Never Assume Your Client’s Needs by Cindy Stradling CSL, CPC

There are three different types of beliefs when it comes to sales. These include the belief that a customer will not be interested in buying what you are selling, a belief the customer will only purchase specific types of items, or a belief that focuses on the possiblity of selling anything to a customer.

People that have the first two types of beliefs often form those opinions on a limited amount of information. Like all good sales professionals, these individuals do their online research and find out about the company and the decision makers in the business. They may also connect on social media to make sure the first interaction is a warm call rather than a cold call.

The mistake these salespeople make is assuming they know their customers ‘ needs. By assuming the client will only purchase a specific product, the sales call is geared to that specific product, reducing the possibilities of talking about any other products or services the salesperson could offer. This becomes even more problematic if a customer or client has a standing order or has a history of only ordering specific items from a company.

In these situations, staying curious and asking the right questions about the customer’s business, pain points, and problems is the key to moving from a limiting belief about what he or she needs to the potential of bringing new products or services up for consideration.

Get the Big Picture

It is easy to assume that a business stays the same concerning the challenges and the struggles they may have. However, businesses change all the time in response to change in the industry, consumer demand, or even new types of technology.

Staying interested and curious about your customer’s business is an important part of moving into a potential new sales area. Asking what is new, checking in on industry trends, and finding out what is working or not working are all great questions to expand your sales potential.

Discussing industry trends and asking questions outside of just what the customer may want is an ideal way to allow the customer to open up about possible changes or goals for production or efficiency. The answer to this question can open up sales potential for the future.

Ask The “What If” Questions

Asking the “what if” question opens up the possibility of brainstorming and looking for an area to support the customer. These questions also highlight where the client is experiencing a challenge as they will focus on weakness, inefficiency, or ineffectiveness in their business.

Sometimes, a simple question like, “What can I find out for you or how can I be of assistance?” is the most important question to ask. Staying curious and being a resource is an effective way to partner with the client and become a trusted resource for future sales.