As a general rule, the most successful man in life is the man who has the best information.
If you ask salespeople about their biggest obstacle in closing sales, most will say price and competition. If you ask sales managers this same question, they’ll say that their salespeople lack good closing skills.
Both of these answers are inaccurate. Problems with price, competition, and closing skills are the symptoms; they’re not the cause. In most cases, the root cause of the closing problem is lack of customer intelligence.
When salespeople encounter problems with pricing and competition, or they’re unable to close, it’s often because they haven’t connected the dots for the customer. They haven’t established a clear link between their solution and the customer’s most compelling goals and challenges.
Selling with noble purpose requires you to develop a deeper understanding of your customers. You have to know the customer to understand how you can make a difference to that client. In that sense, telling a salesperson to become a “better closer” is putting the cart before the horse, because his or her closing skills aren’t the real problem. Rather, it’s that the salesperson doesn’t know enough about the customer to make a compelling case.
Lack of customer knowledge is a substantial and also hidden obstacle. Most salespeople don’t even realize what this shortcoming costs them. Rarely will you hear a customer ...