Do you really understand what your customer wants and/or needs?

Seems like an obvious question, doesn’t it?

What I’ve discovered, though, is that whether a salesperson can command high profits usually boils down to this matter of what the customer really wants.

Unfortunately, salespeople tend to know their product or service so well that they gravitate toward singing the praises of the features of what they sell — instead of patiently and intentionally uncovering the true wants and needs of the customer.

So what does this have to do with profits?

Well, the salesperson who doesn’t discover what the customer wants will always be quick to discount price in order to get the sale.

Getting the sale no matter the loss in profit becomes an over-riding drive.  Profit is left on the table, and what is worse is that the customer now has a diminished view of the true value of the product or service.

Think you’ll make up that lost profit in quantity of sales?  Guess again.  Selling at a discount hurts profit short term and long term, no matter how you want to run the numbers.

If you are a sales manager, I encourage you to train your salesperson to look through the correct lens by asking them these three questions:

1. What are the needs of the customer? (There must always be at least three needs and price cannot be one of them.)

2. What did the customer say that leads you to believe these are his or her needs?

3. What approach did you take to closing the sale, and what was the customer’s response?

If you are a salesperson reading this right now, you do not need to wait for a sale manager to ask you the above questions.  Ask yourself the questions.

Want to find out more about what really constitutes as a “need” and how to find it?  In my book High-Profit Selling: Win the Sale Without Compromising on Price, I dig deeper into this technique.

Not only do I show you how to uncover the customer’s primary needs, I take it one step further and teach what exceptional salesperson have learned — the customer always has secondary and/or additional desires or needs that ultimately will be an avenue to more profit.

If higher profits keep alluding you, it could be because you just haven’t developed the right skills to get at the heart of the customer’s true needs and wants.

Stop delaying.

Don’t stay stuck in a place of incomplete skills.   Grab a copy of my book High-Profit Selling: Win the Sale Without Compromising on Price.

Copyright 2012, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog.

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