Last week, during an interesting conversation with a long-time customer, I was given great tips about revisiting customer relationships. He spoke and I listened and learned. We discussed the difference between Customer Usage Marketing versus Product Marketing. When a sales professional discusses solution selling questions with prospects, the usual feature-function poker game marketing goes out the window, and opens up a whole new relationship plateau between the provider and prospect/customer. By setting goals of the prospect at the outset of the project, they can be continually measured and evaluated over time, and provide the customer valuable insight to the solution success. They also continue to understand the value of the solution over time. It is like watching the mileage signs to your destination while driving on a long road trip. You know initially how far you will be traveling when you first start out and then continue to mark steady progress along the journey, until you finally reach your destination. Focus the customer on the successful milestones during the journey, not on the product features. The sales professional and prospect team can exploit the advantages of insight relative to the customers’ needs and successes including;
- Attaining the project goals like increased productivity, cost savings, and revenue increases
- Critically necessary project success stories for future projects- success breeds success!
- Better measurement tools to determine product effectiveness for future projects
- Prospect and customer relationship enhancement through on-going product usage
The key to selling more of anything is when your existing customer base is your greatest evangelist- not by beating the bushes harder and faster! When they tell your story, their contacts listen, and you have increased your marketing voice exponentially when they tout what wonderful products and services you provide.