The most important step in making a sale is almost always skipped or underplayed.

What’s that?

Gaining a complete understanding of what the customer wants and what she is willing to pay.

True, the customer doesn’t always understand all the features of your offering. But she does know what she wants in a generalized sense. If you spend all of the valuable contact time trying to sell a feature that you think is important, you lose time that should be spent understanding what the customer wants.

I was involved in the sales of computers when they first started to become mainstream business tools. People would tell me that they wanted a computer to keep the books, produce invoices and make mailing labels. I would get the sale because I didn’t have the need to demonstrate to the customer what I knew about computers. I would translate their ‘want’ into a feature match.

You want to keep your business records on this computer. It can hold many years of records and this program will make it easy to do.

Did I try to explain RAM and hard drive Mega-Bytes? No. Except to say that this computer has enough of both to do what you want and I’ll show you how to get started. Sold.

You’re not on trial.

Most sales people treat a sales opportunity like a trial. They act like they have a limited time to avoid a conviction! Go! You have 10 minutes to make your case. You’ll receive my ruling after I ‘think about it’.

Ever wonder what it is she must think about? She’ll think about what she forgot, or didn’t have time, to ask you.  And you won’t be there to answer.

Listen to her.

Chris Reich