I used to think everyone loved Scientifically Speaking as much as I do. They don’t. I wish they did, but they don’t. My clients don’t hire me for my stunning good looks or my quick whit (thank goodness). Fortune 100 companies hire me to coach their executives and employees because of what I can do for them. The main thing customers care about how products and services can help them. It’s all about them.

Many customers look at products as a commodity. They can buy them from anywhere: Amazon, Best Buy, Target, Wal-Mart, etc. Even specialized products like pharmaceuticals are not immune to this “commodization” by consumers (e.g. – there is no difference between the drugs in a given class of medicine). When I was in pharmaceutical sales, I had a customer tell me why he bought from me. The cardiologist said the science and side effect profile were similar to him and his patients. The only difference was in the I benefit I brought to his clinic. I delivered relevant information that helped his nurses, office manager and patients save time and money. Here are the five things customers REALLY care about:

5 Apps Customers Care About

  • Time – Consumers want to save time. It is a rare asset, and no one can make more of it. Research shows 61% of consumers will recommend a product if it saves time. Amazon developed the Dash Stick that allows people to purchase certain items by clicking a button. These sticks exist to quickly order more trash bags, toothpaste and razors. Customers care about saving time.
  • Customer Service – Nordstrom products cost more than Target and Wal-Mart, yet I am a “Nordy for Life” because they offer superior service. Their professionals go out of their way to help me find the best products that look great on me (opinion my own). Also, their salespeople don’t ask questions when I need to return an item. Customers care about customer service.
  • Themselves – I don’t care about the features a car or the colors of a suit. Great salespeople ask the right questions to understand the needs of each individual customer. I once heard a Starbucks barista training a new employee by saying, “When the customer walks in, all of our attention should be on them and their needs.” I buy my suits from The Men’s Wearhouse because they know me, my suit size and the style I like. Customers care about themselves (and that’s not a bad thing).

5 Ways to Capture Sales Success

  • Kindness – Jeffrey Gitomer once wrote, “All things being equal, people buy from people they like. All things not being equal, people buy from people they like.” Customers will buy from people who display qualities of trust, kindness, empathy and sincerity. Exceptional sales professionals consistently demonstrate these principles to the customer, their staff and their family. Customers care about kindn.
  • Expertise –¬†Professionals MUST be knowledgeable in their field. That is a basic understanding. Consumers, however, expect expertise. I worked with a sales rep named Jon who did additional research and reading to insure he took current and relevant information to our physicians. He knew the good and bad of our products, our competition and the pharmaceutical industry. The doctors always saw him as a resource to their practice. Customers care about expertise.

Notice something? Price is never listed. People still buy Porsche cars and Tiffany jewelry, in spite of the price. Consumers don’t care about the product or price. They want your product to meet their needs and emotions. My clients aren’t waiting by the phone for me to call and tell them about my next cool training program. They just want a company who knows their needs and can help meet them.

Scientifically Speaking, of course…