Go After the Hidden Problems

September 13th, 2013 | Posted by Ed Albertson in Communications Skills | Sales Training
Go After the Hidden Problems

When approaching buyers, sales professionals are often prepared to look for problems. The better representatives understand what prospects are going through and the challenges they face on a daily basis, the more effectively they'll be able to sell their products or services – or at least that's what many agents believe. But is it true? Or are there even more subtle needs sales associates should learn to tap into by enhancing their communication skills and engaging in sales training?

Left unspoken
According to Business 2 Community, it may be worthwhile for many sales professionals to set aside the idea that they should rely on their customers' more clear-cut needs to tailor their approaches. The source pointed out that one of the dangers of solely taking into account more obvious pain points is that many potential clients will already be involved in buying cycles with other service providers. When it comes to the areas in which they can easily recognize their shortcomings, they'll be working proactively to close those gaps.

There's nothing wrong with healthy competition, but the source suggested sales representatives can take an even more clever approach to appealing to prospective customers: Look for the requirements that aren't on the radar. Well-trained sales professionals may be able to uncover problems that the customer isn't aware of or thinks are impossible to solve. Or, the potential client might think the best approach to address difficult issues has already been deployed. When sellers clue into these unrecognized needs, they will gain new opportunities to market products and services that they may not have thought to offer otherwise. Additionally, because buyers might have been unaware of certain problems and the options for fixing them, it's more likely they won't already be searching for solutions among the competition.

One of the challenges in taking this angle of looking for needs that exist below the surface involves cultivating a sales staff that has all the tools necessary to uncover insight. Not only will doing so take research, but more importantly, it will require representatives to have a skilled ear and know what questions to ask to start piecing together a fuller picture of prospective customers' businesses. Unlocking this potential starts by supplying staff with sales training programs that go beyond traditional approaches and teach professionals how to be better listeners and communicators. This way, professionals will be able to get buyers to open up about their enterprises, revealing untapped opportunities in the process.

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