Are we in the nutrition business or the people business? The question
might be best answered with “both.” We won’t sell much nutrition if we don’t first know about the people or customers who are taking care of the animals who need it. We need to know our customers’ needs and understand exactly what they are trying to achieve.
The best way to get to know your customer or a potential customer is to have a conversation with him or her. Discover what goals they have set forth and listen. You will likely need to lead this conversation because most people, especially in agriculture, don’t like to talk about themselves or share too much information. Form your questions more like a conversation than an interview, seeming more natural than just a list of predetermined questions you have with hopes to make a sale. People don’t always know what they want. However, they usually know what they don’t want. Use these 10 questions to help you start a conversation to attract new customers to your business.
- When it comes to (segment of industry person is in) what is your
biggest challenge or hurdle you face when trying to meet your
- Which of your needs are not currently being met?
- What products/services do you value the most?
- How can the products/services you use be improved?
- What is one area of your business you need to improve on? And how can I help you make those improvements?
- What features of a product/service make you annoyed?
- Would you be willing to invest more in a product/service if you knew the ROI would be greater than what you are currently experiencing?
- What opportunities or benefits are you willing to pay more for?
- At what price does my product or service provide great value to you?
- Have you ever thought, “if only a company like ours could do [BLANK] for me, life would be so much easier?” …Tell me about BLANK and how you would find it useful.
Once you have a conversation started, genuinely listen to the potential
customer’s answers. Does it sound like you have a product or service
that is needed by this person at this time? Great! Then it is time to
start talking about your products or services to make a sale. Don’t
talk about products or services that aren’t relevant but show that you
sincerely care and respect the person’s needs and desires by telling
them how you can help their operation. The number one thing that
attracts new customers is showing respect and that you truly care about
the customer, their goals and their animals.