There are lots of very clever technical and business people in our industry and that is very much a good thing. But it can sometimes be all too easy when in front of the customer to go trundling off into the depths of all the technical information and lose them completely. I am guilty of doing that myself sometimes. I find myself getting well into my flow and then looking at the customer’s face and knowing that I’ve probably lost them. It’s good that I know my stuff, but I also need to remember that if I were a customer, I probably won’t be all that interested in every single facet of the double glazing industry.
This is why it is important to think like a customer. It’s not just a matter of knowing your specs and being able to reel them off in front of the customer. Place yourself in the client’s shoes. If someone was visiting your home to sell you windows and doors, what would you want to know?
If I were the customer, I would want to know what I had to know. How it would benefit me both in terms of security and the amount I would save on my energy bills. Information like that (providing the client is house proud) is information that they would want to know. I wouldn’t want to sit in front of someone who is talking about their kids sports day for half an hour or explaining where they’re going at the weekend.
I have always found it the most productive to be straight to the point. It’s OK to have the odd joke and a laugh to keep it relaxed and informal, but over do it and the meeting could go in a totally different direction and you can lose the attention of the customer.
It’s not just the demonstration and the sales pitch that you have to think about. It’s manners and attention to detail. For example, if it chucking it down outside and I’m waiting for a rep to come see me, I wouldn’t want them to walk on my carpets with wet or muddy shoes. That’s why when I go see my clients I always bring those very fashionable blue plastic bags to cover my shoes so I don’t walk any of the outside in. May seem a small touch but to a client it shows respect both for them and their property.
Even down to the brochures and literature that the company makes available to the client. That needs to be as informative and image rich as well as being easy to read and navigate through. The same goes for things like a company website too.
Thinking like a customer might seem something very simple. But ask yourself this: how many times have you taken a step back in the last 6 months to analyse how you come across to the customer?