Know your client’s needs

02/09/2019 - 15:31


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OPINION: You may go into a presentation with expectations, but it’s the client’s point of view that makes or breaks the sale.

Know your client’s needs
Understanding what the customer wants is a key part of making the sale. Photo: Stockphoto

OPINION: You may go into a presentation with expectations, but it’s the client’s point of view that makes or breaks the sale.

When you make a presentation, you’re not the only one with expectations. The person you’re presenting to has as many, or more, than you. Are you aware of them, or are you just making a pitch for your commission?

Most salespeople believe that they are selling their product or service. Wrong. The prospect is buying it, and in order to get the maximum amount of buys you must approach each sale with the maximum understanding of the buyer’s position.

Making the sale is so much easier when you take the prospect’s point of view, and direct your actions based on his/her principles and expectations rather than yours.

Here are the things a prospect wants and expects from a professional salesperson (like you).

Don’t waste my time

I’m busy. I’ve got a million things to do that are more important than listening to you unless I perceive a need.

Be organised and prepared

When you call me, write to me, propose me, or visit my office, be ready with facts and direct answers.

Be interested in me

Not your sales pitch or your commission. Take a genuine interest in me and my company. Take a tour. Ask how we serve others. Ask what’s most important. Ask what our aspirations are.

Know my needs

Don’t even try to tell me what you think I need. Know exactly what I need. Question me before you sell me.

Take notes

You can’t remember everything. I want you to recall every detail of our conversation. I want our communication error free.

Show how you help me

I’m not interested in what you do or what you sell unless you show how it helps me or my business. Tell me how you are helping me if I buy.

Know who I am

The better you understand me, the easier it is to get me to a decision. I’m not going to buy until I understand you. I suggest you understand me as well.

Tell me the truth

I want to trust you, but I’m skeptical. If I sense the truth, I’m most likely to buy, and vice versa.

Tell me what’s in it for me

Show me how things will be different, better, after I buy. Tell me why what you do will make a difference in what I do after I buy.

Prove it

Don’t tell me, prove it to me. Show me testimonials of others who are like me who bought your product or service and are satisfied.

Help me buy, don’t sell me

I want to feel that it’s my choice. If you push me, I’m skeptical. Figure out a way to let me choose that I want to buy.

Reinforce my choice

Tell me about others successes. Reassure me that I’ll be happy and satisfied.

Make me feel special

Tell me the wisdom of my choice. Thank me personally by mail. Give me something to remember you by.

Make me laugh

I want to feel comfortable. I want to feel at ease with you. Laughing helps me to relate to you and sets a great tone for business.

Listen to me

You may think you have all the answers, but you won’t use them to your best advantage if you don’t know what I need to hear. If you listen closely, I’ll tell you exactly what I want and exactly how I want to be sold.

Show me value

My money is tight. I work hard for my money. I want to spend it in a way that makes me feel that I got real value. Tell me the extra benefits I derive by purchasing


I want to have a business friendship, not just make a purchase.

Deliver what you promised

Not just your product. Not just your service. Deliver what I expected, and surprise me by delivering something unexpected.

Sales are driven by questions – those you ask the prospect and those you ask yourself before you begin the selling process.

As salespeople and entrepreneurs you each have a point of view and perspective as to how you approach a sale. Let me challenge you that unless that view and perspective is the same as the prospect you seek to sell, it’s useless. The prospect’s point of view is more important than yours. The prospect’s perspective is not only more important than yours, it’s the one the sale will be made with.


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