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Improving sales pitches by understanding your clients

Understanding what drives your clients to buy is a key factor in maintaining high levels of client engagement, even during economic uncertainty.

In any business operation, sales pitches are responsible for bridging the gap between client needs and business products. You can improve your sales pitches and keep clients interested in your business by understanding the four types of needs that drive customers to buy.

Actual immediate needs

This refers to customers with short-term needs, whereby immediate response is preferred.These customers will do little comparison shopping before buying and as a result, it would be most effective to respond to their requests immediately. To keep such clients engaged with your business:

  • Advertise constantly. You need to be in front of them exactly when they need something.
  • Keep your advertisements up to date with SEO trends and social media trends and target your local community.
  • Emphasise fast service, convenience, and price in your advertisements.

Actual long-term needs

These are real needs and wants that must be responded to, but not necessarily right away. This type of prospect will do lots of comparison shopping before buying. Preparing your sales strategy for such clients may include:

  • Advertising frequently. Potential clients will be spending money soon, and they have to know you’re out there.
  • Staying in touch with past satisfied customers; this prospect relies heavily on word-of-mouth recommendations.
  • Attending networking events (in-person and online) if selling to other businesses. Prospects are looking for someone to meet their needs.
  • Making sure you get positive reviews on your products.

Perceived needs

This means needs a person believes they have, but are not, in reality, an absolute need. If your customers are like this:

  • In your advertising, emphasise the enhanced personal or business status or benefits from purchasing your product/service.
  • Emphasise your company’s quality and reputation.
  • Feature testimonials, big-name clients in your marketing materials to add status to you as a supplier.

Unrecognised needs

These are desires customers don’t yet recognise as being a need, often developed in response to the creation of a new type of product or service.

Businesses that are aiming for clients like these need to:

  • Emphasise how innovative and cutting edge you and your product/service are.
  • Explain what your product/service does because customers aren’t yet familiar with it.
  • Focus on how ahead-of-the-game your customers will be and how envious their peers will be.

A big mistake is to assume all customers have the same motivations as you. Do some market research. Ask customers for feedback. Start talking to customers to find out what really motivates them, and then go beyond what they just say to you. Understanding your customers is integral to developing a successful business.

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Mark Holton