So What

So what you're thinking - well not so fast!

I'm going to take you to a place you've never been. Well, I've never been there and I'm assuming you haven't either.

You see in sales we do a lot of assuming and guessing about our customers. These are challenging times for most salespeople and I believe it's time to challenge our assumptions about our very own customers.

Why put yourself into your customer's shoes when you can get inside his head?

Are you really selling what's important to your customers or are you assuming you are?

Shouldn't you know for sure? I think so!

What I'm proposing is an exercise for you in creative thinking. The results of this exercise could very well change how you think about your customers and have an incredible impact on your selling results.

But you have to do some homework first.

Here's what I want you to do.

Prepare a list of all the features and benefits for one of your best selling products.

List all the features and benefits whether big or small.

Keep expanding these lists until you can't think of any more features and benefits.

Now, you're going to do something very few, if any, of your competitors have ever done before.

This isn't for the weak and the meek.

It's for those of you who have the word success etched into your mind.

What you're going to do next, is to consider this product from your customer's viewpoint.

That's right, you're going to explore your customer's mindset.

Have you ever dealt with a sales person who gave you more information than you needed?

Have you dealt with a salesperson who talked about the product features she liked most?

Have you ever thought to yourself during these times "So what," which translates to "that's not important to me."

Of course you have and unfortunately so have your customers thought "So what" when you're doing your sales presentations. Now don't get defensive on me, I'm really trying to help you.

Do you really know what's important to your customers? Or are you guessing at best?

Do you have a clearly defined Unique Selling Proposition? Do you even know what this is?

Well now you can know for sure, with a little sweat equity on your part.

Here's what I want you to do.

Identify 3-5 good customers and ask them for their help and advice.

Sit down face-to-face with them with your list of features and benefits.

I suggest doing the features first and then the benefits. On a single sheet of paper type the words "So what!"

Ask your customers to react to each of the features and benefits you read to them. If they don't have any reaction tell them to say "So what."

Think about the possibilities here. You can validate what you believe to be important to your customers or learn what they believe is truly important.

You'll probably discover some hot buttons you were unaware of.

You'll probably discover what sets you apart from your competition.

And in doing this exercise with 3-5 customers you might even discover your Unique Selling Proposition from your customer's perspective.

And guess what it says about you to your customers.

It says you care.

It says you're trying to raise the bar.

It says you're not taking anything for granted.

It also says your relationship with this customer isn't based on your assumptions.

Make sure you value what your customer values most!

It also means your customer won't be thinking "So what" because he'll be thinking "So - Wow!"

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