Isn't It Blog Feature
Molly D Protosow

By: Molly D Protosow on April 22nd, 2013

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Isn't It "Obvious?" (Part 2)

selling | sellers | customer's perspective | Sales Tips | Sales Training | team | competitors | research | obvious questions

(3.) Their perspective.  Not only do you need to ask the right questions and do so by thinking from the perspective of the customer.  How do you reach their perspective?  It starts off with an understanding of their business and here are a few steps that I like to go through:


First off, after all of the research you have conducted, boil it down in terms of the kind of company you’re dealing with.  Do you understand how this company went to market and how big of a market share they have?  Who are their competitors?  Even if you can’t sell to this particular company, consider the possibility that their competitors have the potential to become your next leads. So actively seek out that kind of information, determine their go-to-market strategy and how they make money.


 What’s their distribution strategy?  How do things operate within the company?  And once you understand how things operate there, you have a sense of the kind of departments they’re likely to have, the services they’re likely to need, and learn about why they would be more willing to expend more resources in one area than another.  Understanding the business of your customer is what’s going to help you ask better questions.


(4.) And, finally, provide explanations  Some people are so afraid to ask the obvious question, thinking that that’s what’s going to end the sale.  But let’s just say that that terrible fear was realized. After asking the obvious question,  your customer looks back at you with a question mark as if to say, “I can’t believe you’re asking such an obvious question.”  You need to be ready for that moment just like any moment in sales.  Be ready for anything that you can anticipate and say to them, “Well, the reason I’m asking is…” and then deliver an answer which sounds credible and basically translates into, “Because in the analysis of my prospects, I need to learn certain things about my customers’ business in order for me to evaluate whether or not I am qualified to deliver that service to you, and I wanted to make sure because I have an obligation to you to understand your problem and figure out early on if I can bring any value to the equation.”  This is the reason to ask obvious questions.


Below are helpful questions to keep in mind as you’re conducting research or trying to think from the perspective of your customer:

  1. Have you ever considered buying from us in the past?

  2. Do you work with any of our competitors? Why them? Why not us?

  3. How come we haven’t already done business together?

  4. Why did you buy the services you have now?

  5. How do you determine the budget for new services?

  6. How does your business make money?

  7. What has to happen for your company to exceed its goals?

  8. What has to happen for your department to exceed its goals?

  9. Is your department affected if sales increase or decrease?

  10. How is your department affected by changes in the marketplace?

  11. Are people in your department worried about losing their jobs?

  12. How did you obtain your current position?

  13. Are your customers, partners, and distributors global, national or local?

  14. What would we have to do to gain your business?

  15. Who does your company compete against?

  16. How does your company gain a competitive edge over your competitors?


And don't be afraid to ask obvious questions. 

 Embrace it and keep these 4 reasons behind asking at the forefront of your mind: 

(1) Great stories, (2) The right questions, (3) Their perspective, and (4) Explanations.



About the Author:


Steve Bookbinder is Co-founder and CEO of Digital Media Training, a training partner to some of the most successful sales organizations around the world.  DMT delivers training which treats sales as a competitive sport and changes behavior needed to help sellers consistently win.  DMT is a leader in M-learning training reinforcement with a proven track record of improving sales through training. Steve has delivered more than 500 keynote speeches at national sales meetings, conducted more than 3,000 training workshops and trained, coached and managed more than 35,000 sellers and managers from leading companies around the world for more than 20 years.


About Molly D Protosow

Molly Protosow is the COO and Training Strategist for DMTraining. She manages the day-to-day business and training operations while helping research and develop new training programs as well as refreshing signature programs to reflect the newest sales trends, technology, and best practices. Molly utilizes her wide-range of skills to create sales and marketing assets focused on delivering value to DMT’s clients. Molly has a passion for learning and leveraging new knowledge and experiences. Outside of DMTraining, Molly is a hard core Pittsburgh sports fan, enjoys staying active by running and golfing, and unwinds by reading and playing the piano.

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