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Understanding Customer Preferences

Who Determines Value?

In sales, an essential truth is that you, as the salesperson, DON’T define what’s important, cool, or effective. These judgments are in the hands of your prospects and customers. Each person you contact has their unique preferences and decision-making criteria.

For example, consider the case of Hefeweizen beer. In the U.S., it’s often served with orange slices, a marketing strategy that doesn’t appeal to everyone. Ok maybe it’s only me but I don’t prefer fruit in my beer – which means Apricot Ale is even worse than adding an orange slice because I can’t take the flavor out.

Remember – not every customer will resonate with your standard pitch or product offering. It’s crucial to distinguish between two types of customer feedback:

  1. Misaligned Messaging: Here, the product is fine, but the messaging doesn’t resonate.
    For instance, I do like Hefeweizen beer without the fruit. Changing your approach here can win over the customer.
  2. Mismatched Target Market: In this scenario, the customer is not interested in the product at all, like my aversion to Apricot Ale. In such cases, it’s best to acknowledge the mismatch and move on.

The goal is to quickly identify which category your prospect falls into. Are they uninterested in the call’s purpose, the product, or your sales approach? For those in the first category, it’s about recalibrating your message. Ask yourself:

  • What’s important to them?
  • What do they find appealing or “cool”?
  • What approach will they find effective?

Adapt your message accordingly to engage these prospects effectively. Remember, in inside sales, agility in understanding and responding to customer preferences is key to success.

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