Some salespeople focus more on closing sales than on maximizing profit. Do you understand the difference?

This has become a real issue to me the last few weeks, as I’ve had several phone calls from people calling me for my opinion.  Much of the conversation has to do with several articles I’ve written regarding how it is possible to close a sale too fast, and in so doing, you don’t maximize the potential. (Not to mention, your sales motivation takes a hit).

It all starts with failing to ask enough questions and allowing the customer to express their full needs.  Key word is “full.”  Many times a customer may express their need or what they perceive as their need, only to realize through your questioning that their need is really much different or much bigger than they originally thought.

If you as the salesperson had merely closed the sale based off of the first need you heard, then yes, you would have satisfied the customer’s need — but at a great expense. You may have inadvertently created a dissatisfied customer long-term, based on the fact they wound up buying something that didn’t really meet all of their needs or their full need.  The outcome for you is pretty simple — not only did you not achieve the sale you could have achieved if you had listened to the customer closer, but you also hurt the amount of profit you could make from the customer long-term.

The only way you will know if you have maximized the profit potential that the customer has to offer is if you are 100% sure you have uncovered their true needs.  The other thing to keep in mind is it is not just you who has maximized the profit potential. Your customer has also maximized their profit potential because what they bought from you will satisfy their needs better than anything else.  Maximizing profit is a two-way street — when you maximize yours by selling them what they truly need, you are also allowing the customer to maximize theirs.

Don’t let your sales motivation or profit take a hit. Take the time to really understand if you are maximizing the sale to its greatest potential with every customer you encounter.

Copyright 2010 Sales Motivation Blog by Mark Hunter

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