Do You Know Your Customer or How Clever are You?

Of course, it is the information age. There is informatics with all sorts of analytics. Analysis portrays trends, best selling products, customer engagement, and the number of clients. However, do we know our customer?

Surveys are sent to buyers of products or services to determine satisfaction. They aim to provide customer thoughts on preferences and possible suggestions. However, again, do we know our customer?

Presentations are created and sent to potential customers in the form of a PDF file. Videos of podcasts and webinars are crafted to attract new clients. Once again, do we know our customer?

There are still many industries that have a sales force of outside sales representatives. Corporations spend thousands of dollars in training them on their products and sales training. Meeting accounts in person with a knowledgeable and personable sales representative may well be the best way still to understand customers and provide them the service and information that they seek.

An old anecdote comes to mind, from many years ago. Be amused, and then ponder on it.

A young salesman walked up to the receptionist and asked to see the company’s sales manager. Ushered into the office, he said, “I don’t suppose you want to buy any life insurance, do you?”

“No,” replied the sales manager, curtly.

“I didn’t think so,” said the salesman dejectedly, getting up to leave.

“Wait a minute,” said the sales manager. “I want to talk to you.” The agent sat down again, obviously nervous and confused. “I train salesman,” said the sales manager, “and you’re the worst I’ve seen yet. You’ll never sell anything until you show a little confidence and accentuate the positive. Now because you’re obviously new at this, I’ll help you out by signing up for a ten thousand dollar policy.”

After the sales manager had signed on the dotted line, he said helpfully, “Young man one thing you’ll have to do is develop a few standard organized sales talks.”

“Oh, but I have,” replied the salesman, smiling. “This is my standard planned sales talk for sales managers.”

Are you giving more thought to developing tailored sales conversations?



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Brad G. Philbrick

Brad G. Philbrick

Brad earned a B.S. degree in Pharmacy from North Dakota State University in Fargo, ND.