Don’t Fool Yourself…Your Customers Don’t Care About You!

Your customers—and especially your prospects—don’t care about you. They don’t care about the products you’re selling, and they don’t care about your company. If they did, then they would return your phone calls. They wouldn’t check their texts/e-mails when you’re talking to them. They’d respond to your direct mail, and they’d get excited about the stuff you’re offering; stuff you know would be good for them.

All the sales advice, all the sales books and whatever other help you find can’t change that. They really don’t care. For the most part, you’re just another added burden—taking up their time and mind space with just another agenda item. Your customers want less…not more!

All the sales gurus, sales trainers and sales coaches talk about empathy and relationship selling. But how much of this advice is actually put into action? At the end of the day, you’re probably just selling. You have something to sell and you’re damn sure going to find someone to sell it to.

Unless you’re going to just play the numbers—make enough calls and eventually hope something sticks—it’s only going to get worse. Time and attention are resources that are rapidly depleting. And every day there’s something new taking another little piece.

Unless you want to be a casualty of this inevitability, you’re going to have to prove to your customers and prospects you truly deserve the attention they’re willing to give you.

Empathize; really get into their lives. Put down your briefcase, your samples and your sales playbook. That person you’ve targeted is not just a prospect—a way for you to make quota.

Customers and prospects are people, just like you. They have families, just like you. And those families take priority. They may have a parent that they’re contemplating putting in a nursing home. Their son may have autism. They may be stressing over how they’re going to pay for their daughter’s college.

Clay's recruiting and strategic consulting efforts over the past 20 years have provided firms in the printing and communications industries the talent and perspective that has enabled them to navigate the constant change they’ve faced. His current company, the bleedingEDGE, provides digital printing firms with 1:1 marketing solutions that enable their small- and medium-sized clients to compete with larger competitors using a cooperative strategy and production model. In addition to the normal 1:1 marketing techniques of personalization and customization, the bleedingEDGE incorporates timing strategies, generational analysis and sociological factors in producing results well above the norm.
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  • http://robreichstein rob reichstein

    Clay, no truer words have been spoken (or in this case written).

    Printers take way too much time extolling the virtues of their equipment. Truth is, no one cares what anyone else says unless it has direct impact on them! It’s all about WIIFM – What’s in it for me.

    Get over yourself, get over your equipment, personnel, processes, etc.

    Just talk about results!

  • http://Ken Ken

    I agree completely with what you’re saying. I’ve been in print sales for many years and those accounts that have been most successful were ones that had relationships develop along the lines you’re prescribing. I’ve also never been one to crow about equipment or parade a bunch of samples. After all, printing a quality product should be a given and most customers don’t really care about the equipment beyond your capability to get it done at a fair price and delivered on time with the least amount of headaches for them.

    However…If the customers and especially the prospects don’t care. If they don’t answer your calls, return your voicemail, respond to your direct mail, then how does a sales person get past GO and to the stage of being empathetic to the prospects life and challenges?

    Don’t prospects have a responsibility to the people who are signing their paychecks to take the time and find out what that person on the other end of the line has to offer? I guess it’s easier for a prospect to stick with the legacy vendor and not waste their time giving someone else an opportunity to see if they can help.

    The person on the other end of the line couldn’t possibly make their lives any easier…right? It’s the devil you know, as they say.