Sometime I am asked a QUESTION “how should we spend time with customer?”   My response is don’t spend time with your customer but INVEST time in your customer.

–        Be the INVESTIGATOR:

  • Ask thought provoking questions: Most powerful aspect of selling is asking thought provoking questions customer has not heard and competition has not asked.
  • Ask probing questions ( Study SPIN selling; it’s a great systems on asking probing questions on Situation, Problem, Implication and Need payoff)
  • There is a direct corelation between asking questions and building a trust.

–        Be the STUDENT:

  • Intently LISTEN with your EYES and EARS.  Remember in selling what you SEE is more meaningful than what is SAID; because 93% of our communication is nonverbal.
  • Study your customer’s business, competition and Customer’s customers.

–        Be the MENTOR:

  • Educate them on your products and services. Work on making your customer touch point your SOUNDING BOARD.

–        Be the PHYSICIAN:

  • Help them identify their pain
  • Prescribe remedy: Match your product and services to ease the pain

–        Be the HOST:

  • And finally engage them at two levels – Professional and Personnel. Find a COMMON INTEREST between you and your customer.

And a 2nd QUESTION often comes along; who should we invest time with and I would reiterate that invest your time at the top.   And invest your time at three different levels

  1. Technology Evaluation
  2. Procurement and
  3. User

I am reminded of an incident wherein we were expected to quote for large quantity of 8” Tablets.  We met technology people; we met procurement people and proposed the best priced technology product.  We were absolutely positive on securing the order till we met the end user.  End user said since tablet would be mounted on display 24×7, tablets should come with industrial power supply adapter.  And we realized our sales forecast has become NO SALE because our product did not meet end user’s expectations.