I started my sales career as a door to door salesman way back in 1983 – 84. Nothing much has changed since then as far as identifying customer’s need is concerned. Every greenhorn salesperson invests a good part of their early sales career in explaining their product to their prospects without realising that the customer is never interested in them or their product. Customers are only interested in themselves and their problems.
How do we understand customer’s problems?
Step 1 : Ask Relevant Questions
Step 2: Allow customer’s to speak
Step 3: Listen actively to the customer’s answers (even if they are wrong)
When do we ask questions?
The moment a sales call starts, the customer is known to be asking his questions first and by the time you have finished answering them, the customer loses any interest to talk further with the salesperson.
When will the salesperson ask his questions to the customer?
If not, how will the salesperson conduct his need analysis of the customer?
Without need anlaysis, how will the customer be able to understand customer’s problems?
I am sure you are also grappling with these questions. Well, the answer to this is to conduct a From – To Analysis.
How to do “From- To Analysis”?
Step 1: Always answer customer’s questions with a relevant question (never with an answer!)
Step2: You will find that customer’s has started answering your need analysis questions
Customer’s question : Your price is too high.
Greenhorn salesperson: Let me explain you why my product is so expensive. blah , blah ,blah …….!
Sales Professional: Thank you for your observation. In comparison to which other product do you find my product expensive?
Customer’s question : I do not know you well enough. How do I trust you?
Greenhorn salesperson: You should trust me because we have already sold this product to “N” customers and they are all happy with the same. blah , blah ,blah …….!
Sales Professional: Thank you for your observation. What are your expectations from a trusted vendor?
Customer’s question : What is the best discount that you can give me?
Greenhorn salesperson: I can offer you 10% discount. blah , blah ,blah …….!
Sales Professional: Thank you deciding to buy my product. Is my product your top choice or are you contemplating multiple other options as well?
Embed Need Analysis into Objection handling
In a nutshell , the best method to do need analysis of the customer is to embed your need analysis questions within the objections raised by the customer. As the customer serves his objections to the customer, the salesperson conducts his need analysis concurrently. So in essence, the objections are handled by a sales professional by asking need analysis questions.
How does salesperson know the questions to be asked?
For this, the salesperson must be armed with a set of need analysis questions. The following template can be followed for preparing the set of need analysis questions:
Please prepare a set of need analysis questions which has to be asked by your salesperson as a response to each objection which could be raised by your customers to your salesperson.
Preparation is half the battle won!