Do you really know your customer’s needs? I know, it sounds like a simple question. “Of course I know my customer”, many will reply. But, I ask for a reason, so let me elaborate further. Does your entire organization know your customer’s needs? You may be shocked to know how few of your team really know what problems you are solving or needs you are meeting. Get a group together and ask them to elaborate on the client needs your organization meets, if you don’t believe me.
Too Many Assumptions
Having worked with many organizations over the years, especially with client facing sales and account teams, I’ve learned not to assume anything in this regard. Many professionals are hurriedly going through the motions trying to win a deal, answer a request or fill an order. I’m suggesting we should get to know the deeper motivations behind our customers’ potential purchases.
Developing a Needs Assessment
To help yourself and your team get to know your customers, here are a few steps you can take to get a much better understanding of their needs.
1. Be curious
Instead of just filling the order, or complying with the request, go past the surface. Just be curious and dig deeper.
“What’s really causing this issue?”
“Has this happened before?”
“What does success look like to you?”
“Why did you select that solution?”
There are a million ways to dig deeper. Get past the surface and really try to understand their motives and the unspoken needs. You will be shocked at how much you can learn about their issues and needs.
2. Know their industry
Having the ability to understand the processes and mechanics of your customer’s industry is vital to relating to their needs. Make it a point to study their industry so you have a very clear understanding of the inner workings of their potential challenges.
3. Know their business processes
How does your customer or client operate their business? Ask them to give you an explanation of the processes with which they’re involved. Ask them to start at the beginning and explain how the process works and the pieces fit together (maybe literally). Get to know their headaches, their solutions, their partners, their frustrations, etc.
You’ll come away with a new appreciation of your customer’s challenges and they will respect your desire to gain better clarity.
4. Solve problems better than anyone else
The best sales people and service providers are actually great problem solvers. Your customer doesn’t really want to buy anything, they just need to solve a deeply felt need. Understand that need and find the superior solution.
So, back to my original question: Do you understand your customer’s needs? If you understand that need better than anyone and move heaven and earth to help them resolve it, don’t you think you will win your fair share of deals? For more sales insights tailored to your company, let’s start a conversion today.