Guide

Understand your customers' needs

Learn about customers’ needs from competitors

Chances are your potential customer is already buying something similar to your product or service from someone else. Before you can sell to a potential customer, you need to know:

  • who the customer's current supplier is
  • if the customer is happy with their current supplier
  • if buying from you would offer the customer any benefits - and, if so, what those benefits would be

The easiest way to identify a potential customer's current supplier is often simply to ask them. Generally people are very happy to offer this information, as well as an indication of whether they're happy with their present arrangements.

If you can find out what benefits they're looking for, you stand a better chance of being able to sell to them. The benefits may be related to price, levels of service or a facility or function offered by a particular product, for example. Are there any benefits your business can offer that are better than those the potential customer already receives? If there are, these should form the basis of any sales approach you make.

For information on selling your product's benefits, see the sales process.