01/09/2015 - 13:57

Learn to think like your customers

01/09/2015 - 13:57


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If you want to improve the way you sell, take note of how, and what, you buy.

Learn to think like your customers
With some purchases, value is implied in the transaction. Photo: iStockphoto/ Adrian Hancu

If you want to improve the way you sell, take note of how, and what, you buy.

Your most recent purchases hold the secrets to increasing your sales.

If you list the past 10 things you bought, you will discover the motives behind your own buying decisions; at the same time, you will discover the formula for why others buy.

Those ‘others’ are your prospects, your potential customers, – the ones that you are erroneously trying to ‘sell’.

When you list the 10 items, do it on a spreadsheet. In the second column, write down whether you needed what you bought, or just wanted it. In the third column, write down whether you could afford it on the spot, or you went over budget and had to charge it. In the next column, write down how you bought the item; did you go to the store, did they come to you, or did you buy it online? If you bought it online you might want to enter what time of day you bought it. It’s interesting to note that a high percentage of online purchases are made after 8:00pm.

In the next column, write down whether or not you liked the salesperson (assuming there was one). In the next column, write down the percentage of influence that the salesperson had in completing the sale – one being the low, 100 being the high.

In the next column, enter your risk factor in making the purchase – one being the low, 100 being the high. In other words, how much did you fear the purchase, and how much did you fear you were making the right purchase before you bought (usually the higher the purchase, home, car, the more hesitancy).

In the next column, write the word ‘price’ or ‘value’. If you went for price only, write ‘price’. If you went more for value, then write ‘value’. (There’s a caution here; only put the word ‘price’ if you went for the lowest price in the category, not the lowest price for the item. In other words, if you bought a BMW you didn’t buy ‘price’, you bought ‘value’ regardless of where you bought it.)

In the next column, rate your experience by percentage, one being the low and 100 being the high. One meaning ‘I’ll never come back’, and 100 meaning, ‘I’ll be back, buy again, and tell my friends’.

Then in the final column, write a sentence or two about how it happened. The story. If it takes three sentences, make it three. But write enough so that you understand what caused you to make the purchase of the item, and then what caused you to make the purchase from that specific company for that specific product or service.

Now you have enough criteria to identify your own answers. Once you read over the spreadsheet you may find that you want to modify a few of them to get closer to your own reality.

Dig deeper

Were you happy when you finished buying? Did you find yourself saying it was ok, but …? It’s important that you note all the ‘buts’ because they are the obstacle to your purchases and your sales. Were there cases where you selected one vendor over another? Note those reasons because those are the same obstacles to your sales.

Now let’s go all the way to the bottom of the ocean. Compare the way you buy to the way you sell. How congruent are they? How compatible are they? Are you throwing up the same barriers that the people you bought from gave you? Are you missing the same nuances in your selling process that caused you to buy or walk away?

And so now it’s time for the ultimate question …would you buy from yourself? Unfortunately the ultimate answer is: probably not, and the reason is that you haven’t modified your selling process to harmonise with the way your prospects buy.

There’s a hidden treasure. Of course there is, when ever you go down to the bottom of the ocean, the object is to find the hidden treasure. The hidden treasure will be revealed to you when you go read (or re-read) Acres of Diamonds by Russell H Conwell. All the sales answers you need are buried in your own back yard.

You already possess the treasure. You just haven’t discovered it yet.


Jeffrey Gitomer is an American author, professional speaker and business trainer, who writes and lectures internationally on sales, customer loyalty and personal development.

© 2015 All rights reserved. Don’t reproduce this document without written permission from Jeffrey H. Gitomer and Buy Gitomer.



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