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Customer Understanding

In the qualifying or disqualifying area I know we usually look for money, authority, and when the decision will be made.

In the customer understanding area what do you usually look for? - by realtor
In the qualifying or disqualifying area I know we usually look for money, authority, and when the decision will be made.

In the customer understanding area what do you usually look for?
A great question, Realtor.

David Cowper, a phenomenally successful insurance guy in Toronto, expressed as one of his five qualifiers: Do they understand their need?

I adopted it successfully several years ago along with his other recommendations on qualifying. - by Ace Coldiron
realtor, please describe "the customer understanding area"...

Thanks! - by Skip Anderson
The best is to identify the value that you are providing to the customer. Do they understand it and have you recieved conceptual agreement.

Drew Stevens - by Drew Stevens
realtor, please describe "the customer understanding area"...

Thanks!
After thinking more about it "customer understanding" isn't accurate but "Understanding the Customer" is. Sorry about that.

I know I want to find out;
  1. What's important to the customer?
  2. What does the customer hope to gain from meeting with you?
  3. What prompted the customer to consider a change?
What else do you normally look for? - by realtor
After thinking more about it "customer understanding" isn't accurate but "Understanding the Customer" is. Sorry about that.

I know I want to find out;
  1. What's important to the customer?
  2. What does the customer hope to gain from meeting with you?
  3. What prompted the customer to consider a change?
What else do you normally look for?
There is a fundamental difference between understanding the customer and qualifying the customer. The former requires knowing that person more as a person. The latter requires knowing the person more as a buyer. Both can be part of selling. The very best concentrate on both areas.

Which is it that you want to do? - by Ace Coldiron
There is a fundamental difference between understanding the customer and qualifying the customer. The former requires knowing that person more as a person. The latter requires knowing the person more as a buyer. Both can be part of selling. The very best concentrate on both areas.

Which is it that you want to do?
I am asking about understanding the customer.

I know that I am suppose to ask about money, authority and decision time when qualifying and I would like to know what I am suppose to ask to understand the customer.

I came up with these questions but did not know what everyone else usually asks or looks for.
  1. What's important to the customer?
  2. What does the customer hope to gain from meeting with you?
  3. What prompted the customer to consider a change?
- by realtor
I am asking about understanding the customer.

I know that I am suppose to ask about money, authority and decision time when qualifying and I would like to know what I am suppose to ask to understand the customer.

I came up with these questions but did not know what everyone else usually asks or looks for.
  1. What's important to the customer?
  2. What does the customer hope to gain from meeting with you?
  3. What prompted the customer to consider a change?
Realtor, I checked your profile and you rate yourself as novice. But your original question, and your subsequent clarifications are those that an "advanced" person would entertain. Either you underrate yourself or you have some natural gifts that can take you far in selling. So I'll give you my two cents towards your clarified question with full expectations that others will disagree.

Here goes. Just as there is a difference between understanding the buyer and understanding the customer (the person), there is a difference between Interview and Conversation. This is what so many salespeople never seem to embrace--for lack of either ability, or understanding. Interview questions can be planned and strategized and they are important as we know. Conversation on the other hand flows and grows and it cannot develop fully from an abitrarily chosen methodology. Selling methodologies are by nature artificial. Relating, and getting to know the other person, building openness, trust, and respect cannot come from the artificial constructs that we must use in a fact-finding interview. Dale Carnegie said show a sincere interest in the other person. If it's sincere, as he said, it cannot be faked. His message I think was Be Interested.

This has been my experience. With the sincere interest, the conversation will grow as will your own knowledge of the customer. - by Ace Coldiron
Realtor, I checked your profile and you rate yourself as novice. But your original question, and your subsequent clarifications are those that an "advanced" person would entertain. Either you underrate yourself or you have some natural gifts that can take you far in selling. So I'll give you my two cents towards your clarified question with full expectations that others will disagree.
Thank you Ace. I am here to learn. I have a long way to go but I know I am further along today than when I first started. thmbp2;

Interview questions can be planned and strategized and they are important as we know. Conversation on the other hand flows and grows and it cannot develop fully from an abitrarily chosen methodology.
Selling methodologies are by nature artificial. Relating, and getting to know the other person, building openness, trust, and respect cannot come from the artificial constructs that we must use in a fact-finding interview.
I can see what you mean.

Besides 'being interested' how do you build openness, trust and respect and what does 'respect' mean? - by realtor
Realtor,

You earn respect by treating people with respect, and as Ace mentioned, "Be interested."

You already know the questions you need to ask because you mentioned them in this post. Your objective is put aside your self-interest in closing a deal and concentrate on helping your potential customer find the EXACT home for their particular needs and situation.

Invest more time at the front-end of the sales conversation learning about your prospect's desires, wants and needs in a home. Probe to find out WHY those particular needs are important. Don't show ANY property until you have a crystal clear picture of what will best suit your prospect.

Here's a tip that will make this process much easier, especially when you're dealing with someone who is reluctant to share information...

Start the conversation by saying, "I'd be more than willing to show you some homes. Before we start with that, I'd like to ask you a few questions that will help me get a better understanding of EXACTLY what you are looking for. Is that okay?"

This prepares the customer for the "interview" and when they give you permission, they will be much more receptive and willing to give you information.

Hope this helps. - by Kelley Robertson
Besides 'being interested' how do you build openness, trust and respect and what does 'respect' mean?
Humans are emotional creatures. Business to customer sales are primarily driven by emotional responses. Part of that sales process is creating a personal connection with the prospect. And I think that is what you mean by building openness, trust and respect.

The goal is to get the prospect to view you more as a personal friend, rather than a dreaded salesperson. The advice and recommendations of a salesperson is received with skepticism, since there is always a question whether the salesperson is saying something just to make a sale. But the advice and recommendations of a friend is excepted without hesitation and assumed to be true. Thus, a salesperson gains a huge advantage if he can get the prospect to quickly view him as more of a friend than a salesperson.

How is this connection built? Without going into great detail on each, there are 7 tactics that work incredibly well in the field.

1) Commonalities: People bond with others who are similar to them. Therefore, seek and declare the various ways and things you have in common with the prospect. The more you are like him, the easier it will be for him to like you.

2) Agreement: Express agreement with opinions and views expressed by the prospect. Again, people like people who are similar.

3) Compliments: Compliments, especially those regarding personality and character traits, convey social approval, an innate emotional need of all humans. Don't waste a compliment on their clothes, car, etc... compliment personal traits, "You're very smart, savvy, intelligent, etc."

4) Humor: People are drawn to people who make them feel good. If you can get a prospect to smile or laugh, he will be more emotionally drawn to you on a personal level.

5) First Name: Make a special effort to address the prospect by first name as soon into the interaction as possible. The first name address conveys a sense of personal relationship, while last names convey a sense of business (ie... dreaded salesperson). Friends (which is what you want to be) address each other by first name.

6) Elicit Personal Experiences: Entice prospect to relate personal experiences (events, views & opinions, etc.). By relating personal experiences the prospect is revealing his personal life and views. He is drawing you into his personal life and relating to you in a personal way.

7) Relate Personal Experiences: Just as you want to entice the prospect to relate his personal experiences, you likewise want to relate your personal experiences to the prospect. When both sides are relating and conversing in a personal way, they are creating a personal bond.

Once a personal connection has been created (salesperson viewed as a friend) the prospect will more easily give trust and respect. That simply means the opinion, advice and view of the salesperson is accepted, assumed to be true and valued by the prospect. For these types of sales, this is the pivot point. Once the salesperson has won the trust of the prospect, everything else is academic.

Hope this helps :) - by The Sales Artist
What's important to the customer?
What is/are their NEED(S)?

What does the customer hope to gain from meeting with you?
Satisfaction of their needs!

What prompted the customer to consider a change?

More Needs!


What else do you normally look for?
Their needs!

Come on boys and girls, is this play time in nursery school or professional salesmanship? Probe (ask questions) to uncover the needs that you can satisfy with your product or service.

In real estate you might deal with unrealistic expectations but let us not make this about anything other than understand what they need and trying to give it to them. - by Gold Calling
Come on boys and girls, is this play time in nursery school or professional salesmanship? Probe (ask questions) to uncover the needs that you can satisfy with your product or service.

In real estate you might deal with unrealistic expectations but let us not make this about anything other than understand what they need and trying to give it to them.
Are you saying ALL I have to know about a customer is what they NEED? If I know what a customer NEEDS and I sell that I can expect a sale? - by realtor
Come on boys and girls, is this play time in nursery school or professional salesmanship? Probe (ask questions) to uncover the needs that you can satisfy with your product or service.
Uncovering the needs that you can satisfy with your product or service is only part of the equation. You make it sound like it's the entire equation. - by realtor
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