Socrates is considered the founder of philosophy. His method of teaching was to ask probing, open-ended questions that enabled his audience to understand a problem in an ongoing conversation and agree on conclusions. Everyone made the same choices together on the same journey. This method is the essence of what we refer to today as customer-centric selling.
Customer-centric selling starts by encouraging potential customers to tell you about their problems. Then, it continues with guiding them down a path to the right solution. It’s based on the philosophy that companies and customers work together to do things that are mutually beneficial for all of us. Customers gain the benefit of solving core business problems, and companies like yours generate revenue by solving them.
Customer-centric selling is particularly important in the age of social media, where companies and customers engage in an ongoing public dialogue across Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, websites, and blogs. In other words, they’re going to talk about you. Building trust over time by working together leads to solving more complex problems. It also helps promote loyalty, referrals, and positive word-of-mouth. All of this translates into generating more revenue.
Here are seven steps to help you sell like Socrates and become a customer-centric company:
1. Establish Trust First, Sell Second (or Third or Fourth)
Loyalty and trust are the foundation of every business relationship. Knowing customer pain points and core needs allows you to become a trusted partner instead of just a vendor or service provider. Don’t rush to sell before understanding what customers need. Establish confidence and trust.