3 ways your customers can help you sell more print

Do you know as much as you should about your customers?

When I mentor clients, one of the first topics that we usually talk about is their most important customers. I give my mentoring clients a questionnaire to fill in about their top clients. It often comes back with a lot of unanswered questions.

When I start asking questions, many people are surprised at just how little they really do know about their key customers.

That’s why interviewing your clients is so important

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Find out how your customers can win you more business

Interviewing clients is a key strategy both to understanding major customers and to gaining valuable sales information. However, an interview has to be carried out the right way.

A good client interview is all about having an open dialogue about their business. The client knows you are interested in gaining more market information. They also trust you not to sell to them.

People who interview clients create more powerful relationships with all their customers – not just the ones they interview. The information that they learn helps them achieve more sales.

Let’s find out why: here are three reasons why you should interview your customers.

You understand their pains

Everyone agrees that pain is a powerful key to successful sales. The trouble is, few people are happy to tell you about their pain when you first contact them. Without that knowledge it is much harder to engage them.

The information you gain from a client interview is transferrable. So when a client tells you about a pain that made them buy it is highly likely that similar companies will suffer from similar pains. This is the start to creating a powerful sales message that will engage similar organisations and individuals in the same market sector as the customer you have interviewed.

This isn’t the only way that a client interview helps you sell more effectively.

You learn customer language

I always record the interviews that I carry out with clients. Naturally, I ask them first but no-one has ever objected to this. The recording allows me to note down the exact language that they use. It allows me to sell to similar prospects using the same language that they use.

This makes the prospect feel more comfortable. It also shows them that I understand their world.

The third reason for interviewing customers has nothing to do with creating sales messages.

The customer learns more about your business

I have made it clear that a client interview is NOT about sales. But during the interview you are still likely to talk about your company. Several printing companies that have interviewed customers have been shocked when they have done this. They discovered how little their key customers knew about the products and services they offered. It acted as a wake up call to contact other customers just to make sure they knew about everything the printer offered.

So will key clients actually agree to an interview?

I have never been refused an interview by a customer. Sometimes it has been hard for us to find a suitable time. However, every customer I have asked has been happy to give me 20 minutes of their time to have an interview.

It’s time to take action

  • Choose a key customer
  • Ask them for an interview and agree a time
  • Make sure you a suitable way to record an interview and create a transcript

This is a good way to ensure that you are never embarrassed by your lack of customer knowledge.

================================================================== PS If you want more ideas on how to engage with prospects successfully, download this essential resource. You’ll also be signed up to the “Views From The Buyer Community” at no cost, where you receive useful resources, tips, rants and stories three time a week.

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