Are your customers spending less? Arm your team with these powerful techniques to sell more.

Are your customers spending less? Arm your team with these powerful techniques to sell more.

It’s always important to be aware of your average customer spend and have clear reporting in place. This kind of report usually speaks volumes about the success of your sales team.

Many people think that reductions in spend relates to a generalised trend or economic changes, but experience of working with many sales teams tells me otherwise. Every challenge is an opportunity. There’s ALWAYS something to learn about what your team can be doing differently to improve results.

At POD HR and Training, we deliver customer retention and sales training to empower our clients with NLP language tools to develop unrivalled customer relationships.

We know it can be a concern when customers start to spend less, so we wanted to share some valuable tips for free that can help your team address these concerns.

Refresh the basics

When spend is going well, teams can become more complacent and relax into their success.

This can be dangerous!

Make sure your team are doing the basics right and they don’t skip over the fundamentals to get to the hard sell too quickly. Some of the smallest adjustments can have the most significant impact.

So, what are the basics?

  • Listening well
  • Open questions
  • Rapport
  • Tailoring words and tone to suit customers
  • Understanding before offering solutions
  • Delivering on promises
  • Having an engaging opening to the call

I know what you’re thinking. These are simple and everyone on your team will always do them. That’s why they’re the basics.

You’d be surprised at how many of these they may actually be skipping once they’re more confident in their role, even in established teams.

If you don’t have a process in place to measure customer experience and review the call quality of your team, that should be your first step.

Once you do this, you can start investigating and check the basics are in place.

We’ve got a couple articles on the secrets of rapport and the art of great questioning if you want to learn more about improve these skills.

Sales person talking to a couple

Build a deeper connection and align services with customer values

Sometimes, people will assume they know what’s important to the customer. It’s not their fault necessarily. They’ll hear one thing and forget to continue digging for more information.

In order to get to what the customer REALLY wants, you need to access their values.

Values exist at a deeper level and it takes a specific use of tone and language to bring them out.

Here’s the golden question:

“What is important to you about….?”

Depending on your business, you can either end this sentence with a product or service. By finding out what’s important, you find out what really matters to them and how you can fulfil their deeper needs.

Sometimes customers can answer this consciously. Sometimes, however, the truth comes out subconsciously when the correct question is asked.

The ideal answer will have 5-7 words, blurted out quite quickly. That’s how you know it’s the subconscious mind speaking.

Anything long or analytical is what they THINK is important, rather than what they really believe is important to them on a deeper level.

After you ask the first question, you should keep asking “What else is important to you about…?” until you get 5-7 answers.

Here are some examples of customer values:

  • Trust
  • Reliability
  • Value
  • Honesty
  • Speed
  • Easy
  • Happiness

This is the kind of thing you should be expecting. Key words, rather than sentences.

From there, it’s important to know what they meant by these words. Everyone has a different representation of language and there will be variances.

To be everything they want, you need to truly understand them.

On our sales and customer service training programmes, we train them in deeper questioning techniques to better understand the hierarchy of customer needs. We give them the skills to get to grips with what’s driving the values so they can be equipped to be the dream supplier!

Barista taking payment with a smile

Be curious and learn

If you have integrity and you truly want to be the best for your customers, they can feel it.

If you’re unsure of what’s going on with the customers spending pattern with you, you can simply ask! They’ll know that you care enough to pay close attention and they’ll feel important.

You can start by saying:

“I’ve noticed that your orders have reduced from x to y and regardless of how many or how often you order, I want to understand if you’re getting the right service. I always want to learn from our customer and be the best I can. What can I improve about our products of services? What’s caused you to reduce your orders with us? What can I learn from this?”

I know you don’t need me to tell you this, but your team might. A lot of sales people inadvertently show their cards without realising it.

It’s really important that these kinds of conversations are had with a curious tone, rather than a demanding one. That screams out “all we want is more of your money”.

I’m not suggesting that people pretend. The customer will see right through that.

This is about developing a culture and belief in the integrity of this process. A team that are genuinely curious and care about what they can learn and how they can improve is the most effective team you could have.

However, adding extra work or new methods to your sales process can challenge the team so it’s best you gain buy-in before you try and implement this.

In all of our bespoke training programmes, we align the learnings and new techniques with how it benefits the team and get them on board using NLP tools. This is an extremely powerful way of getting the most out of employees, so have a read of our article on how NLP helps business here.

Understand the customer challenges

As we know, when there are genuine pressures on budget (or even when there isn’t), people pay for products and services that will actually make a difference to them. It’s imperative that your team understands what challenges their customers are facing.

At that point, you can tailor products and services to how it will address their pain points. If you do this effectively, they will buy.

They’ll continue to buy what adds value to their business. So, your team needs to know what will, and won’t, add that value.

Sales members talking to customers over their headsets

Address the team attitude

If the team accept that customers are just spending less and start believing that it’s down to the economy, customers will definitely continue to spend less. You’ll be missing out on opportunity and profit.

That is a limiting belief.

Instead of looking at the can or can’ts, get your team to focus on the HOW.

There will always be a way to win business, even in tough times. Even if it means targeting different industries, pitching services in completely new ways, innovating new products..there’s always a way.

Get your team believing this and they’ll start being inspirational and more consultative with customers. You’ll be more influential and stand out from the crowd.

NLP techniques to address limiting beliefs

Reframing is a language tool that changes the neurological impact of language they use. Beliefs can be loosened up and changed to be more empowering. Learn more about implementing the technique here.

Anchoring is also a great tool. It keeps your team in a calm and positive mental state. This is exactly what you need when working with customers. Learn more about Anchoring here.

Many clients call us in to address behaviours and attitudes. Skills training is great, but without mind-set management to go along with it, you won’t get the ROI you need. NLP coaching can help you to do deeper and make sure the skills are implemented effectively.

Alternatively, we can train Leaders with the tools they need to keep it in-house. To find out more about bespoke training we can offer, you can download our bespoke training brochure here.

I hope you enjoyed reading about getting your team curious about customer spend! I wish you every success in finding the customers hot buttons so that you can win the market share.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss how we can help you get that customer spend report in better shape, you can drop me an email at natalie@podhr.co.uk or contact us through the website!

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