I had a fascinating call with a young sales person. He’d been reading a lot of my blogs, particularly on the “customer’s why.” He had been trying to apply the concepts in improving his customer conversations.

“Dave,” he asked, “I tried everything you suggested in your blogs. I really tried to understand what the customer faced, whey they needed to change, what the consequences of not changing might be. I drilled down in understanding their business and how they felt about what they face.

“But, after the conversation, I had all this information and didn’t know what to do with it.”

“What did you do, how did you end the call?” I asked.

“I had my standard pitch deck, after I asked them these questions and collected the information, I pitched our products,” he replied.

“Did you connect anything they said in the initial part of the discussion with the presentation you did?” I asked.

“No, I already knew all of their requirements, so I focused my presentation on that…..

“But now that we are talking, I realized I missed a huge opportunity. I could have connected the dots between our solution, their requirements, with what I learned in the earlier discussion…..

“Actually, there are only a few things I would have had to focus on if I had leveraged what I learned in that conversation. I wouldn’t have had to waste time going over all the details of our product. There were only a few things that were really critical to them.

“It would have been a much better meeting, because I would have focused on their business and change initiative and specifically those things that our solution did to accelerate their ability to achieve them!”

I was really proud of his discovery in the conversation. He had come a long way. Originally, he learned just enough about their requirements to know what to emphasize in presenting their products.

He had made a giant leap in his thinking and his ability to connect in a meaningful way with his customers.

He hasn’t yet discovered how much his discovery will help in improving his ability to create value with his customers. He hasn’t yet discovered how his conversations with the customers will differentiate him from all his competitors who just pitch their products.

But he is about to discover how this little shift will dramatically improve his ability to connect with customers and improve the results he produces.

I can’t wait for his next call!