Here’s the truth about your customers – they can handle the truth. You can convince customers by telling the truth. As a seller, you should try more of it. Never start telling lies about your product. Your customers accept that you are not perfect – as long you are not telling lies.
Sellers, marketers and communicators must stop treating their customers like they would treat children, hiding unpleasant facts, not revealing the whole story. Customers are intelligent adults and should be treated as such.
But often, we find organizations, sellers and communicators annoying customers with lies, spin, deception and half-truths. This never works out well as customers are all too knowing and really do know how to separate the wheat from the chaff, armed as they are with the power of the internet.
Let’s have a look at some of the horrible half-truths and deceptive tactics used by organizations to hide an unpleasant fact from a customer.
The first example comes from one of the biggest companies in the world – Google. Rather than just say that they are phasing out Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0, Google says: “In order to continue to improve our products and deliver more sophisticated features and performance, we are harnessing some of the latest improvements in web browser technology.”
Another, fye.com takes the cake with this auto-generated email: “To assist in providing you the quickest answer to your inquiry, please see the Help Section of fye.com.” In other words, turning customers to the Help Section is a lot cheaper than hiring a customer support agent to take the calls.
Interestingly the popular boob on economics Freakonomics talks about how sellers of houses of genuine quality use words such as “granite, state-of-the-art, corian, maple, gourmet” in their ads while sellers of poor quality homes use the following words in their ads: “fantastic, spacious, !, charming, great neighborhood.”
But who is fooled? Certainly not the customer! So how about this really radical thought – Tell the customer the truth. They sure can handle it!
Let’s look at how to convince a customer about a product or a service by telling the truth, without hiding any of the unpleasant facts.
- Ask the customer about their needs, why they need a product or service, where they want it, when they need it and what they intend to do with it. Remember, a modern day seller listens as much as he or she talks.
- Now, make your move – tell the customer what you have to offer, why it is the right product or service for him or her, how the product or service fulfills their needs and provides them value for their money.
- Always be completely honest and truthful about the product and service on offer, don’t hide anything from the customer. Your transparency will actually be appreciated.
- Explain how the product actually works, and even though it may not be 100% of what the customer expects, explain why it can still offer value to the customer. If you have something else on offer as well, ask the customer if he or she would like to try it out.
- Talk about the added value and benefits provided by the product and how doing business with you or your organization is beneficial to the customer. If there is any catch, talk about it as well – don’t hide anything, as that would only hurt you later, even if you succeed in making the sale.
- Don’t come across as being desperate to sell, or trying to overwhelm the customer into making a decision. Give the customer her or her time and space.
- If in spite of your best efforts, you are not able to make the sale, don’t get upset, smile and say goodbye to the customer on good terms. Perhaps the customer will remember your good behavior and reward you in the future by buying something from you later. Always end a conversation with a customer on good, happy terms, whether you make a sale or not.
So, that’s how to make a sale by telling the truth to the customer. Remember, customers appreciate honesty and transparency from a seller and are likely to reward him for it, because that is often the last thing they expect. So, surprise the customer by telling the truth!