Welcome back to Business English Pod for today’s lesson on understanding your customer’s needs in the sales process.
As a salesperson, you can’t just walk up to a customer and start pitching your products. How do you know the customer actually needs your products? And why would the customer buy from you without knowing anything about you? No, the sales process doesn’t start with a pitch. It starts with making your initial approach and getting to know your customers, which is what we looked at in our last lesson.
So what come’s next? Well, once you’ve made your initial approach, you can move on to understanding the customer’s needs. And that’s what we’ll focus on in this lesson, because if you understand what the customer needs, then you can offer them the right solutions.
What are the techniques we can use to learn about a customer’s needs? Well, today we’ll cover several, including how to ask direct questions, present alternatives, and ask about priorities. We’ll also look at proposing the next step and asking about buying authority. Once you’ve done these things, you can move on confidently to matching your solutions to their needs.
In today’s dialog, we’ll rejoin Aaron, a salesperson with a commercial refrigeration company. He’s talking to a couple of potential customers at a new hotel: Eva, the hotel manager, and Robin, the head chef. Eva and Robin have just given Aaron a tour of the hotel’s restaurant, bar, and cafÃ©. Aaron has learned a bit about their plans and now he wants to know more about their specific needs.
1. Which area of the hotel does Aaron present an alternative option for?
2. What are Eva and Robin’s two major priorities?
3. What does Aaron say he is going to do next?