The best B2B salespeople follow a sales strategy that includes the use of a needs analysis meeting with new business prospects or existing customers. Do you?
Without a needs analysis the sales process breaks down transforming salespeople into peddlers—pitching, hoping and praying… pitching, hoping and praying… pitching hoping and praying!
A better approach involves a conversation with customers and new business prospects to uncover business problems or opportunities.
This process is known as a client needs analysis. Here's a summary of the process:
- Build some rapport—start the meeting by bonding a bit, reviewing the agenda of the meeting and discussing expectations.
- Conduct a broad survey to uncover many needs. Be sure to prepare some topics and questions before the meeting and take copious notes during the meeting.
- Agree on an assignment. Make sure you do this with the customer or new business prospect—this step works best when it is a collaborative process.
- Analyze the assignment—remember the old saying a problem well defined is half solved—dig deep into the problem to learn as much as possible about it. This is a great time to chat about expectations and how much money the client will spend.
- Contract and agree on next steps of the sales process and set a follow up appointment. Proper contracting during this step prevents misunderstandings that derail the sales process in the future.
Too often salespeople skip this step, perhaps because they are busy and they think this 45 minute process slows down the sales process; because it gets in the way of pitching, hoping and praying. In reality a quality needs analysis actually speeds up the sales process and increases the likelihood of a seller closing a deal. Not to mention significantly increases the ROI for the customer or new business prospect!
Stop pitching, hoping and praying! Start providing solutions as a result of conducting a quality needs analysis!