There is always something new you can learn about your customers. And this is true whether they are new customers or long-term accounts.
If you pay close attention, you will see that there are often dramatic changes in customers’ industries or companies. And unless you pay attention to the details of such changes, you may soon be out of the loop on vital information.
The key to effectively learning something new really is two-fold:
You have to ask the right questions and you have to take good notes.
As for asking the right questions, what I mean is regularly touch base with your customers and ask them open-ended questions that get them talking. An easy way to do this is to ask for their opinion about something you’ve seen in the news or on-line that is relevant to their company or industry.
As for the second part — taking good notes — I can’t emphasize this enough. I never cease to be amazed by the number of salespeople who are pretty good at connecting with customers, but absolutely lousy at documenting what they learn in such conversations.
Now I’m not saying you should be writing feverishly as you talk to the customer. No, that would be somewhat distracting. Even if you are talking on the phone, you want to give the customer your attention.
A great approach is immediately after you have talked to the customer, make key notes in your customer file, database or CRM system. Be sure to document the date you talked as well. Do not trust your memory alone. Recording the information is vitally important, and top-notch salespeople know it.
If you aren’t consistently learning about your customers, you are missing crucial opportunities to demonstrate your commitment to meeting their needs.
Copyright 2012, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog.
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