There are two defining truths about today’s consumers — whether you’re talking B2B or B2C — that provide the crucial insights you need for successful selling strategies:
- Your customers expect personalized service.
Whether they are in your store or visiting your website, talking to a rep or using your app, customers approach you as individuals with a unique needs — and they expect to be treated as such. If their interactions with your brand aren’t personal and consistent, they know they have plenty of other options and won’t hesitate to move on. Which leads to the next truth…
- Your customers have more options than ever.
Today’s consumers are confronted with more specialized products, tailored services, upgrades, add-ons and options than ever before. This makes it more difficult for you to stand out in the crowd and easier for them to experience decision fatigue. So, along with the possibility that they might choose a competitor, there is also the risk they will abandon the choice altogether for fear of making the wrong one.
You have to find a way to cater to your customers’ individual needs while helping them manage their options so they can arrive at a confident purchase decision. That’s why your sales strategy should include guided selling.
What is guided selling?
Guided selling provides a map to navigate the buyer’s path to purchase. Often accomplished with a tool such as a quiz or questionnaire, guided selling automates the process of discovering needs, narrowing choices, and offering personalized recommendations. It involves asking smart questions and using the customer’s responses to guide them toward the solution that best fits their needs, experience, and even personality.
As both a sales tool and part of the user experience, guided selling:
- Keeps the customer engaged and interested.
- Creates a pleasant, personalized shopping experience.
- Builds trust that you will serve them as an individual.
- Helps customers find the best solution for their needs.
- Ensures customers feel confident with their purchase.
Examples of guided selling
Guided selling tools can take many forms, from a call center script to an online quiz, but they generally fall into one of two categories:
- Assisted – Assisted tools are those that a sales rep or customer service specialist will use to walk a customer through the decision process. These can be digital but are often printed in the form of a flipbook or brochure.
An example of this is Sherwin-Williams’ Room-by-Room brochure. Choosing paint is a surprisingly complicated endeavor, especially when you are painting a whole house. From anti-bacterial for a busy bathroom to elegance for an upscale living room, the Room-by-Room brochure helps reps walk customers through the needs of each room in a house to choose the paint that fits their life.
- Automated – Automated tools assist buyers who have embarked on the customer journey alone. These are almost always digital, living in apps or on websites.
An example of this is the Bright Cellars Wine Quiz. If you are new to the wine world or just stuck in a rosé rut, choosing a new wine can be a confusing and intimidating. After all, you don’t want to spend big bucks on a bad bottle or embarrass yourself at the wine bar. The Bright Cellars quiz makes it easy by recommending wines based on your preference for other every-day treats like candy and coffee.
Final word on guided selling
Today’s customer expects you to make it easy for them to buy. Smooth customer experiences and simple purchasing decisions are vital to success of any businesses. By providing an experience that captures the customer’s attention, facilitates personalization, and inspires confident purchases, guided selling can help you boost brand loyalty and increase sales.