posted by Laura Homrighausen on Monday, November 20, 2017 in Unified Communications and IT Blog

You DONUT know what you do not know. 

Office food days, beloved by many, are used to celebrate birthdays, team milestones or sometimes avoiding going outside (like when there is a 20 below zero winter day in Iowa).  Our team recently had a food day for a birthday celebration and one of my teammates shared her experience in buying donuts that morning.  For her, the simple task of buying donuts turned into a case of being overwhelmed with options, instead of a satisfying customer experience. 

If you have stepped into a Dunkin’ Donuts store, you’ve probably seen that they have tons of options for a delicious, assorted box of one dozen donuts.  Instead of asking a few questions to find out what options might best fit her needs, they made the same mistake a lot of sales people make – they just gave her ALL the options.  This led to another common outcome; she purchased the cheapest, easiest option of one dozen glazed donuts because that is what she has always done. 

There are three lessons you can take away from this experience and apply to your next opportunity to avoid this common sales pitfall.

  1. Ask Questions and Listen for the Answers
    Come up with a few good discovery questions and make sure they are open ended, not closed questions that can be answered with only a ‘yes’ or ‘no’. An easy way to do this is to add why, what, and how to your questions.
  2. Don’t Assume
    You may have worked with a customer for 20 years who has always done things a certain way, but things change.If you are not taking time to reassess the relationship, you are opening the door for things to become stale or stagnant.That sets up the perfect opportunity for competition to come in.
  3. Make Recommendations
    Remember, you are the expert and the customer is coming to you for your knowledge.Even though your customers are more informed now than ever before, and have the ability to research online, there is a reason they work with you.Don’t just give them all the options because that leads to paralysis by analysis.Narrow it down to one or two and give your insight and expertise on why you recommend those options specifically for them.

Next time you are sliding into the habit of doing the same process, stop yourself and remember- your customers do not know what they do not know.  It is up to us to give them options that fit their needs, not every option available.   

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About The Author

Laura Homrighausen is a Vendor Relationship Manager for the Communications and Data Group at GreatAmerica Financial Services. She creates, develops and grows relationships with technology partners. Laura started her career at GreatAmerica in 2007 as a part of our Portfolio Management team and moved to her current role in 2010. Prior to GreatAmerica, Laura worked in consumer lending as a loan officer. Laura enjoys spending time with her two daughters and two dogs in the great Iowa outdoors.

  1. best practice
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