“Getting to know you, getting to know all about you.”
These lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein from the romantic musical The King and I provide a reminder that knowing the customer and his or her needs is the foundation of every successful business.
Recently, while visiting a client I overheard one of the company’s senior sales managers talking to a potential customer. It’s important to catch the “talking to” portion of the preceding sentence. She certainly wasn’t “talking with” the customer. It was the same pitch I had heard from the same sales representative less than a week before. With no qualification she was giving her standard, mechanical sales presentation, which was all about her product. I cringed.
However, getting to know your customer begins long before a sales situation happens. One of the company’s most significant assets, the customer base, is exactly where you begin.