Are you selling your customers something they want?

By: Fiona Humberstone

Date: 11 August 2011

Some of you will find this an easy question to answer.

You’re on the front line, you know what needs your clients have, you gain instant feedback on new and not so new ideas. And you are able to innovate with your products and services. You’re able to be sure you’re always one step ahead of your competition.

Some of you will find it much harder to know whether you’re selling something your customers want.

Perhaps you’re one or two steps removed from the sales process and you don’t know what motivates people to buy what you sell. Or perhaps you’re so passionate about your stuff that you just don’t want to listen.

The fact is, you can’t sell people something they don’t want to buy.

They might need it, but if you can’t get them to want it, then you’re on a hiding to nothing.

So many businesses get themselves into hot water because they lose touch with what their customers want. They become so absorbed in making their widget better that they fail to notice no one is interested any more.

Ask yourself:

  • Are my customers still passionate about what I’m selling?
  • Does the market in general recognise that there is a need for what I’m doing or do I need to find new powers of persuasion?
  • Are we still getting good feedback about our product or service when we sell?
  • Do people want what we’re selling?
  • Why should they want it? Will that reasoning wash with your customers?

Let your mind wander back to these questions whenever you have a moment. I think on long walks, long car journeys or just for a snatched minute or two here and there throughout my week.

You may throw out more questions than you answer initially. That’s OK. Knowledge is power and just knowing what you don’t know is a big step forwards.