Let the Customer Discover

Too often I am on a call with a salesperson who is convinced the customer wants to hear everything he knows about his product or service. Nelly bar the door! He is going to cover every point!

Shortly after pleasantries are exchanged our sales pro starts into his features and benefits. The really inexperienced don’t even take a breath. They just keep babbling on without taking verbal or non-verbal clues from the customer to just rest for a moment. Fortunately, these are in the minority.

More often I encounter the sales pro occasionally pausing, but not really engaging the customer. Our hero will answer a few questions, but doesn’t allow the customer the joy of discovery. It becomes a simple question and answer session. Let your visit go beyond the Q&A session.

If your customer can discover a feature, a benefit, or an application that is directly related to his situation or problem how much more likely is he to be engaged? How much more will he remember about your visit? How much more likely is he to remember YOU?

Using open ended questions is the obvious answer – well maybe not so obvious, because too often they are not used. Go the next step and ask WHY the customer is interested in a particular feature, benefit or possible application. Ask how it will improve his situation or solve his problem.

Sales Pro: Our widget has a half horse power motor that can move 100 pounds with ease.

Customer: That’s interesting, how fast will it move our 50 pound gadget?

Sales Pro: According to my calculation I estimate it will move your gadget at a speed of 33 feet per minute. How will that impact your production?

It’s the follow up question that will pay dividends. Engage your customer; move beyond a simple question and answer exchange.

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