Would you want to buy something from someone who just wants to sell or from someone who is protecting you and is looking out for your best interest?
The first thing I want to do is change how you define your customers:
Customer — A person who purchases a commodity or service
Client — A person who is under the protection of another
Even if you call your buyers customers, it's important to think of them as clients.
The strategy of preeminence simply means that you will not let your clients buy more or less than they need to get the results they seek. It's a powerful yet simple strategy that can transform your business.
I'm always amazed at how many business people will say and do whatever it takes to make a one-time sale, rather than taking the time to understand the client's desired outcome and then having the courage and moral obligation to tell the client what he or she really needs. Sure, you may end up with a smaller initial sale, but you will have made a new friend. And he or she will buy again and again, and send you referrals.
You must set the strategy of preeminence at the beginning of your relationship — i.e., before someone buys from you. You can do this by becoming a trusted friend or advisor — this needs to be a part of your presentation.
Create a presentation or system that automatically includes how you worry, care, and show concern for your clients, even if they decide to buy elsewhere.
You must commit yourself to a level of study that most of your clients will not want to undertake. The strategy of preeminence will help you avoid concentrating on your wants and needs, and put your focus where it belongs — on your clients.
Imagine a father walking into a store to buy a bike for his son. What is he looking for? What does he need? Does he just want a piece of metal on two wheels? Of course not.
He's looking for one of the most joyful experiences of a lifetime: teaching his son to ride a bike. He wants a memory that he can share with his grandkids. He wants to hear his son yell, "Look, dad — no hands!"
So, do you sell this father the most expensive bike in the store? Maybe, if that's the best solution to his problem. But you definitely should tell the father that you've seen hundreds of dads come in to buy their child's first bike and you know how wonderful this occasion is. And possibly suggest that a less expensive model would be better because so many kids crash their bikes. You might also want to mention that the dad should make sure he has collision insurance on his car.
By doing all this, you not only make the sale, you also become a trusted advisor. The father realizes that you didn't just sell him a bike — you protected him. He becomes a client.
In a couple of years his son will need a new bike, or he may have other kids who want new bikes. Where do you think he will go to buy them?
If you focus on giving value and advice instead of manipulating, you win over many more prospects. One of the biggest mistakes I've seen in over 30 years of working with businesses is that they focus on the wrong thing. They fall in love with their product, service, or company. However, falling in love with your clients means taking responsibility for their well-being. You have to put their best interests ahead of your own.
Here are a few ways to establish the strategy of preeminence:
- You are not just selling information, you are selling qualitative leadership.
- You have to develop empathy for where your prospective clients are.
- You have to adopt a different mentality to be preemptive.
Make a commitment to start practicing this strategy in your business today and watch your results soar.