Challenge your team to “know” your customers…

dale_carnegie

Dale Carnegie once said:

 “You can make more friends in two months by becoming
more interested in other people than you can in
two years by trying to get people interested in you”

Too often as salesmen, we define ourselves by our ability to make people interested in us – to persuade people into buying.  Instead, take a moment to give your team some specific action items that will not only get them more in tune with their customers, but they just might gather some intelligence to help them close their next deal.

  • Identifying Your Customer’s Customers – Find out who your customer’s “top customers” are.  Are they overweight in one particular segment?  Are they still growing? What are their strategic initiatives for customer growth over the next 12 months?  How might your company be able to help within those initiatives?
  • Competitor Discussion – Have your sales team ask the customer who your top 1 or 2 competitors are.  More often than not, they will actually tell you.  Why do they do business with them versus you? How are they different (good or bad)?  What is the percentage split (them versus us)?  Is there anything our competitors are doing that the customer would like us doing?
  • “If I Could” Discussion – Simply have your sales team ask the customer “If I could do anything for you this year – one thing – besides give you product for free; what would it be?”.   Then collate the list and review for synergies across your customer base.

Assign these questions to your team.  Have them return a sheet filled in with each of their top-10 customers.  In doing so, you will begin to realize information you never had, and at the same time, draw your customer closer to your sales force.