When approaching a major organisation with a product or service, it’s vital to know the needs and wants of its relevant stakeholders at every level
SOME years ago, a good friend of mine went out shopping for a new car. For three or four Saturdays in a row, he visited approximately 15 different showrooms in Dublin. From Volvo to Mercedes and from Renault to Ford, he tried them all. Arguably a shy but friendly man, he browsed and kicked tyres as he pondered to what extent each car suited his needs. He did the rounds on his own as his even quieter wife stayed at home and left him to it.
In each showroom, he’d sit in to the car and fiddle around with the seat controls. He’d push the seat as far forward and as high as he could, looking like an eejit as his nose nearly touched the windscreens. This man’s wife is 4ft 10 and his primary buying criterion was for the seat to be adjustable to suit her. Now you may be wondering why she didn’t go with him. Don’t even go there, she just didn’t.
But here is the interesting thing: only some of the salespeople engaged him in conversation (usually with pushy selling questions), and not even one asked him why he was doing it. There are two significant issues of relevance here. One is that salespeople continually miss the opportunity to ask the right questions of a customer. The best salespeople know how to extract relevant information (buying motives) from the customer.