Ask and you shall receive

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It says so in the big book.  In fact it says so in most religious books.  It doesn’t say ask and you might receive.  Ask and you could receive.  Ask, fill in in triplicate, send in with a clearance certificate and then wait and maybe you will receive.  It simply says, “ask and you shall receive”!

Ask and you shall receive forms the basis of most sales and customer service programmes and is the source of all knowledge.  But how many

In seminars around the world I ask delegates to answer this simple question.  What do your customers want? Put another way, what does your customer ask for above all else, the things that will keep them coming back? This is the time, when in the seminars, the guessing game and pretense begins.of us follow this advice?

“They want service!”  Man what a genius idea!  Service, really?  And what does that mean sparky?  They want good service and good products!

Most people don’t know what the customer wants because most people have never asked.

Most people make assumptions based on what they want or based on what they think they would want if they were the customer.  Most answers are based on what the business society has suggested in seminars and books.

HERE’S A SECTION 8 IDEA:  Actually ask your customers what they really want!

Draw up a questionnaire and have a sit down with your client and ask them what their problems are and what they need to fix.  Then give them a solution for the problem.

Ask them where the pain is?  Every business has a painful area.  By discovering the pain and supplying the remedy, thecure, the treatment, you now have the edge.

Did you know that many customers will battle with this type of question because they’ve never really been asked before?  So don’t be shocked if they um and ah with the answer.  Many will be slightly shocked and pleasantly surprised and you could just change your entire business model.

Recently a supplier of mine was trying to collect personal details of my likes and dislikes for the new customer centric, relationship building, bonding service initiative.

Here’s another newsflash!  I don’t want to bond with you.  I don’t want to be your buddy, and I don’t want to take long warm showers with you.  I want you to pitch up on time, every time, charge me more if you must but deliver what you said you would. Nothing more – nothing less! Maybe I’m just weird that way!  But that’s basically what I want from my suppliers.  It’s time for my supplier to rethink and allocate resources based on what I, the customer, really want and what is important to me.

  • What are her pet irritations?
  • What are the causes of his major, psychotic meltdown moments and what do you do that causes them?
  • What does your spouse or significant other love about you?
  • What can you do, more or less of, to make them even bigger fans who love you more?
  • Ask your kids what will make you super mom or super dad?
  • Ask a friend for help
  • Ask if you can help a friend.

You see it is only by asking that we discover.  Only by asking can we discover the problems, the pain that people, companies and organisations are experiencing.  Only once we have discovered their problems are we able to serve them with our solutions.

Been to a doctor recently?  Notice how the first half of the consultation is nothing but asking questions?  Notice how they get all the symptoms, when they started, how it feels, is it localised, how long has it been going on for and then…..this is the funny part…..they even ask you what you think you have and then diagnose exactly what you said you had.  Its genius!

They tell you that you have exactly what you said you had and then charge you for confirming that you do have what you’ve got!

In my sales programme I spend quite a bit of time explaining that a top performer does very little talking when in front of the client.  Most of the talking is in the form of questions.  Well thought-out questions that lead a client where you want them to go.

In his visionary book, How to win friends and influence people Dale Carnegie explains the secret to getting people to like you, is by asking questions.  People love to talk about themselves.  You have to try this it works like magic. By the end of the evening people think you are the most interesting person that they’ve met even though they know nothing about you.  They assume you must be interesting, charming and clever because you were interested in them.

In closing I would like to give you a quote.  Not just any quote.  A quote that when I heard it for the first time it immediately shifted my mind-set and my life was never the same again.  It is by Rudyard Kipling.

He said: “I kept six honest hard-working men and they served me well, their names were Who, What, Why, When, Where and How!”

Next time you are in any situation, when you open your mouth make sure one of these men lead the sentence.

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