Make Your Story Their Story

You might recall that I have previously likened selling to problem solving. Well, like a doctor, to prescribe a cure, you need to make a diagnosis. You first need to find out all you can about the ‘patients’ aches and pains.

Good sales people operate just like doctors. The first move is to find out all you can about the client’s requirements. Before trying to offer solutions or make recommendations, you want to know all about your customer, the size and characteristics of their business, whether your customer is price conscious, likes long term relationships or is interested in extra services etc etc etc. This knowledge is necessary to proceed surely and without bungling or looking irrelevant. You collect this information and record it in the Customer Plan document in the Marellen Consulting Sales Tool Kit.

Too many people start by talking about themselves, their company, their product or services. But why should customers be interested? They won’t be unless and until they realize how those items are directly related to them and their problems. Begin by talking about your customer – and keep talking about them. Whatever you tell them about yourself, about your company or your products, tell it in terms of their needs, their wants and their problems.

If you don’t know enough about your customers, ask questions. Most people welcome the opportunity to talk about themselves and it is amazing what you can find out. Your job is to uncover needs by getting your customers to talk about themselves. If you need some ideas on what type of questions to ask, take a look at the suggested questions in the Call Plan document provided in the sales tool kit.

Once these needs are discovered, we record and analyze these needs on the Opportunity Plan document in the sales tool kit. Then finally we can start putting a proposal together that presents our products and services in terms of the customers’ requirements. But remember, it’s not your story or your employer’s story – it has become the customers’ story because it concerns their problems and opportunities.

For more tips on effective sales planning and execution visit www.marellen.com or email us at mark@marellen.com

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