Selling with Why: Understanding Customer’s Needs

by | Jun 16, 2010

The profession of selling has changed a lot during my career.  Most of us have learned the importance of the art of understanding the customer’s needs and motivations.  In essence, using the customer’s “Why?” to help us sell.

But we’ve also seen those sales people and sometimes those companies that just seem to have a knack for making customers want to do business with them.  I’m talking about the way people sometimes see to go against all reasoning when deciding who to do business with.  They may not really have a need that can be quantified at all but, they still want to buy that product.  How do these companies do it?

The two videos below will open your eyes to that emotional effect that trumps all rational decision making.

The first is a presentation by Simon Sinek, author of “Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action”.  It’s a fascinating look at how the brain makes decisions and how companies like Apple become so cool.

The second is “Does More Money Motivate Higher Performance?”, a lecture by Dan Pink.  It highlights how people are compelled to higher performance by emotional motivations, not money.

I think taken together, these videos provide a framework for every entrepreneur and every sales person to ask themselves what their “Why?” is.  As a business the answers to this question can be the foundation of breakthrough marketing.  As a sales person, asking yourself these questions can give you the ability to compel your customer to want to do business with you.  To establish a relationship of trust and respect with your customers right up front.

Its really about “putting it out there”.  Letting your customers know where you’re coming from.  I think the hard part is that we’re human and sometimes we’re not sure where we’re coming from ourselves.  Or at least its difficult to articulate in ways that would be compelling to customers.

For example, I’ve mulled these questions over many times myself since view the videos.  As a provider of web based CRM solutions, what’s my “Why?” both personally and for the business?

So far, I’ve been able to identify that I’ve always seen business ownership and entrepreneurship as a core component of personal freedom.  I always wanted to start my own business.  However, in my early career reality drove me into sales and I came to see that being a commissioned salesperson is the next best thing to business ownership in terms of self determination.
Now, with SalesNexus, I love spending time with business owners and sales people to help them find more customers and keep them.  I enjoy it because I appreciate their challenges and because I know that their success will mean financial and personal freedom for them.

SalesNexus is in the business of helping businesses and sales people become free treat their customers like human beings and not numbers.  Success breeds confidence and the luxury of time.  With those blessings, your relationship with your customers changes fundamentally from the desperation of trying to survive as a business or clawing to meet your quota as a sales person.
So, I think I know why I do what I do and why SalesNexus is successful at what it does.  I’m not so sure I’ve figured out how to communicate that clearly and concisely.

I’d love to hear how you communicate your Why?