Some rules and principles:
1 You need to adopt a coaching approach to finding out what the prospect really needs. You don’t have to be a coach, but you need to ask the sort of questions a coach would. The better your questions, the better their answers. And, you have to have good answers because…
2 Prospects have a very unfortunate need to be helpful (or is it that they just can’t stand admitting that there is some aspect of their business about which they are confused?).
If you ask them the perfectly reasonable question, “what does your business need?”, they will give an answer which is one or more of the following:
I make a lot of use of the following maxim. I even tell prospects about the maxim just before I ask them, “what’s the problem?”:
Whenever anyone tells me they have a problem, all I know at that moment is that that is not the problem.
3 In any conversation which includes detail about the prospect needs, structure the conversation so that the discussion about what the client needs is not polluted with discussion about what you can provide. This is because what you could provide is a distraction all the while you don’t know what the you should provide. I repeat, don’t assume that their first answer to the question, “what do you need?” is, in fact what their business needs. It almost certainly isn’t.
by Jeremy Marchant . © 2016 Jeremy Marchant Limited . published 5 february 2016 . image: Free images
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