Sales guru Tom Reilly tells of a salesperson who earned a 10% increase in her sales by paying a visit to one of her customer’s customers – with permission, of course.

While the salesperson was there, she found tons of problems. Her customer’s order forms were outdated and their service reps were not up to date with product specs.

After she went back to the customer and helped them solve these problems, up went her sales.

You can do it, too
For many sales, the buyer is not the ultimate user of your product or service. You sell paper; your buyer sells printing. You sell oil; your buyers sell engines. You sell market research; your buyer sells advertising. And their buyers sell whatever they’re advertising.

Even if all you sell is a “guzinta” – a component that “goes into” another product – you’ll sell more effectively if know the end user and help your buyers serve them better.

Some ideas to consider:

  • How can I help my customers get their message out more effectively?
  • How can I help my buyer differentiate their products and services to end users?
  • What could I do to expedite and simplify the end user’s experience with my customers?
  • What can I find out about end users that my buyers are too close to them to see?
  • How will products or services we have in the pipeline affect end users?

Ask customers to refer you to some end users they regard as typical and likely to cooperate with your survey. Then invest some time in going out and getting the answers.

Adapted from “Value-Added Techniques,” by Tom Reilly. Published by Motivation Press, St. Louis.

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