In a recent episode of the Buyer First Interviews, I sat with Lee Salz, the founder and CEO of Sales Architects, to discuss the importance of good buying experiences and how sellers and managers can create an ideal buying experience.
Lee Salz, an internationally renowned sales management strategist, entrepreneur, best-selling author, and award-winning keynote speaker, shared valuable insights from his extensive experience building world-class sales forces.
The Impact of Bad Buying Experiences:
Lee Salz started the conversation by sharing a recent story about his son's apartment-hunting experience. His son had a negative encounter with a salesperson who rushed the process, failed to provide the necessary information, and did not make him feel valued as a potential customer. Despite the building's appealing features and great location, the poor buying experience led his son to choose another apartment.
This story demonstrates that customers can be deterred by negative experiences, regardless of the quality of the product or service. It underscores that salespeople should focus on delivering meaningful value and creating a positive experience to retain customers.
Differentiation through Human Connection:
As the conversation continued, Lee emphasized the significance of human connection in sales. We both acknowledged the prevalent notion that artificial intelligence (AI) might replace salespeople but firmly believed that customers still value and seek genuine human experiences. Lee stated that salespeople must provide meaningful value in the buying experience to justify their role.
He challenges sales professionals to ask themselves, "What can I do today that my buyers will find meaningful tomorrow?" This reflective question encourages salespeople to invest in their knowledge and skills to enhance their ability to differentiate themselves and create valuable customer experiences.
Differentiate through Exceptional Care:
Lee pointed out that salespeople can differentiate themselves by going the extra mile and doing what their competition can't or won't do. It could be as simple as treating customers like individuals, showing genuine interest, and making them feel special.
Buyers remember how they feel during interactions. And a salesperson's care and attention can leave a lasting impression. Sales professionals must focus on making customers feel valued, heard, and supported rather than solely relying on value propositions and pitches.
In essence, differentiation lies not just in the product or service but also in being a better human and building meaningful relationships.
The Essence of Selling: Change Management and Reducing Fear
I shared my experience with a doctor I visited after being diagnosed with thyroid cancer. As the doctor failed to recognize my fear (and my family’s fear) and need for reassurance.
Likewise, salespeople can unintentionally overlook the emotional aspects of a buyer's journey.
Sales is about reducing fear and risk, providing guidance, and facilitating change.
Understanding and addressing the human element is crucial for sales professionals to build trust and foster long-term customer relationships.
In a world where technological advancements continue to reshape industries, my interview with Lee Salz serves as a reminder that human connection remains invaluable in sales.
- Buyers crave genuine experiences and interactions that make them feel valued and understood.
- Salespeople who invest in their knowledge, differentiate through exceptional care and understand the emotional aspects of the buying journey can create an ideal buying experience.
By focusing on reducing fear, managing change, and building meaningful relationships, sales professionals can thrive in a world where human connection remains at the heart of successful sales.
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