Can you identify you customers problems? Are you familiar with the 1992 movie Glengarry Glen Ross? Have you watched the “Always be Closing” scene? The sad thing is a lot of sales training is similar. ABC (Always Be Closing) wasn’t written for the movie. The movie borrowed the acronym from sales trainers. In today’s connected world, this type of hard sell technique is losing credibility—thank goodness. As I’ve said before, a good salesperson shouldn’t spend their time ABC’ing. They should be ABH’ing (Always Be Helping).

How to Identify Your Customers Problems

Turn Prospects into Clients

One of the surest ways to build a loyal client base and turn prospects into customers is to identify and solve their problems. But how do you uncover their challenges? You ask them, you question them face-to-face or email a survey. You follow up after product delivery and ask if their expectations were met. Then you ask for their advice and help. To solve your customer’s problems, you first must identify what those problems are.

Be a Detective

The following checklist is your tool of discovery. Not every question will fit every customer, but most will. Use the questions that best suit your client and industry. Keep an open mind to your customers’ responses. Never react defensively. Even if you believe the customer is wrong, they don’t think so, which means something is wrong. Ask open-ended follow-up questions to their answers—who, what, when, where, how, and why.

 10 Question Customer Problem Identification Checklist

  • How does your business use our product or service?
  • What do you appreciate about our product or service?
  • What improvements would you like to see in our product or service?
  • What would you add to our product or service?
  • What additional products or services should we offer to complement this product?
  • How could our customer service be improved?
  • What would improve communications?
  • How could our product or service delivery be improved?
  • What would make our product or service more appealing to the end user?
  • What do you wish you had known about our product before you bought it?

Be More than a Closer Be a Consultant

Asking your customer these questions is a good start, and listening to their answers is even better, but that’s only the beginning. Ultimately, the true test is acting on the information. Finding ways to help your customers and solve their problems will make you a consultant in your customers’ minds, not some Glengarry Glen Ross hard-closing, sociopathic salesperson. Who do you think your customer will be most loyal to?

New Age Consulting

When I was younger, I used every sales trick in the book and even invented a few. I used these tactics to sell and taught others how to dupe a customer into buying the product I wanted to sell, which was only sometimes what the consumer needed. I’m not proud of my early years in sales. I was “that” Salesperson.

Eventually, I learned that helping customers rather than “selling” them built lasting relationships. It not only made good business sense, but it also felt good. It was the right thing to do. Are you ready to do the right thing? Do you want to learn how not to be a compassionate sales consultant and increase sales while building your customer base? If so, read this book. How to Sell Without Becoming “that” Salesperson

If you like this post you might also appreciate, 5 Things Top Consultants Do. 

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