Uncovering customer needs is critical to your role as a salesperson. After all, if we don’t fully understand what our customers need, we have little chance of making the sale. Your customer interaction shouldn’t be a one-way sales pitch as much as a fact-finding mission to identify a customer’s issues and goals. Only then can you help them find the specific solution that best fits their situation.
The best salespeople thrive in their role as problem solver and consultant. They succeed because their primary focus is listening, asking the right questions and taking notes. During your next customer interaction, consider the value of both open-ended and close-ended questions when discussing lighting and control opportunities with your customers. For example, “If you could complete any lighting project within your facility, what would it be and why?” is a valuable open-ended question to help you gather the information you need. This one simple question can provide you with a wealth of insight, including what is highest on their lighting wish list. Close-ended questions, on the other hand, provide you with straightforward—but important—answers to basic questions like, “Are there budget requirements for this project?” or “Who is involved in making the decision to implement efficiency projects?”
Remember, your customers have needs, wants and fears when it comes to their facilities. By asking a variety of questions, and listening carefully to the answers, you’ll demonstrate how much you care about meeting customers’ needs—above and beyond simply making a sale. By tailoring your experience, solutions and benefits to consider the best results for your customer’s specific situation, you can develop a proposal that eliminates risk and addresses the concerns you were able to uncover. Increased sales always follow when customer needs come first.