If you haven’t noticed, it’s a new year.

The question is, “Are you still using 2012 strategies to sell or, even worse, are you still using 2002 strategies?”

We’re now in 2013, and although it may seem like things haven’t changed, they have.

The biggest thing is what hasn’t changed, and that is the amount of competition you will face and your customers will face.

Can you honestly say you know the key issues your customers are going to face in 2013?  The vast majority of salespeople can’t answer that question.   Use the first three weeks of the year to find out.

Start making phone calls and bringing it up in meetings. Your objective is to be able to answer that question.

When customers know that you as a salesperson are passionately desiring to know the key challenges they’re facing, they will come to appreciate you more.  More importantly, by knowing their key issues, you’re going to be in a better position to help them. 

Very few salespeople are aggressive in finding out this information, so if you’re selling in an industry where you have numerous competitors, this idea can become a huge way for you to stand apart from the competition.

To help you uncover this information, enlist the services of your boss or go even further up in your organization.  It’s always amazing what a senior level person can uncover that you may not be able to uncover.

This is not out of disrespect to you or your relationship with the customer. It’s just a simple fact.  Senior people are many times able to get better information out of customers than lower level people.

Using senior level people early in the year is a much better strategic use of their time than waiting to use them at the end of the year when it’s time to break out the knee pads and beg for business.

This year, be proactive! Get the big issues on the table early and then you’ll have the full year to help them, thus minimizing your need to break out the year-end knee-pads.

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


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