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How to ask your customers dazzling questions

Every day I get calls from sellers who want me to buy things I don't need, even though I might need them.

What's that?

Well, these people call, but they're only interested in themselves. They have one thing to offer now that I can't miss. They have great rates on cheaper telephon, web services or whatever. They simply call to do me a favor– or so it may seem.

Knock, knock, knock.

What happened to their questions my business idea? What happened to the analysis of what they can do to help my company achieve its goals?

The problem is that their lack of interest in what I want to accomplish makes me just want to hang up the phone. They don't care to find out what I think is important with web services or whatever it may be. They have already decided what's important – for them, not for me! Isn't that a little weird?

Once I had a job and it took me a long time to understand why I got it. I became the head writer for a long-running, bid budget TV series. I had had no experience with writing for TV and the studio had 50 other writers that would kill to get a job that I didn't even apply for. I soon found out why I got it. It was my “sales questions”​​that did the trick. I had, without thinking about it, been asking the studio all the right questions - what they wanted to accomplish with the series. What they thought was needed. Why the sacked, former head writer, had failed. I never once talked about how awesome I was because I anxiously considered whether it was a job I could even cope with or not. Sometimes worry is good.

The key to the sale in this case was that the studio executives felt that everything – and the most important thing – we talked about was to materialize their ideas into a series. I was interested in becoming a tool to reach their goals - and that's just the way customers want it (I realized much later).

Do your customers feel that you want to fulfill their goals?

About the author

Stefan Ekberg has worked in marketing for small business for 20 years and has written around 30 books on how small business owners can market themselves with limited resources. . In 2012 Stefan was nominated as Entrepreneur of the Year in Stockholm.

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Every week some 230,000 prescribers gets his free newsletter about 5 minute marketing.

"The 5 minute marketer" - the book
You run a small business and you want to get ahead of the competition, but how can you give resources to marketing when you're short on time and the budget is tight? The solution is here! The 5-Minute Marketer is packed with 395 tried-and-tested ways to market your business in 5 minutes or less.