Understanding your customers with 6 questions

 Sep 16, 2015

As salespeople we all have many opportunities to support our organisation’s business retention and growth strategies.

One of the best ways to achieve this is to gain an early understanding of the decision making practices of existing and prospective customers. So how do we do this?

The following questions may help fill any knowledge gaps you may have:

Does the person you are speaking with have the purchasing authority?

If so, you have a greater chance of moving your sales process forward quickly. If not, find out who has and bring them into your efforts as soon as possible.

How will the customer benefit from your products or services?

If you’ve done your homework on the customer, you may be aware of circumstances they may be facing. This information will help you identify how they may benefit from your offerings.

What criteria will the customer use to evaluate your products or services?

Customers will be interested in any product or service which enhances their finances, quality, output, or reputation in the market place.

Which of their criteria is most important?

If you can’t establish this through researching their mission, vision, values, and strategic objectives, just ask.

What information does the customer need to make a decision?

Customers only need information that is specific to their needs and circumstances. Avoid the inclination to swamp them with all the information you have about your product or service.

What does the customer expect?

Customers want to know whether you have the ability to provide a solution that will add value to their business and deliver on that.

For more information, have a look at New Horizons' Customer Service courses.

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About the Author:

Trish Dobe  

Trish has over 20 years of experience in organisational development, change management, and corporate learning & development both within Australia and overseas. As one of New Horizons' Professional Development trainers, Trish’s main focus is the delivery of solutions which enable organisations to measurably improve their performance. Trish specialises in the delivery of training programs in the areas of performance management, leadership, process improvement, sales and customer service. From a practical standpoint, she has held a number of roles varying from front-line through to senior management within a variety of commercial environments. With this, Trish brings her practical experience into the classroom and gives her the ability to engage professionals from junior to senior levels.

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