As a consumer, buying is a challenge.
There are just too many options! And everyone is trying to convince you that they are the best option for your purchase. But which is actually the best option? How do you know who to trust?
As a marketer or business owner, the challenge of selling becomes increasingly complex. The competition is tough and getting closer and closer. Consumers demand more because they are becoming more and more economical. And the rules of lead generation are constantly changing.
All of these components create a huge gap between the company and the customer. How can you lead qualified leads and offer them the perfect product customization?
Guided Selling is the answer to bridging this distance.
This sales approach is consumer oriented. It’s about the customer, where they are in life, where their weak points are and how you can lead them to your product or service as a solution.
In this article, we’ll explain how guided selling puts the customer first, how reviews help you better understand your customers’ needs, and how your website can act as your sales rep.
Focus on customers
We’ve all heard the old adage – the customer is always right.
But what if that customer doesn’t know the answer? What if they have a problem but have no idea how to start approaching a solution? This is where you need to get started as a business owner or marketer. It is your responsibility to help them choose the right path on their journey.
For example, you are a SaaS company that provides software services for marketing agencies. You can conduct a survey to identify the weaknesses of your (potential) customers and thus help them identify the right customer journey that is tailored to their needs.
First, focus on the weak points in your buyer personality. What is causing them problems? How can they do what they need more efficiently? What questions do you ask about your industry? This is essential for guided selling. In this case, it is clear that your customer needs help with two issues: getting new customers and managing time.
To begin the journey, you need to know where to meet qualified leads.
Guided Selling is about building a dialogue between you and your customers, especially in digital or AI-focused ways like chat bots. You want to lead them to your website and purchase. But with all the options available, how do you get them to visit your website in the first place?
This is where the content is helpful. You need to think about the customer’s weaknesses and create content that will help them. Make sure you have content that addresses their vulnerabilities while customers search for their vulnerabilities. This will lead them to your website and help in raising the sales funnel. Once they’re on your website, it’s time to get the guided sale going.
Use assessments or quizzes to help
As explained above, there tends to be a gap between customers and businesses. This gap is caused by a lack of communication between the two. Assessments close this gap by connecting customers and companies with strategic communication.
Ask, evaluate, advise
Customers have vulnerabilities and it is your job to find them and solve them with your product or service. But how do you even begin to understand these pain points? The answer is simple: just ask your customers.
For example, this writer sells his expertise to directors and teams. With a quiz he asks his audience about his current communication style. At the end of the questionnaire, respondents receive tips on how to improve their team communication and are redirected to either buy a book or make another appointment to hire the author for a keynote.
Hence, they will be guided to the right solution for their personal pain points.
With tests or evaluations, you open up two-way communication with customers. They provide a platform for them to approach and tell you exactly what their situation is and how they want to approach it.
How to set up a quiz
When setting up your review, it is important to keep the customer in mind. Provide multiple choice questions, radio choice questions, and even open ended questions so they can customize their answers as much as possible. This is valuable data on which you can build your further customer journey.
Multiple choice question
Question about image selection
Radio Choice question
At the end of your review, you want to make sure that the customer has a good idea of what exactly they are looking for – whether it is a specific product from you or a service – and you can even create a small incentive for them to do so track with you specially.
For more information on how quizzes can increase your sales, see Use a Quiz Funnel to Grow Your Email List.
Offer value with a personalized report
Your website visitors will be grateful for your free tutorial, but you can go a step further.
You can provide your customers with all the information they need about their needs and possible solutions in the form of concrete and useful feedback for the future. Automatic reports with detailed information about their vulnerabilities – including research, statistics, benchmarks, etc. – as well as detailed information about your solutions and recommendations guide your customers to a final decision.
And that final decision will very likely be your business once they see the level of expertise that you can offer them.
While assessments are an extremely useful tool for guided sales, they can provide helpful information to both the company and, most importantly, the customer. However, they are not the only ones.
Guided Selling comes in all shapes and sizes. Most importantly, however, as a business owner or marketer, you want to sell by value rather than price. But what exactly does that mean? How does it look?
More value, less jargon
As soon as your customer is on your website, you want to make your communication with customers direct and understandable. We’ll repeat that because it’s so important – make your communication understandable for your customer. Do not use marketing or jargon on your website, and especially in your product or service descriptions.
Yes, you should demonstrate your expertise using technical jargon, but you also want to make sure that your customers fully understand the value of what they are seeing and not have to look up a bunch of different words to get the product or service in the first place understand. Therefore, find a balance between expertise and accessibility.
One website that stands out for this is Man Crates, a gift giving website for men. They understand that those who buy the gifts may not know exactly what they are looking for. This is why the copy of the website works so well. It skips or explains the “language” of the gifts in a way that isn’t intimidating. The joke in the jargon expresses value and helps decision makers make their decisions.
Focus on navigation
Navigating your website is extremely important in leading your customer to purchase. Keep your customers in mind when setting up the architecture of your website. Create customer personalities based on your customers and their needs and make sure that these are taken into account when building the website.
You don’t want your customers to wander around your website like a maze trying to find what they need. They’re more likely to wander right off your side than to waste their precious time on a scavenger hunt. Set up your website so that your customers – that is, target group segments or customer personalities – find exactly what they want or need.
One website that does this well is Patagonia. Not only have they set up their navigation to cut out gender, age and desired clothes as shown above. They also split their website up based on the activities that their visitors participate in. You can see how they do this below.
Include interactive content
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: Interactive content is the future of successful sales. There is so much competition for every product and industry that you need to help customers choose. Interactive content helps them get out of their current world without your purchase and into a world where they already own your product or service.
For example, Sephora’s virtual artist helps clients see exactly how different colors of makeup look on a person. This is extremely helpful as these colors can look very different when only seen with the makeup and when actually applied.
However, Sephora gives customers the opportunity to see this and helps them get to a specific product from the comfort of their own home. If you are unsure of what type of content to produce to increase engagement, content discovery will help you find trending and most viewed content related to your niche and help your customers with your content.
Guided Selling helps customers understand what they are looking for by focusing on their weak points and offering the right solution accordingly.
As a business, you need to make sure you reach your customers to meet them where they already are so they can shop on your website:
- Use the right tools, like ratings, to better understand your leads’ vulnerabilities
- Writing a copy that focuses on returning value (not jargon) will help you better understand what you are bringing to the table.
- Guide the leads on your website easily and efficiently with the right navigation. Always mark the next step.
- Interactive content secures sales by helping leads understand exactly how your product or service is helping them.
So what are you waiting for? Start Guided Selling Today!
About the author
Stefan Debois is the founder and CEO of Survey Anyplace, an online software tool for creating engaging surveys, ratings and personalized reports. In addition to kitesurfing, Stefan is passionate about using technology to build professional relationships with people on a large scale.