How easy it is to assume that when someone says something to us, we know exactly what they are saying. How easy it is to assume that, in fact, they know exactly what they are saying. How easy to do this in sales.
A few weeks ago, I got a call from a potential client who was referred to me by a past client. He asked if I would be able to come in and teach their sales staff some better telephone sales techniques. Apparently, they were looking for better closing techniques to use. Immediately, I thought to myself that a good friend of mine would be far better suited for this assignment.
Unfortunately for my friend, I started to ask questions to clarify what, in fact, this company wanted to have happen. After asking a number of questions about the company’s current situation, the salespersons’ training and performance, the goals of the company, the parts of the sales process that are working and the parts that are not, we both arrived at the conclusion that the company would benefit a lot more from something entirely different than telephone skills. Funny. I wouldn’t have guessed.
In your sales process, do you assume that your customers know what they want when they ask for something? Ask questions about what they need and why. Don’t assume. Clarify, for the customer’s sake and yours!