away?

Unfortunately some sellers act like that doctor and ignore the basic needs of the client.  Instead they should listen, listen and listen some more to what the client is saying.  Years ago I had the good fortune as an air personality to interview celebrities, when I got into sales I realized clients are no different than celebrities…they love to talk about themselves!  Once prospects open up about themselves you have uncovered a fountain of information, use it to create the proper radio bandage for their skinned knee.

So the question is how does a manager guide their team to stay focused on delivering to clients what they want and need?  For me, I have stripped the issue back down to the basics to help get the sellers head out of the clutter.

While mentoring students about sales at Seton Hall University’s radio station I coached by using “dating scenarios” that worked so well I have often used them with my staff, the parallels between dating and sales are endless.  Here’s an example; if you approached that special someone across the bar room floor and asked them to dance or offered to buy them a drink it would begin with casual conversation ABOUT THEM!  By showing your interest in them you are slowly gaining their trust and moving forward to the next step, a date (an order), a second date (order renewal), committed relationship (long term contract), etc.

If we, as managers and sellers, can keep in mind that it’s always about the client and their sore knee we will be much more successful at providing solutions.   Like your sweetheart, focus on your client, be honest with your client, and never cheat on your client.  This way even if you make an honest mistake they will defend you to outsiders because they trust you.

Matt DeVoti  is making Greater Media great in his role as General Sales Manager for 105.5 WDHA and 1250 WMTR in New Jersey.