It seems every salesperson is focused on what their goals are for 2013. Nothing wrong with that, but don’t forget about your customer’s goals.

Make it a key part of every sales call over the next 30 days to find out what your customer’s goals are for 2013. If you have customers you’re not scheduled to meet with in this time period, then it’s time to get on the phone and talk with them.  The sooner the better, in my opinion.

Far too many times it’s half way through the year before a key piece of information comes out from a customer.  Problem with that is there’s only half the year left to help them deal with it.   The sooner a customer’s goals are on the table, the sooner you can start helping them.

A customer might be hesitant to share with you their goals. If that is the case, then be ready to share with them an example of how you helped them deal with a problem before.  Many times this is all it takes — provide them with some proof that you have their best interest at stake and they will have the confidence to share with you their goals.

As important as it is to know their company goals, also seek to find out their individual goals.  Being in a position to help them with both for the entire year is going to give you the greatest opportunity to not only help the customer, but also help yourself.

If you’re a sales manager reading this, make this a key part of what you address with your people.   Once you have the goals for all of your customers, then you will be in a much better position to determine how to allocate your time in the year to come.  If there is a salesperson who is struggling finding out a customer’s goals, then that is a perfect opportunity for you to join them on a call.

The role of the sales manager is more important at the beginning of the year than it is at the end of the year when it comes to customer visits.

Visiting customers at the beginning of the year will help uncover information to allow you to better serve the customer and hopefully eliminate the end-of-the-year sales calls where you’re begging for business.

Copyright 2013, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog.

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