To discover what a customer needs, we must first let go of wanting to be right.
When Jack (name changed) first came to see me, I discovered that Jack was a district manager for a well-known franchise. As such, his duties were to ensure uniformity of products and services throughout his sales territory.
With this in mind, I asked Jack if he liked his work. Without missing a beat, he shared how he often got angry at the idiocy he perceived from several of the managers under him.
During our conversation, Jack said that if those managers did what they were told, all would be well in his world, and he would never have to get angry. Can you relate?
Definitely wanting to understand Jack better, I then asked questions about romantic relationships.
What I found out next was that he was still looking for “The One.” According to him, in all his break-ups, he believed he was right and they were wrong.
Can you imagine what it feels like to constantly think we are right?
Moving along, I then asked Jack how his constant desire to be right was serving him and his customer(s).
In that moment, he said that it kept landing him in trouble and that was why he was coming to see me.
As a matter of fact, many of his customers had filed complaints against him and upper management had warned him to deal with his issues.
Meanwhile, I asked Jack if he could let go if his constant desire to be right.
At first, he thought I was joking, but when he realized I was being serious, Jack claimed that he had over 20 years of experience in sales and that he knew better than anyone what his customer needed.
Needless to say, he also said the exact same thing about his romantic relationships.
Let me ask you…
Why do we want to be right at all costs?
I believe the answer is, because we think we know better.
If that is true, how was Jack’s wanting to be right ever going to help him build deep, meaningful relationships with his customers (and with a romantic partner too)?
Clearly, wanting to be right is bad news for everyone.
Here are four (4) rock solid tips to assist you in letting go of wanting to be right (and discovering at the same time what your customer needs):
Come from a place of genuine inquiry. Ask questions that make your customer feel seen and understood as a person. An example of such a question is, “What is the need you are looking to fulfill with what you want right now?” Listen attentively to the answer.
Validate what your customer is sharing with you. Create a safe place where they openly share their needs with you. If your customer is reluctant to talk, open up first, and share the need you fulfilled with what they are looking to experience for themselves with your products and services. If you haven’t experienced what you sell, you might want to change that right now.
Humbly keep asking questions. I believe the two costliest words in business are: I know. Instead of saying “I know,” preferably ask the customer ‘What does this mean to you?’ This kind of open question will keep your customer talking, thereby giving you a golden opportunity to discover what is they need and provide it.
Hire an EQ coach/mentor. Though many of us say we know what we want and what to do to get it, we become a lot more conscious of our words and actions when another person holds us accountable. No one does it alone.
Now, imagine somebody has just read these tips…
What do you believe will be their greatest challenge?
Before Jack came to see me, he thought his customer was always the problem, not him. But through working with me, Jack learned how to approach every relationship from a place of compassion. As a result, his work and romantic situations improved drastically.
My name is Anne Beaulieu and I am an Emotional Intelligence coach who assists her clients in developing deep, meaningful relationships in business and at home. You can reach me at https://walkinginside.com/contact-us/
Your Emotional Intelligence Coach,
P.S. To know more about sales and leadership, visit https://fullmontyleadership.com