It seems we're facing yet more uncertainty. We've come through lockdowns and been separated from our loved ones and now a recession looms. Justifiably, some people are worried about job security and rising living costs. For many, that much needed holiday may need to be put on hold for yet another year.
With another interest rate hike announced today by the Bank of England (16 June 2022), interest rates are now up to 1.25% as the BoE tries to get a handle on soaring inflation.
This is the fifth consecutive rise since December 2021 and puts rates at their highest for 13 years. Then Bank is forecasting that inflation will still rise further and by autumn, we could see it above 11%.
David Bharier, Head of Research at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said:
"While expected, the decision to raise the interest rate will add further concern to businesses amid a weakened economic outlook, soaring cost pressures, and labour shortages."
Many small business owners will be looking to renew their focus on increasing business activity and sales.
See things from a customer's perspective
So, how do we do this while being mindful of the struggles our customers have faced? The last thing we want is to come across as opportunistic or pushy and damage our brand. The answer lies in how well we dial up our empathy.
Empathy is your ability to see things from your customer’s perspective and being prepared to do something about it. Ask them questions to find out what problems they’re facing, then show how your product or service can help solve those problems. This is known as ‘problem-solving selling’.
How do I become a problem-solving seller?
A problem-solver seller is empathetic and sensitive to the unique situation of each of their customers, discovering their problems and offering a solution.
Consider these points that will help you become a problem-solving seller.
Connect with your customers and show a genuine interest in how they’re going.
Help them address the problems that your products or services can solve.
Educate your customers through your marketing channels to show how you can solve these problems.
Articulate the value of your products or services and share success stories and testimonials.
Offer low-cost, complimentary, or DIY solutions.
Provide choices and let customers decide what’s best for them.
Offer flexible payment options, but don’t become a bank for your customers; you’re also running a business.
It is OK to sell right now, but ensure your offering is in your customers’ best interests. Ensure you’re being empathetic and solving problems for your customers, only offering what they truly need. Keeping your business going will ultimately help your customers in the long run.