There is a line of thinking in sales that believes you should always know more than your customer. That somehow you will win their business by making them feel that they just don’t understand the subject matter and you, the expert, are what they need.
That is a deeply flawed way of thinking and the sure route to losing your client in the long-term. You need to be your client’s trusted adviser, not their know-it-all lecturer. Of course, they will learn as they go with you – as you help them overcome challenges and fix problems. But if you talk down to them and don’t hear what they’re saying they won’t come to you with the very problems you need to help them fix in order to remain their trusted partner.
What It Looks Like When You Know More
He had his own opinions.
He did it the way HE wanted.
He didn’t see it the way we do.
These are the very words a client used to explain to me the problem she was having with the primary contact from her web development team. They were well into a website redesign and still not finished because her developer kept creating what he thought she needed instead of listening to her clearly express her needs. Sadly, this happens every day to customers everywhere.
Stop Being Your Client’s Problem
My client and “Sales Psychotherapist” wrote a post yesterday called Who Killed Customer Loyalty that lays out the problem with business/client relationships today. Many business people like to believe that society has changed, that customers are no longer what they once were, that it isn’t their own fault they don’t have loyal customers. But as Anthony points out, that isn’t the truth at all.
When you stop listening to what your customer really wants, there is no way you are going to deliver it.
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