Getting a meeting is one of the most difficult steps in building a business relationship. If you’re in sales, you need that meeting, commonly known as the needs analysis, to determine how you can help. When we ask prospects what their needs are, they often don’t know. And if they do, those needs only scratch the surface.
Scientists say that the universe we can observe is only about 5-10% of what is really out there. Why do they believe that? Because what they can see happening cannot be accounted for just by what they can see. Dark matter and dark energy haven't been proven, but scientists believe they exist because of the effects they see.
For business owners, like scientists, what is visible and conscious is probably only a fraction of what is really going on. You want to be looking beyond what the prospect tells you they think they need, to what is really happening.
So how can you know what is really going on?
Like the scientist, look beyond what you can see and what the client can articulate, to what is happening. Look to the trends in their business, their industry, and their own position within their company. Direct and focus your conversation on those trends and the goals the prospect has in response to those trends.
Rather than vague questions that ask what they need, ask prospects concrete questions about how specific trends are affecting their own clients, their marketing, their sales, and their profitability.
Look beyond what is easy to see, to what is really happening.
And when there’s a moment of silence in the meeting, don’t jump immediately to fill it. Move past the discomfort you have with the silence, and use it as a reminder, that there is energy in the empty spaces. You may find the insights that come out of that pause were worth the wait.