Whether you’re in retail or outside sales, your customers/prospects go through an internal process during a sales encounter. As you present your product or service to your customer, they are observing your body language, communication style, listening skills (or lack of), knowledge of what you’re selling, and most importantly how your product/service will make their lives better.

Sometimes we as sales people are not as prepared as we should be or we start shooting from the hip if we don’t know the answer. Falling into the trap of not listening or asking questions we already know the answers to is another buzz killer during the sales call. So here are 3 internal questions customers ask themselves during your sales encounter:

1. “Do I like this person?”
Listen, sales is all about relationships, and people usually buy from people whom they “trust.” How do you gain their trust? Well, are you prepared? Do you understand the marketplace and the solution your product/service solves? Are you credible? Have you established rapport? If people like you, they will listen to you. If they trust you, they will buy from you. So, know your product/service, continue to be up-to-date with your industry, receive proper training, be prepared, and if you don’t know the answer to a question, it’s ok to say “that’s a great question. I don’t know the answer, but I’ll find out.” If you can’t pass the first question, then the other two questions are tossed out the window.

If people like you, they will listen to you. If they trust you, they will buy from you.

2. “Do I like your company?”
Once a customer trusts you, they will then ask the second question: “Do I like your company?” Your customer already has their own perception about your company—whether it’s right or wrong, positive or negative. Now, what can you say or do to make sure your customer fully understands the company you’re working with? What makes your company different than the competition who is offering the same product/service? Tell stories (if applicable) that ties your company to your product/service.

3 Internal Questions Customers Ask

A lesson we can all learn from Bath & Body Works:
In 2012, Bath & Body Works launched a new fragrance called Forever Red. As a sales associate with Bath & Body Works, my wife was so passionate and excited when she talked about this product. I asked her why. She replied and said that the company made her “fall in love” with this product. They did such a great job getting their associates excited and educated them about the details and the story that made this fragrance unique. She actually sold this product without some of the customers trying it on. How? #1 was her passion and #2 she told the Bath & Body Works fragrance journey. It wasn’t just another product. In the video below, you can see clearly how they focused on the why instead of the what.

3. “Will your product/service make my life better?”
So, the customer likes you and likes your company. The last question is how will your product/service improve their life? Remember, you’re the subject matter expert. In retail the customer walked into your store. In outside sales you approached them knowing that you can stand by your product/service. Put everything together. Explain the why instead of the what. Recap, summarize, and recommend your product or service.

By answering these 3 internal questions customers ask will not only help enhance the customer’s experience, but it will also improve your sales.

Image courtesy of Master isolated images at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Greg Hahn

Greg Hahn is known for entrepreneurial vision and translating vision into revenue generation and productivity, thriving in a diverse and fast-paced executive environment. Throughout his sales management career, he has led several sales teams toward positive growth. His most recent accomplishment was with The Blue Book Network. In just two years, he was able to reverse an under performing region to one of the top regions in the company in 2015. Greg specializes in online marketing including website consulting, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and social media marketing.


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