As my daughter celebrated her 13th birthday this past week, I couldn’t help but reflect on her younger days and some of the things that her mom and I always found to be endearing. As a young child, like many young children, she always wanted to know the reason behind any decision being made or topic discussed. It would go something like this:
Dad: We are going to the zoo today.
Daughter: Why are we doing that?
Dad: Because you love animals, we like to be outside and it will be fun for everyone.
Daughter: Why do we like to be outside?
Dad: Because it is great to enjoy the nice weather and get some exercise.
Daughter: Why do we need exercise?
I could do this all day, but you get the picture and if you have been around kids, I’m sure experienced something very similar. Obviously, kids have an innocent curiosity and sincerely want to understand the reasons why things happen a certain way or why the decisions that are made are the right ones.
Do we as salespeople have the same curiosity when our potential or current customers share their direction or potential decisions? In essence, do we ask “why” often enough?
The bottom line is that we should and we must if we want to add value and positively contribute to their outcomes (related blog: Questioning Whether You Have the Right Partner).
So, what are some of the areas that need to be considered?
Are you in your customer’s operating reality? WHY are current circumstances and challenges occurring?
Do you see problems and opportunities as they appear through your customer’s eyes?
Are you managing the customer’s decision process with firm commitments to ensure alignment? WHY or how do we know our potential customer believes our solution will improve their outcomes?
Do they have a driving force to move forward? What has the customer clearly communicated that demonstrates they have to make a change in order to achieve a more positive result or avoid a negative consequence?
Do you understand the decision criteria and how they stack rank those? WHY do they prioritize them in that way?
Do you know how the decision will be made?
Do you know who will be involved and whether they are a decision maker or influencer? WHY do they like our solution versus the other options they might choose?
Remember, it is not what we know that hurts us in the sales process, it is what we don’t know!
Our prospects and customers outsource to our companies because of our perceived value of expertise. We must continually demonstrate why we are the trusted advisor that will help them think about their needs in a new and different way. We have a responsibility to dig deep and be the curious kid again.
If we solve our customers' problems... we'll solve our own.®
If your sales and/or account management teams need a “playbook” to becoming the only choice with your customers, we would welcome the opportunity to speak with you. Please contact us to discuss how we can be of help to your organization.