What Does the Customer Really Want?

At Setpoint we follow the Mahan (Mahan Khalsa) culture of selling.  Following are some high level points we closely follow and practice in our daily business relationships with our clients.

Mahan selling is not a technique but rather a culture that establishes a partnership between Consultant and Client.  Too many times sales professionals spend an inappropriate amount of time advocating their products or service before even understanding what the client’s needs, issues and opportunities are.

Mahan selling focuses on understanding completely every aspect of the customer’s needs before trying to pitch a solution that may not be even close to what is needed.  By focusing efforts on the customers issues and opportunities, a sales professional can bring far more “value add” to the table and in the long run provide the solutions that exactly meet the customer’s needs.  Not kind of, or sort of…exactly.

The goal is to be in tune with the customer’s business issues and opportunities.  This can only be achieved by allowing the customer to express what these issues and opportunities are.  Too many times customers just want to know a number or be given a solution to what they perceive as “The” issue.

At closer examination, and with some sincere questioning by the sales professional, a complete, prioritized list of these issues and opportunities can be compiled.  The way to get to a solution that exactly meets your client’s needs is by a “No Guessing” approach to finding out what issues and opportunities your solution will solve or help the client take advantage of.

Any time you feel the conversation or sales cycle may not be going in the right direction, Mahan calls this a yellow light.  Our typical reaction to yellow lights in sales is similar to how we drive on the road.  Most people speed up and zoom right through the yellow caution lights.  In the Mahan culture we are encouraged to slow down for these yellow lights and express your concerns to the customer.

If we let the customer turn the so called yellow lights to green, rather than trying to hurry through the issues and do it ourselves, we will be more successful in finding a way to serve their needs.  In fact, if done correctly, having the customer solve the issues or yellow lights can usually create a more positive impression of you and your company’s ability to serve their needs.

One of the main reasons we try to get an upfront list of issues and opportunities is because there is always a direct correlation between the customers likelihood of buying our solutions at a certain price and the number of issues and or opportunities we and the clients feel our solutions can solve or capitalize on.

So remember, never guess what the client’s needs are.  Ask clarifying questions on what their needs are.  Get out all the issues and opportunities they hope your solution will solve.  And always slow down for yellow lights in the sales cycle and allow the customer to turn any yellow lights to green.

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