The market is changing. As companies try to match consumer behavior, the old sales playbook falls short. While there are a lot of different tactics and strategies you can try to help your company grow, customer-centric selling is always a key way to find success. Read on to learn how to adopt a customer-centric selling model to nurture your relationships with your customers.
What Is Customer-Centric Selling?
Customer-centric selling, also known as customer-focused selling, puts your customers first. It places your customer at the center of the selling experience by understanding and empathizing with their needs. At all levels of the sales funnel, you focus on their needs and potential pain points and cater to their experience. In customer-centric selling, you are the customer’s ally.
Customer-centric selling was made popular by Michael Bosworth in a book with the same title, but now it has reached beyond his book and into an industry standard. Customer-centric selling focuses on developing relationships with customers. Rather than focusing on presentations and following premade scripts, sales should focus on natural conversations and relationships.
Why Customer-Centric Selling Is So Important
Why is being customer-centric so important? Over time, customer-centric selling has changed how sales works. The goal is no longer to simply sell a product or service; it is to create an engaging experience for the customer first. Time is spent gaining trust, cultivating a relationship, and building empathy, which leads to the customer making a purchase based on their self-identified needs.
With the growth of the digital marketplace, customer-centric selling has become even more important. Thanks to the internet, customers have a wealth of information at their fingertips and countless choices to buy from, and social media adds an open line of communication straight to them. Prioritizing strong personal relationships and buying experience is essential to make a company stand out from its competitors.
How Do You Become Customer-Centric: Starter Kit
Customer-centric selling is a lot like being a good friend for your customer. Here are four ways your company can start focusing on being more customer-centric in the digital market.
Your company needs to be like a friend who has a napkin ready to go before you even order BBQ ribs for lunch.
Your brand should be a solution for your customer. Focus on your customers’ pain points and anticipate what they need before they even realize it’s a problem. When you’re able to be at least one step ahead of your customers, they will start to trust and rely on you.
No matter if it’s the weekend, the middle of the night, in person, or just a text, your friends are always there for you. Your brand should be accessible in the same way.
It’s not good enough to just have a phone support line; your team needs to have omnichannel customer support that allows your customers to reach out however and whenever they want.
A good friend doesn’t wait for you to call them; they check in on you and are proactive in your friendship.
Don’t wait for your customers to call you. Establish a relationship with them even when they aren’t actively looking to purchase something from you. This will help build a strong bond with them and ensure that when they have a need, your company is where they will turn.
A good friend is there for all parts of your life. Your brand needs to think beyond a single sale. Provide added benefits that extend beyond the point of purchase. This will help them become repeat loyal customers as they start to affiliate your company with their success.
Customer-Centric Selling in 2020 & Beyond
With COVID-19, the world and economy have drastically changed. Some of the above customer-centric selling steps aren’t as feasible when you can’t meet face to face with your customers. But it is still possible to focus on customer-centric selling in our new normal. Here are a few ways you can still be customer-centric in 2020 and 2021.
Customer-centric selling does not start when a customer buys your product. It starts at the beginning of the customer journey. A change in marketing means focusing on customer advocacy, relevant content, and meaningful connections in even the earliest steps of a customer’s relationship with your brand. This marketing style prioritizes customers’ needs and interests while also sharing your brand voice to help build a foundation of trust.
Just because the economy is shut down now doesn’t mean it will always stay that way. Give your customers alternate ways to interact with your brand or offer incentives to stay loyal once the economy reopens. This can give you time to reimagine your brand in the post-COVID-19 world.
If you’ve always used a certain route for marketing, sales, or customer support, now is the time to open up new routes to customer service. Don’t limit yourself to what you’ve always done. Be willing to test new tactics and strategies to find success.
Traditionally, it takes an average of eight touchpoints for a customer to make a purchase. Consider how a customer will make those touchpoints in quarantine and how you can personalize them. Even if you cannot meet your customers face to face, you can still try to build stronger relationships. Strive to meet your customers where they are.
Customer-Centric Selling with Experiences
One of the best ways to focus on customer-centric selling is to provide a digital experience rather than a pushy sales presentation. Instead of telling customers what you want them to purchase, digital experiences focus on allowing the customer to explore and interact with your brand. This eliminates stereotypical selling behavior that can feel overly aggressive and instead empowers your customers to find solutions to their own needs.
Tiled can help you create a sales experience to help your company focus on customer-centric selling solutions. We’ve worked with companies like Vivint Solar to help them create a customer-centric selling model that offers personalized experiences with every conversation. This lets them keep offers relevant with meaningful content that addresses their customers’ needs even while they’re selling remotely. Tiled helped Vivint Solar quickly transition to digital and distance sales in less than a week. This enabled them to meet their customers wherever they were with a wide range of multimedia content through one easy-to-access microapp.
Like Vivint Solar and many others, your company can benefit from a customer-centric selling model. Request your Tiled demo today so you can start practicing customer-centric selling regardless of what “normal” might look like.