We have written previously about the value of time invested early in the sales cycle to truly understand customer needs.

This helps you as the salesperson to make your conversations relevant to the buyer and it helps them be confident that your solution will deliver the results they need. It changes the dynamics of the meeting to be more conversational than a pitch.


… there are time this is just not possible. There are a number of reasons why this might be the case and we thought we would highlight 5 of them;

  1. Your buyer does not want to reveal the problem to you and resists openness
  2. Your buyer already has a solution in mind and you dont feel able to challenge this.
  3. You dont listen or create an environment for openness as you dive straight into pitch pitch mode
  4. You are  not able to talk to the client in their language, instead focusing on features (and perhaps benefits) of your offer.
  5. Assumption on both sides – you assume you know the clients situation better than they do (so no need to waste time talking about it) and/or your buyer assumes they know the best solution without exploring further the options. Either way this prevents communication.
In commodity situations with knowledgeable buyers the sellers job is much tougher. Where you are entering the buying process at stage 3 it is still essential to understand the needs of the customer fully.

What other possible reasons have you seen?


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