Re-Defining Your Sales Challenge

Last week we discussed how questions can help to define your customer’s problem. For example, if your customer thinks he has a problem with growth in a particular product category, the right questions – around financial, market, product, and resources goals and limitations – can help you dig deeper and uncover whether another problem lies hidden underneath.

The answers you receive from those questions are very valuable information. They help you to re-define the customer’s problem. Is it really a growth problem, as your customer suspects? Or is it a problem with that customer’s resources (talent, supplier capabilities, etc.) that are in fact inhibiting his growth? Or, perhaps conditions have changed in the overall market, affecting growth.

Re-defining the customer’s problems does several things:

  1. It gives you the opportunity to really listen and respond to your customer. You’re not just shoving samples at him.
  2. It differentiates you from competitors who ARE shoving samples at him.
  3. Finally, it gives you the chance to actually solve his problem.

Addressing superficial needs might temporarily solve the problem. Addressing the root cause of the problem has a better shot at a long-term solution, and a long-term relationship with that customer.

How can re-defining the customer’s problem help your customer?

If you missed our webinar in December, you can still catch it on YouTube: The Art of Innovation. Let us know how innovation can work in your sales organization!


Mark Donnolo is the managing partner of SalesGlobe and author of The Innovative Sale, available in bookstores in January. To learn more, visit SalesGlobe.