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Don't Sell the Drill!

Boy with Down Syndrome assembling a book case.Image via Wikipedia

Do you have any idea how many drills were sold in the United States in the last year?  For that matter, do you have any idea how many different types of drills are available?  Me either, but ponder this.

Out of the tens of thousands of drills sold last year, not one person bought a drill because they wanted a drill.

People bought the drills because they wanted holes!

So, if you were a tool sales person whose focus was on the needs of your customers, upon finding out that they need a drill, would you serve them best by ...

  1. Explaining the features and benefits of each drill you sell,
  2. Asking them what kind of drill they were looking for, or
  3. Asking them what kind of hole they wanted?

If you answered number 3, congratulations!

Of course, the truth is that too many sales people employ sales techniques that look more like answer 1 and 2.  For a variety of reasons, they are focused on helping customers by making a sale rather than solving a problem.

Learn to ask provocative and penetrating questions of your customers.  Focus on learning about the holes they wish to drill.  You can then easily share your ideas regarding which is the right drill for the job and they will be anxious to hear it.

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