What is Client Centric Selling and Why is it Important?

by Apr 3, 2017Outbound Marketing, Sales

What is Client Centric Selling and Why is it Important?

“Biggest question: Isn’t it really ‘customer helping’ rather than customer service? And wouldn’t you deliver better service if you thought of it that way?”
-Jeffrey Gitomer

While every business is client focused, not every one of them is client centric. ‘Client Centric’ selling is the notion that salespeople should focus on solving client needs instead of simply wanting to make a sale. It is backed up by certain principles:

  1. A sales rep must have critical, mutual and value-added one-on-one conversations with each client
  2. Sales reps must have an array of questions that helps retrieve the correct information from clients
  3. A sales rep does not only pitch a product for the good of his business but for the good of the client as well

From the above three principles, it’s clear that client centric selling concentrates on problem-solving. It goes from client to solution rather than from solution to the client. This means that salespeople should spend more effort on finding out what type of problems their target market would face so that they can better serve them.

Research has found that sales reps only use a third of their time on having problem-solving conversations with their clients. The remaining sixty odd percent is spent on non-selling tasks. This, I believe, is where things go wrong.

Which non-selling tasks are sales reps doing?

It’s no surprise that sales reps spend a lot of their time doing admin related tasks such as inputting details on the CRM and preparing client documents:

  1. Most of the time is spent searching for and creating content for clients
  2. 20% goes towards reporting, CRM and other admin related tasks

To become a client centric entity, all sales reps should increase their time spent on having meaningful one-on-one conversations. Below are ways that companies can become more client-centric:

  1. Reduce admin for sales reps. Companies can reduce sales rep admin by hiring administration staff to handle the admin work.
  2. Increase interaction with clients. Oftentimes when sales reps meet clients they’re quick to pitch their product because they’ve got other appointments to attend. Increase client interaction by instituting a rule that each sales rep should speak to their client at least once a week or month, depending on how large your business is. By so doing, reps will foster more meaningful relationships with clients and no longer have to indulge in hard selling.
  3. Streamline processes. The more efficient your processes, the more client-centric your company becomes. In almost every business I have worked with, there is no formal way of doing things, resulting in sales reps putting their own structures in place. When processes are not streamlined, sales reps can be wasting valuable time on non-valuable activities.
  4. Foster a client-centric culture. Being client centric is not only about putting procedures in place but also about fostering the same sentiments with your company culture. This culture should come from the top to the bottom (from seniors to juniors). When everyone is involved in making your business more client-centric, selling becomes a by-product of having good relationships.

Real-life example

Starbucks is one of the most expensive coffees in town yet people still flock to purchase it every morning. Why is this?

Before you mention taste, it’s not that. Many other cafés have great coffee at a cheaper price. The answer is because Starbucks is client-centric. They listen to their clients and produce products based on their needs. It’s part of their strategy!

They established a platform called myStarbucksidea.com that helps them to build a stronger relationship with their customers. Customers can submit their ideas, rank and discuss ideas from other users as well. The best part? The chain has implemented almost every idea including free Wi-Fi and a loyalty service.