Information  •  Motivation  •  Inspiration

… That is the Question!

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Getting to the heart of your customer’s needs

At the end of the day, we all want to make our customers happy. We want to provide stellar products/services that excite and satisfy. When we meet a customer for the first time, it’s hard to quell the urge to sell right away. We know our product is amazing and that everyone should buy it, but if we want to really make it happen for each customer, that simply isn’t enough.

We need our customers’ “why” before we give them “what.” Meaning, we need to identify our customers’ motivation, and needs before we can sell them a solution. As sales professionals, we must get inside the customer’s head and start picking apart his/her problems, desires, and goals. We can get our hands on this information by asking the right questions throughout the sales process. Sounds easy, but what are the right questions and how do we use them to build value for our customers?

Motivation. What brought your customer through your door? What drove them to seek a solution now? There are two types of motivation that drive consumer action–fear of loss and opportunity to gain. For example, imagine you sell cars. One customer, motivated by fear of loss, wants a car that will keep her children safe as she drives them to and from school. Another customer, motivated by the opportunity to gain, wants a car that he can pack all of his camping gear into and take on an epic cross-country road trip. They may wind up with the same vehicle in the end, but their motivation for buying dramatically changes the way you problem solve for them. Find out early in the process what is motivating your customers. Ask questions like:

  • “What brings you in today?”
  • “What are you looking for in a ______?”
  • “Why is now the time to buy?

Needs. “Needs” can be tricky things to pin down. Though hard to define, it isn’t until you establish “need” that you can create value for the customer. Recognize a need by understanding your customer’s motivation. If a feature of your product/service aptly responds to their fear of loss or opportunity to gain, it can be qualified as a need. Think back to the new car example. For the mother motivated to protect her children, advanced safety features would be a need in a new vehicle. Likewise, for the adventurer, 4 wheel drive would be on his list of “musts” given his motivation for buying.

Though “wants” can be important to your customer as well, knowing the difference between “wants” and “needs” can be critical if and when budget comes into question. Find out your customer’s non-negotiables, budget, and project requirements by asking:

  • “What is going to be most important to you?”
  • “Where are you in regard to establishing your budget?”
  • “What features are a ‘must’?”
  • “What do you need from me to help make this decision?”

Obstacles. It’s important to ask questions throughout the sales process so you can best identify exactly what your customer needs. Questioning is especially important if it becomes clear that your customer is hesitating. Identify obstacles so you can properly address issues your customer is having in the buying process by asking:

  • “What, if anything, is keeping you from taking the next step?”
  • “What is affecting your timeline for starting this project?”
  • “What questions do you have for me about this step of the process?”

Being aware of your customer’s motivation, needs, and obstacles during the buying process helps you to better understand how to deliver products that truly please and amaze. Remember to ask the right questions often and you’re sure to have very happy customers.

Key Takeaways: Ask questions that get to the core of your customer’s problem, establish need and create value.

SELL MORE, SELL FASTER, and MAKE IT HAPPEN for your customers!
Conversion-omics is ready to help you #WinAtWork

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Lynne Jensen-Nelsojensen 4120basicn, founder of Conversion-omics Speakers & Consultants is a highly sought after keynote speaker and business strategist. She’s earned numerous honors including National Sales Leadership Champions Circle, Platinum Award for Distinguished Sales Leadership, and BPW-Woman of the Year.  She is known for action packed presentations and immediately applicable strategies to increase sales and improve customer experience. 

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