Three Letters that Can Improve Your Year-End Results

One of the roles I play as a consultant is helping my clients see their blind spots. Sometimes this includes sales opportunities. To uncover these opportunities you don’t have to be a consultant, or sit outside your organization. You just have to A-S-K.

If you’re like most of our B2B clients, a majority of your revenue comes from a small sub-set of your customer base. This base is your best source for information. If you ASK, they will tell you where the opportunities are—inside and outside their organization.

Every day we see customer’s sharing insights that guide our client’s strategies. These insights range from competencies that should be acquired, to activities or offerings that should be divested or stopped, to opportunities for innovation to the design of new business models.

The same holds true for sales opportunities. You have to ASK.

In a recent engagement, my client was conducting primary research with several of their Customer Advisory Council members. The input from these high-level executives was being used to validate a new set of service offerings. We had drafted interview guides and decided the client would conduct the interview. After spending a few minutes in relationship building he asked the first question. Then he asked a few more. Then he said, “Since you already do quite a bit of business in this area I’m going to skip the rest of these.” Before I could interject, my client said, “Well, let me just ask if there are other areas where we could support you.” The conversation continued for another 30 minutes as my client’s customer shared additional ways his business could benefit from new services. My client told me later, “I’m sure glad I decided to ask that next question.”

If you are wondering how to meet or exceed your year-end targets, perhaps you should ASK that next question to your customers.

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