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(Photo: gustavofrazao / iStock / Getty Images Plus/Getty Images)

(Photo: gustavofrazao / iStock / Getty Images Plus/Getty Images)

The two most common selling problems are not enough leads and the wrong leads.

Most salespeople would characterize wrong leads as those that do not, cannot or should not close. You need to regularly evaluate your buyer personas to filter out these wrong leads.

Then you can carry on with the right leads and everything should work out, right?

The hard truth is that some of the right leads do not want you. This is seldom evident because businesses assume they are successful when customers choose them.

Settling for less

Did you know many buyers suboptimize their purchases, settling for less than they want? I asked ChatGPT why this would be, and it gave me dozens of reasons why, with three of the most common being decision fatigue, lack of information and peer pressure.

This is the third selling problem and often gets ignored — it’s winning the hearts and minds of the customers ignored by everyone, including your company.

Don’t misunderstand. Customers who chose you did so because you were the best available option. Now it’s time to optimize the circumstances to sustain the relationship.

Legendary sales trainer, Zig Ziglar, is known for an insightful expression: “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” In my mind, that’s the only way to get to the heart of why some customers settle for less when they buy.

Accomplishing this is the art of selling. You won’t get there with customer surveys and the like. This work requires one-to-one communication that shows you care enough to know how to make things better.

Building trust

Upon graduating from college, my first sales position was with a big oil company. At the time, companies like ours were unpopular because prices were high and supply was limited. My job was to build trust before market conditions changed.

I learned to break down and rank their buying decision criteria. Since I was a junior sales representative with little authority, I asked a lot of ‘what if’ questions about pricing, delivery and specifications.

Some ranted and others smiled respectfully, but over time we made progress. It was a grind that taught me the value of proving that I cared about doing better for them. My biggest discovery was that nearly every customer had suboptimized their purchasing criteria.

So, when I started my landscaping company, I taught our team the benefits of getting comfortable asking our customers uncomfortable questions.

  • Were we your first choice? (yes, we really want to know)
  • Could we have done better? (how, when, tell me more)
  • What were the obstacles? (price, personalities, how we work)
  • How can we make the experience better? (if there is a next time)

If your experience is like ours, you will get great feedback and move the needle with each customer. More importantly, you’ll show all of them you care enough to know what’s important. I promise you’ll be surprised at what that does for your relationship with your clients.

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Jeff Korhan

About the Author:

Jeff Korhan is the owner of True Nature Marketing, a Naples, Fla.-based company helping entrepreneurs grow. Reach him at jeff@truenature.com. Jeff works with service companies that want to drive growth and enhance their brand experience with digital platforms.

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