Learning the needs and desires of our “buyers” is an essential sales skill. Many of our discussions have said that implicitly. Let me emphasize this “learning” explicitly before we get to the work of educating our “buyers” about us.
We’ve discussed reasons why confidence and humility are important. Here is one more: We need confidence and humility when we are educating ourselves. We’re humble. We don’t know all the answers, and we need the other person to tell us. We’re confident. It’s natural for us to ask questions, and asking them is not a sign of weakness or lack of ability. Asking them is a sign of strength and expertise. Asking the right questions sells as well as having the right answers does. Honestly, I think asking the right questions can sell better than having the right answers.
Educating ourselves about our customers’ wants and needs builds trust and relationships, which we know are important. There’s one more valuable benefit to learning about our buyers. And it is…discovering a new need we didn’t know and the other person didn’t know that he or she had!
This is one of the most beautiful things that happens when we sell the right way. It is one of my favorite reasons why we should stop being Sales Apologists. This is one of the most satisfying things we can do in our lives. And it is one of the reasons I firmly believe – because I’ve seen it work over and over – that selling the right way brings us more success.
People who are just trying to sell what they have in their bag to whoever they meet will never experience this, because they don’t take the time to ask the right questions, and people probably don’t trust them enough to answer the questions anyhow. Our next opportunity, even a bigger opportunity, comes from just such moments. When they come, the person is 80% sold already because we have their trust, we have the relationship, and we have the power of being the person who came up with the idea. That sounds good because it is good!