‘What customers want’, questioning mistakes and prospecting tips

Butch Bellah wrote today about finding out what customers truly want, rather than need. He begins by saying that the problem is that most sales reps believe that their product is not what prospects want, but what prospects need.

He says that in order to uncover a want, you need to discover their need, and then you have to make it painful to the customer. You have to create a situation where they are more uncomfortable without your services than they would be if they took it.


Paul Castain has recently posted about the seven deadly questioning mistakes in sales. He points out that sometimes sales representatives get so caught up in their normal routine that they forget to notice their own mistakes.

He details each of the mistakes, including:

  • Focusing ALL your questions on “finding the pain”.
  • Asking too many questions that are situational as well as “spec” related.
  • Getting too intimate, too quickly.
  • Asking questions that demonstrate that you didn’t do your homework.
  • Racing to the next question with your needs analysis without digging deeper with the answer they just gave you.
  • Poor listening.
  • Doing a needs analysis only once.

Sales trainer, John Boe recently posted on raintoday.com about powerful prospecting tips that could help build your business. He points out that successful sales reps set productivity goals, establish priorities, and don’t waste precious time taking two-hour lunches. He states that top producers don’t need to be reminded to ask for referrals or to follow up on hot leads because they understand that prospecting for new business is a necessity and not just an activity.

John gives six tips to help make all sales reps top producers, including:

  • Remember to ask for referrals
  • Train and reward your advocates
  • Strike while the iron is HOT
  • Schedule a minimum of two hours a day calling
  • Qualify your prospect at maximum range
  • Don’t take rejection personally

He goes on to say that prospecting for new business is without a doubt the most challenging and stressful aspect of the selling process – but integrating these six steps will help.

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