Two can tango …
I was making a bit of a song and dance out of 111 articles published at my blog till date and then I found someone who had written 1111 – No fuss! Why am I saying this here?
Well, most customers think they know what it takes to solve the problem – truth is that they don’t; they only think they know. We don’t need doctors, engineers, accountants, lawyers and other professionals if everyone knew exactly how all problems are to be fixed.
The Customer rarely knows everything; but don’t ever tell him that, definitely not if you expect to do business with him. So, while your Customer needs to be treated as Queen or King all the time you don’t have to consider them to be wise or all – knowing on the subject being discussed with you.
If you let them decide on the solution you are going to face the music later on, because they would then turn around and say that you gave them poor advice. A smart Consultant or Solution Provider would work with the customer and make them believe that it’s their solution while quietly putting the required thoughts in the customer’s head. Your role is to non-intrusively plant the right idea in the buyer’s mind.
When you get into the consultative mode you communicate proactively; you sense the need and the state-of-mind of the buyer and gently (yet firmly) guide the thinking in the requisite direction – you are driving using the remote control while the customer’s hands remain on the steering wheel.
Writing 111 articles nevertheless took a fair bit of effort, it’s better than not having started at all. In the same vein customers may not have the answer to the problem but they know the pain much more than you do – it stares them in the face every day and they experience it first-hand; so don’t ever try to tell a customer that you know more about the problem than they do. You don’t!
However, you do know quite a bit about solving it once you get the details, because you have seen similar situations elsewhere and have provided solutions which fixed the problem for good. The smart idea would be to convey this to the customer using the right language and the right emotion.
It takes two to tango; lead the customer to the right solution … and don’t make a song and dance of it!