My Story or Mystery?

Mindful Sales: Discovering client needs.

A man visits a custom tailor. He says, “I need a fall jacket.” He envisions a khaki green in a heavy cotton blend, but he doesn’t verbalize this.

The tailor says, “I have just the fabric for you!” He pulls out a bolt of black leather.

“No,” says the man, “I wanted a heavy cotton blend.”

The tailor pulls out a blue denim cotton blend.

“Actually,” the man says, “I’d like green.”

All the tailor needed to ask was, “What color and fabric do you have in mind?” Then, the conversation would have taken a different turn. Instead, the tailor made assumptions, starting with presenting the bolt of black leather. The tailor was focused on his own story, a story that black leather is the best choice for a fall jacket—a story that he didn’t check out with his prospective customer. Becoming mindful, or aware of what you’re thinking in the present moment, can help you release your stories and fully focus on customers.

Consider these words: My story. Now put them together and change the “o” to an “e”: Mystery. Before you focus on your story about customer needs, allow there to be mystery. It’s up to you to delve into this mystery and find out what the customer wants. Using questions will help you tailor your product or service to be the right fit for customers. What will you do in the new year to discover customer needs?

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