The top six customer questions are those that everyone considering a major purpose has in mind and is seeking answers to.
1. Who are [company]?
Characterising and positioning the Company in a memorable, succinct way conveys confidence and builds credibility. Having a prepared and rehearsed two to three-sentence speech communicates professionalism. A top answer would communicate the industries or markets served, geographic presence, a layman's expression of the value created, time in business, and the size of the Company, said in less than 15 seconds.
2. What do you do for customers?
People who ask the second question want to know about the value the Company delivers. A powerful response would include a short explanation of the top three ways that customers benefit.
3. Who are your top customers and what do you do for them specifically?
People may not directly ask this third question yet it lingers, wanting to be asked. Being ready with appropriate examples of what you have done for customers who are known to the questioner, convinces.
Explain with facts that could be verified by the listener. Prepare short succinct explanations so that you can avoid lengthy monologues. Less is more. Three examples are enough but have others in reserve so that you can easily convey the notion that you have many satisfied customers, without making it a statement.
4. How are you different from other companies that do similar things?
Someone who asks the fourth question is likely to be a buyer of the type of products or services you offer.
A top answer should include between one and three clear distinctions supported by examples of how customers benefit. Differentiators might include a unique approach, new methods, specialist expertise, and specific capabilities. Prepared and rehearsed answers are so much more substantial and satisfying.
5. Others have made convincing promises about these things and then not delivered. How can we be sure that you will do what you say you will?
Early in a sales conversation, customers are wary. They are concerned about being subjected to or persuaded by a clever pitch.
Sometimes this concern is expressed as a challenging question like the example above. Even if a potential customer doesn’t challenge directly, this question is held in mind and answers are sought indirectly. Prepare some factual verifiable statements that communicate your or your company's integrity.
Lead listeners to form their own conclusions. Never tell them what to think instead provide verifiable facts that point to the conclusion that you want listeners to arrive at. A top answer would provide verifiable evidence of honesty and integrity. Possibilities include explanations of transparency, a list of standards conformed to, relevant accreditations, methodologies employed, guarantees, and customer references.
6. How could we be sure that we would get the best value if we came to you?
Question six arises for those who prefer to avoid the complication of completing a requirement.
Using three verifiable facts is usually all that is necessary to reassure those who want to be convinced. Examples of reassurance include a measurable return on investment, the number and status of satisfied customers, the method used to check market competitiveness, the method of calculating prices, and written guarantees.
Anyone asking question six is sending a buying signal. Follow your answer with a question such as, "Do you have a particular reason for asking?" to explore buying interest.
SalesSense answers to the top six questions:
- Sales consultancy business, founded in 1996, based in Exeter. We help companies and individual salespeople change the world. In particular, those who sell complex technology, software, or technical know-how-based business solutions.
- What we do for customers in general
- We provide outsourced sales enablement, sales effectiveness, sales coaching and training services to solve problems, improve business predictability, and increase sales.
- Clients report sales performance improvements of up to 35%. For example, Hand Held Products used a long-term programme to support sales growth before its acquisition by Honeywell.
- Some of our larger customers and what we did for them:
- WorldCheck (now Thomson Reuters Accelus)
- nCode, (now HBM nCode)
- Hand Held Products (now Honeywell Imaging and Mobility)
- Wheel, ( now Lbi).
- For World Check, an 18-month programme for EMEA led to an average per-person performance increase of 32% compared with the rest of the world including the US.
- For nCode, we designed and delivered a 2-year programme that commenced with assessment using our tools. The per-person sales yield increased by 9%. Overall improvements helped attract HBM who acquired the Company.
- An 18-month programme for Hand Held Products contributed to the achievement of the 50% growth that led to their acquisition by Honeywell.
- A series of key account management programmes for Wheel established consistent handling of high-profile accounts. The increased performance and status of this Digital Agency led to a merger with several similar companies to form Lbi.
- How we are different from the other companies who do similar things
- We invest in diagnosing issues before proposing solutions.
- Our tools, methods, and materials are unique. Examples include:
- Co-creation sales training
- Facilitated enquiry,
- Adaptable skills assessments
- Sales competence frameworks
- Free self-led training
- We offer a performance guarantee:
- How you can know we will do what we say we will
- Seventy-three percent of our customers have engaged us more than once. We are happy to facilitate contact with any of them for reference or recommendation purposes.
- We have a 25-year trading history and recommendations from suppliers, business partners, customers, and clients.
- We provide a money-back guarantee. Clients who apply what we teach and don’t realise improvements are entitled to have fees paid, returned.
- How you can be sure of getting value
- Customers who have measured return on their investment in our services report profit improvement of between 5 and 53 times the amount invested.
- We can help prepare a business case for investment in outside services and benchmark results to measure the impact of initiatives.
- We describe some ROI calculation methods on this page:
- We guarantee a minimum level of results:
If you are looking for help with answers to the top six questions, sales performance issues, sales assessment, sales training, or coaching telephone +44 (0)1392 851500. We will be pleased to learn about your needs and talk through some options. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org for a prompt reply or use the contact form here.