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Why Client Thinking Is the Winning Foundation of Your Sales Strategy

Adopting your client’s perspective will end sales chaos and allow you to develop a robust strategic plan. Client thinking is the foundation of your sales strategy. Sales is all about connecting with people to provide them a solution to their problems and concerns.

Sales is all about making an impact on your client’s business, your own business, their personal life, and your personal life. It all trickles down to your teams, employees, and communities. To do this, it’s your job to guide your client to a decision.

Sales is not sleazy manipulation. Thinking from the client’s perspective is about worthy intent–a genuine desire to help and serve others. This worthy intent is how you create positive impact. It’s curiosity about the other person, their business, and what they want, need, or lack. How can your product or service help them? Why does it matter to them? What will it help them accomplish?

That last part is very important. Your product or service will solve your client’s problem so they can… what? What does your solution free your clients to do? By answering this question, you will be able to guide your client to a decision. You need to step into your client’s mindset.

Thinking Like a Client

woman selling a man
Client thinking evolves and changes throughout the client journey!

Client thinking is not a static thing. You don’t just figure out their perspective and be done with it. Client thinking evolves and changes throughout the client journey! It’s up to you to make it a good journey so they think fondly of you and give you referrals, online reviews, testimonials, and more. They will return your positive energy.

So, be of service. Start with your worthy intent and client thinking because those are your foundation for everything going forward. Everything revolves around your customer’s perspective.

Now, old school thinking tells you to think, “This is what I have to offer. This is what it does. I’ll do a SWOT analysis and master strategy, figure out how to communicate and message…” But there is a perilous gap here! This has you thinking like a seller, but you need to shift your perspective to the customer.

Instead, think about your product or service, and then step back and describe your client. Speak as your client. “I have a problem or concern. This is what it is…” Bringing in a trusted group of people to brainstorm can be a big help here. Find out who your client is and what they want, need, or lack.

Get Creative

Think outside the box! Ask potential clients, interview them, do research! Talk to seven, 10, or more people. The more the better. Try to get diversity of thought! Go to Facebook and LinkedIn groups, go to meetups–find them.

Once you have your people, keep your questions open ended: “What are your top concerns about X?” Don’t try to influence their answers; just let them speak. Record the interview, if possible, so you can watch back and look for their nonverbal cues. Watch for when they light up and engage. These are amazing ways to discover their pain points and things that don’t matter to them. This is how you will learn to think more like your customer.

Now that you know how to think like your prospects, apply your client perspective to what you’re doing. Use it to plan your entire sales strategy. This will help you build connections and rapport. You will connect and cultivate relationships, and then you will convert those contacts into clients to make a positive impact on them and their businesses.

Remember, you have a gift. Your product or service is how you help others and change the world for the better. Tapping into your client’s mindset is how you can best serve others. And it is this attitude, this worthy intent, that will set you apart. 

Delving Deeper: The Client “Why” 

Despite our best intentions, it can be difficult to connect with clients well enough to discover steadfast solutions for their particular needs. How do you break down the obstacles to achieving this understanding? Remember, thinking like your client gives you a major competitive edge in sales, and applying this mindset will help you reach your client’s ideal solution.

woman on phone
Remember, thinking like your client gives you a major competitive edge in sales, and applying this mindset will help you reach your client’s ideal solution.

When thinking like your client, you need to identify their “why” and how to incorporate their perspective into your sales strategy. You have to focus on what your client wants, needs, and lacks. You have to find their pain points. Use these to reverse engineer your product or service to fit those needs. This is what will help you crack the code on how you can best attract and connect with clients.

To create your sales strategy, you need to answer:

  1. Who is your client? Niche down to a specific target audience, even if you think your product or service could potentially serve everyone. Remember: If you try selling to everyone, you will be selling to no one.

  2. What is your client’s problem? What do they want, need, or lack? What are they trying to solve, address, or overcome?

  3. What are they looking for? What solution do they want? What does it look like? How will it be delivered? How long will it take? What would make it simple and easy for them to implement?

  4. How will this solution help them? Your product or service should benefit them by creating a positive impact on your client personally or professionally, in their business, family, and community. Why does your solution matter?

  5. What will the solution allow them to do? This is the most important question. “I want this solution so I can…” what? What is the dream outcome, goal, and desire?

Your answer to question one, who is the client, should guide you through questions two through five. Keep your specific audience in mind!

Once you have your answers to these five questions, you can reverse engineer how your product or service serves your clients. This is what will quickly attract and connect with clients.

Conduct Interviews

While it’s important for you to answer the five questions on your own to focus your mind and efforts, you should also get feedback from outside parties. Interview at least seven people: Current clients, past clients, near misses, and ideal clients. They can’t all be current clients because you are trying to find the gaps in your client thinking. Don’t think you can skip this step: There are always gaps.

Ask your interviewees open ended questions about the wants, needs, pain points, and areas of concern that you have identified. Cover the who, what, where, when, why, and how. Ask about the value they place on a product or service, how they use it, and how it could be different or better. What benefits have they received, and which ones matter most? What does the solution allow them to do?

During these interviews, try to keep your questions and tone neutral - you don’t want to influence the answers! These interviews shouldn’t take longer than 30 minutes, and the information you gain will be invaluable!

After you’ve completed the interviews, compare their answers to your own client thinking exercise. You might need to go back through the exercise again with this new information, and that’s okay! It will help you precisely navigate your way to the client’s “why” and how your solution will help them.

Compare Answers

After doing this work, you can approach a potential client and frame your product or service in a way that demonstrates how it can help them. Your solution will fulfill what the client needs, provide real benefits to them, and allow them to achieve their goals. Tell them how your product or service will be delivered, what it looks like, how long it will take, and how you will make it simple and easy for them.

You might need to go back through the exercise again with this new information, and that’s okay!

IMPORTANT: You are not trying to trick your client into thinking they need your solution! Do not frame your product or service as being useful to them if it just isn’t a good fit! No pounding a square peg into a round hole!

Your Client’s Motivations and Emotional Desires

After nailing down your client “why,” the next step is to tie it down with motivations and emotional appeal. You will need to understand your client’s motivation, match your product or service to your client’s emotions, and position your solution to fit with their motivations and emotional desires. By using emotions and motivations in communicating your client “why,” you will immediately pique your client’s interest.

So, you’ve identified why your client needs your product or service. Now add in their motivation. Motivation is the key reason why any of us do anything, and this is how you will position your solution to fit their desires.

IMPORTANT: Motivations differ between B2B and B2C clients. B2B companies sell their products or services to other businesses, while B2C companies sell to individual consumers.

There are a lot of different types of motivations and a lot of different types of sales. Ask yourself: How does the problem you solve or solution you deliver appeal to your buyer’s motivation?

By using emotions and motivations in communicating your client “why,” you will immediately pique your client’s interest.

You might have heard of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs: You need food and shelter before you need health and employment, family and friends before status and freedom, and all of those before you can fulfill self-actualization. You can take a similar perspective when considering your buyer’s motivations.

You need to establish credibility so your prospect or client can be confident in you.

7 Core Buyer Motivations

What is motivating your prospects? Is it belonging? Prestige? Pleasure? These are the 7 Core Buyer Motivations:

  1. Comfort/Pleasure

  2. Avoidance of Pain

  3. Profit/Gain

  4. Preventing Loss

  5. Belonging

  6. Cause Affiliation

  7. Pride/Prestige

B2B buyers are typically motivated by some combination of Profit/Gain, Preventing Loss, and, surprisingly, Cause Affiliation–if you have a client who is highly motivated on a specific cause, that carries through their company culture as a motivation.

B2C prospects, on the other hand, can be motivated by any combination of the 7 Core Buyer Motivations.

To captivate your clients, you must frame your solution as answering both their “why” and motivation. Answer the problem you will solve and identify their motivations. Now ask, Do these motivations have emotional appeal? Tapping into the emotions of your clients will set your company apart from the competition. Harnessing happiness, sadness, anger, or fear will get your prospects to notice–and remember–you and your product or service. 

Top Ten Common and Effective Emotional Triggers

Knowing the Top Ten Common and Effective Emotional Triggers will help you appeal to your prospect emotions and move them to take action. As you read through these, think about when emotions have been affected by buying decisions. You want to appeal to your customer’s emotions and make them act on those feelings.

  1. Fear: “Don’t get caught with too little insurance!”

  2. Guilt: “Don’t let these animals suffer.”

  3. Belonging: “You are part of our family.”

  4. Trust: “No hidden fees.”

  5. Value:  “If you find a better price, we’ll match it.”

  6. Competition: “Make your rivals green with envy.”

  7. Trend-setting: “All the cool kids are doing it.”

  8. Leadership: “Be the first on your block.”

  9. Instant Gratification: “In your hands within 24 hours!”

  10. Time: “Cut the time it takes to vacuum your house in half!”

Although these are the top ten emotions and emotional triggers, there are many more emotional triggers that evoke feelings among your target audience that will move them to action. What more can you think of? Remember, your goal is to give your ideal clients a reason to connect with you by making them feel something when they see, hear, or read your content.

A great resource is Robert Plutchik’s Wheel of Emotions. This is a great visualization of the wide range of human emotions. This can help you identify the emotions that will best appeal to your prospects and lead them to your product or service.

Emotional Appeal

So, does your buyer motivation have an emotional appeal? Which emotions? How can you incorporate emotional triggers into your sales?

Identify the tone and language you should use to communicate and create emotion. Choose images that reflect these feelings: A picture is worth a thousand words and more likely to be remembered than words!

The bottom line is that people experience emotions, and your prospects are people. Help your prospects and clients decide with their hearts and boost sales. Use emotions and motivations in communicating your client “why” to immediately pique their interest and secure their attention. It’s an effective way to break down barriers to attract and connect with your ideal clients.


Your Client’s Perspective

The best way to attract, connect with, and covert clients is to be able to step into their mindsets. Start developing your client perspective by thinking about your niche audience and the things they want, need, or lack. Understand your client “why” and how your solution will help them accomplish their goals. Zero in on their motivations and emotions to best present your product or service as being useful to them. You’re here to help and serve your clients, so you have to show them how you will do that. Demonstrate your worthy intent.


Meet the expert:

Lynn Whitbeck on Her Nation Magazine
Lynn Whitbeck | Petite2Queen

Lynn Whitbeck is the Queen of Sales. Business owners and entrepreneurs hire Lynn to ignite winning sales, because most are chasing down leads, lack client retention, conversion, and profit. So, Lynn helps eliminate the lengthy chaotic sales cycle to ignite your sales and unleash lasting profits. Bottomline, don't make this harder than it has to be, sales should be a win-win.

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