How To Sell: The 4 Foundational Sales Questions (Pt. 2)

four foundational sales questions part 2

Hey there, entrepreneur! In Part 1 of our multi-week series, How To Sell: The 4 Foundational Sales Questions, we gave you an overview of the aforementioned questions and discussed why learning how to sell is important in the first place. (If you missed that post, you can access it via the link above.)

This week, we’re going to get up close and personal with the first of the 4 Foundational Sales Questions: Who Is Your Ideal Customer? It’s the number one question for a good reason.

For you to succeed in any business, you have to have customers. And the better you know who your customers are, the better your chances of finding them, partnering with them, and keeping them. Think about it: If you know exactly who your ideal customers are, where to find them, how many are out there, where and how they buy, and generally what makes them tick, your chances of partnering with them go way, way up.

So, let’s figure out that ideal customer profile, shall we?

In a general sense, your ideal customers are the people and organizations that are most likely to do business with you. Unfortunately, most entrepreneurs and startups rely on what they think they know about their customers instead of taking the time to confirm their assumptions. This is often a fatal blow to new ventures because, by the time they’ve realized their error, they’ve expended most or all of their money and time with little to show for it in the way of actual, paying customers.

We’re going to help you avoid this rookie mistake, though. Here’s what you need to do (plus some recommendations and resources to get you started):

  1. Create a list of people who you think are your ideal customers (at least 20).
  2. Divide this list into three groups based on how quickly you can connect with them. Don’t overcomplicate it! Break the groups into simple headings like, “People I Can Talk With Today,” “People I Can Talk To Next Week,” and “People I Can Talk To Before The End Of The Month.”
  3. Invite them to chat with you for 20-30 minutes. Video conferencing or phone calls are probably the safest and easiest bets right now. With the time and money you’ll save on travel, make it worth their while by buying them a gift card to a local, independent coffee shop, making a small donation to their favorite charity, or offering them a VIP discount on your product after you launch.
  4. Test your assumptions by asking straightforward questions. Again, don’t overcomplicate it, and make sure you ask everyone the same questions.
  5. Do some basic market research. You should familiarize yourself with the concepts of defining target markets. Here’s a great resource to help you break it down. Be careful not to rely solely on market research, though. It’s no substitute for talking to individual customers.

Remember, your goal is to understand exactly who your ideal customers are, where to find them, how many are out there, where and how they buy, and what makes them tick.

To get the most out of next week’s installment, you’ll need to have completed at least a handful of interviews. You got this!

‘Til next time.

P.S.: If you’re eager to get this party started and don’t want to wait for the next installment, you can jump on into our full online sales training course, Sales 101: Sales Training For Beginners, right now. You’ll get expert guidance from Supportedly’s Founder & CEO, Tom Ryan, and we’ll supply you with a ton of actionable content to apply what you learn as well.

Have questions in the meantime?

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