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September 22, 2018

Sales and Marketing Advice for Florida Business

The most important question to ask your customers

Ron Stein | 6/25/2018

"What’s important to you and how can I help you get there?" This question is the most important question you’ll ever ask a customer.

Asking that is hands down the best way to sell. It’s the top proficiency to master in customer service. And the greatest approach to helping your team thrive. If you only have one question to get answered, this is it.

Still, it’s not that simple. After all it’s just a question. Right?

Businessman and investor Mark Cuban said, “Selling ultimately comes down to connecting and serving.” This simple philosophy works. He’s started several successful companies, is the owner of the Dallas Mavericks basketball team and, oh by the way, worth $3.7 billion.

So, it’s all about how you engage others. Perhaps then, it’s fair to say that the most essential skill every marketing guru, sales rep, customer service agent, consultant, and boss needs is to shut up and listen after asking, “What’s important to you and how can I help you get there?”

Okay, let’s break this down.

Show others how you are going to make their lives easier. It’s a win-win for everybody. But to do this, you’ve got to know what their problems and goals are. It’s easy to do in one-on-one situations; just ask. How about mass communications, like with your website, advertising, or in an auditorium full of people? The trick is to move beyond trying to win the battle for every possible buyer’s mind. Get exceptionally close to your customer’s heart -- only the ones that matter. Sure, you can research the likes and dislikes of your target audience, yet it’s someone else’s opinion. Find out first hand who your ideal customer is, how they work, and what you need to sell them to make them happy. Facts not opinions. Get out of the office and ask.

What’s important to you and how can I help you get there?

You solve a problem, but it’s not an important problem. It’s easy to find issues people have at home or at work. We humans always complain about something. No doubt it’d be nice to have a shiny new widget that’s three times faster than the competitor’s and has more blinking lights than the previous model. More than likely, these features might be considered nice to have but what big problem will this solve on a scale of 1 to 10? Don’t guess. What are you really selling, a “thing” or an incredible useful tool that gets the user something they didn’t have before? And why is it so important? It’s the story of the drill – it’s not the drill people want, it’s not even the hole they need, it’s what they need the hole for and how significant that is in their life. It might turn out there’s a better way to get to that why. Or maybe there are more critical issues to be resolved.

What’s important to you and how can I help you get there?

The best way to help someone is to shut up and listen. Woah, this is not exactly new advice. We can’t help ourselves and just keep talking. Listening is an amazing leadership skill that helps others (and ultimately us) obtain cherished goals. Whether it’s your customer, boss, a member of your team, or an investor -- If you’re too busy telling others how to do things or what’s great about your offering, then you’ll never learn how you can help. Plus, people are more apt to listen closely to someone who speaks less, rather than more. Discover what’s going on in the lives of your buyer, boss, and angry customer and learn what’s essential for them to succeed. This might not be a problem as they see it. Get to the root of the issue.

Your audience just wants to get somewhere and aren’t sure how to do it. Find out what that is and only then can you confirm that your product or service solves a problem.

What’s important to you and how can I help you get there?

Ron Stein is founder of More Customers Academy, helping business leaders build strategic messaging and positioning that cuts through the competitive noise to grow revenue. Ron has developed his own highly successful 5-step Stand Out & Sell More approach to winning new customers as a result of his twenty-five years of business development, marketing, and selling experiences. He works with a range of businesses, from startups to large corporations across industries including technology and healthcare, manufacturing, and financial services and banking. Ron conducts workshops, leads company meetings, offers keynote talks, and consults. He can be reached at 727-398-1855 or by email.

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