I hear that a lot from salespeople who are not closing the sale or finding the right solution for the customer. If you think this, you will limit your engagement to find out what is driving the customers decision and what they want the solution to do.
What if customers really DO know what they want – they just don’t know what the solution will look like or what is available as a solution? Align the expectation with where the customer is in their buying process: if they are early in the process, they may not know what they can do or what is out there for them….but they know what isn’t working NOW and what they would like in the FUTURE.
Be compassionate to where they are in their decision making process and ask more questions. Customers aren’t required to know the solution – that is the salesperson’s job to help with that. They came in the door…the rest is up to you.
It’s no secret that Qualifying Questions have my heart. I am always looking for questions to ask early in the process that will inform selection and the overall project.
My new question (to designers if you’re a trade showroom or to the customer if you’re a retail showroom) is this: “What are the challenges and concerns you have about the project?” Followed closely by: “What are the challenges and concerns you have about the products?” And if YOUR customer is a designer: “What are the challenges and concerns you have about the client?”
And then just listen.
We spend so much time as salespeople looking for wants and desires, when there is just as much buyer motivation (maybe even more, actually) to avoid or fix something. What are they afraid of? What makes them crazy?
Find solutions for those issues. And offer them via the product or as a personal or company service that will help them to solve those nagging.