Have we ever wondered how our customers see us? Is it how we want them to see us? What’s more, have we ever wondered how we want them to see us?
The image we transmit to our customers often does not match the image we ‘sell’ them. Our actions are not consistent with our messages.
Off the top of my head, I can think of four types of perceptions that our customers can have of us (although there may be more or combinations of these are what I see most often in Sales Training and Business Assessments):
- We are going to ‘offload’ our product/service onto them.
- We want to show that we know a lot about our product/service.
- We need to sell them our product/service.
- We are experts in our product/service and we want to provide them with added value.
In general, the image that customers have of us is usually one of the first three. To be perceived as an expert that provides added value is, well, something else.
For some customers, we tend to be like the Guadiana river, we appear and disapper quite often. We tend to appear to present new products and to manage orders for spare or missing parts, and we tend to disappear when we have to manage incidents or complaints, for example.
Other times we are like the Invisible Man, because when we go to see them, we slip in and out and it’s like we weren’t even there at all. The customer stays the same; we don’t provide it with any added value, nothing that will help it to sell more, to sell better, to ultimately make more money. We make flat visits during which we say the same thing to everyone. We don’t personalise what we say, and we don’t say or show how hour product/service can benefit them.
As a result, it’s no wonder that if our customers don’t see us as experts in our product and with the desire to help them, they end up trying to get a lower price. At the end of the day, if we are unable to provide them with added value, we are simply ‘commoditising’ our product/service, and that’s when only price matters.
Foto: Mike_Cantwell. Modified version. Algunos derechos reservados