Computers have become one of the most popular consumer products in the developed world with millions of new computers sold each month. One of the interesting things about this statistic, is that regardless of how popular computers have become, the average computer buyer knows little about what they should be looking for in a new computer and can be quite intimidated when shopping for a new desktop computer or laptop. It is because of this that the average computer buyer looks to the advice of their local computer retailer to steer them in the direction of a system that will suit their needs.
When charged with role of helping your customer choose a computer system that will best fit their needs and budget it is important to accurately determine what the computer will be used for, why they are looking to buy a new computer and what features will be of value. Here are the steps that I recommend to help the computer sales professional quickly identify a computer system that will offer the best value to a customer.
1. Determine why the customer is buying a new computer. Often the customer will be replacing an existing computer that they find slow or one that can't run the software they wish to use. In a situation where the customer is unhappy with the performance of their existing computer, by asking this question you can determine that performance will be a key feature they are looking for in a new system.
2. Ask the customer what they will be using the computer for. I have lost track of the number of times I have had to suggest to a customer that going for the fastest machine available may not be such a good idea if all they are going to use it for is internet and email. When I say this, please don't think that if a customer genuinely wants the fastest machine available that I won't suggest they go for it. Rather I attempt to qualify their statement to understand if they really want the fastest system or some thing that is faster than their 7 year old Celeron with 256MB of RAM.
3. Identify what features are most important to the customer. You may have noticed that this question is left until after the first two. If a customer knows very little about computers, it is often the first two questions that will give you the best insight into what they are really looking for. The purpose of asking this question is to discover any other important features that may not have been identified and also to verify the importance of features you will have already deduced from the previous questions asked.
4. Ask the customer what budget they have. Sometimes people are looking to spend the least to get exactly what they want whilst others are looking for the best they can get for the budget they have to spend. There a high performance computers for $1000 and high performance computers for $2000, asking the customer if they have a budget in mind will help you to steer them in the right direction.
A good computer sales professional asks questions before they start explaining to the customer the differences between computer A and computer B. Asking information gathering questions like those above not only helps you to recommend a suitable computer system, it also makes the customer feel that they are being given sound advice and can improve the chance of a sale being made.