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Know Your Client

know your clientDo you know your client’s goals, strategies and initiatives?  Do you know how they relate to each key stakeholder? Are they specific, measurable and time bound, and can you link them up and down the value chain? And, better yet, have you validated with the company’s key stakeholders where they are headed and why that is important to them? Too many times, sales people pitch away on an opportunity they know their solution can solve. They may ask some questions to gain an understanding of the client’s needs. They probably know the key decision makers at some point in the sales process, but do they continue to validate?  Do they really understand the decision maker’s goals, strategies and initiatives and how they specifically relate to those of the company?  Are they satisfied with answers they get, such as “we are looking for ways to increase shareholder value” or “to minimize costs,” or “we are looking for a solution that does X”?  Or do they drill deeper? I recently began coaching an individual who was shocked when a prospective client was not interested in his solution even though he could easily prove an ROI of $2 million per year.  I asked him to provide answers to some of the questions above, but most of his answers were so generic that he could have been selling anything to anyone.  So I asked, “what if you had validated that one of the key decision maker’s goals was to reduce costs, and that he would not take on any risk for projects that did not yield a minimum of $5 million ROI per year?”  The sales rep’s response was that if he had understood that one specific goal, then he would have either figured out how he could provide such a ROI, or decided not to pursue this opportunity at all. So, I ask again:  Is understanding the client’s goals, strategies and initiatives important?

Janice Mars, Principal and Founder of SalesLatitude, is a sales performance improvement consultant and change agent focused on growing top performers to impact bottom line growth. With more than 30 years of experience as a senior business and sales executive, she helps companies build successful sales teams by maximizing their time and resources, selling from the buyer’s point of view, and strengthening the effectiveness of leadership. View my LinkedIn profile | Twitter

0 Comments

Toward Business Goals: Customer and Relationships - SalesPOP!2 years ago

June 26 2017

[…] will not always be able to only have the strategic conversations but you must “Know Your Client“. There are many details that have to be orchestrated both internally and with your client and […]

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Toward Business Goals Only: Customer Conversations and Relationships - SalesPOP!2 years ago

February 07 2017

[…] will not always be able to only have the strategic conversations but you must “Know Your Client“. There are many details that have to be orchestrated both internally and with your client and […]

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Pitch Slapped - WOMEN salespros4 years ago

July 16 2015

[…] to stop pitching. Obviously they do it because it is easier than having to do quality research on what their customer wants. You can look around a little on the web, or not, and just spout what you believe is really cool […]

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Toward Business Goals Only: Customer Conversations and Relationships - Pipeliner CRM Blog4 years ago

June 05 2015

[…] will not always be able to only have the strategic conversations but you must “Know Your Client“. There are many details that have to be orchestrated both internally and with your client and […]

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Year End Account Planning – one and done? - SalesLatitude4 years ago

December 18 2014

[…] more of an opportunity pipeline review for the upcoming year rather than a living roadmap to get to know your client and build the […]

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