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In last week's Webcast on sales territory coverage economics, Mike Marks, managing partner of Indian River Consulting Group, was asked how to get "real answers" from customers to aid in segmentation for a more effective sales process.
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He answered that it's not about the questions you ask. It's about "really listening."
"The problem we find is that a lot of distributors have selective hearing," he said. And some of what is most important to a customer goes beyond price.
"Because of the business they are in, they may want things invoiced and packaged a certain way," Marks said. "They may want the ability to return tons of things on a regular basis because of what they're doing. They may want to be on the bleeding edge of technology in terms of product innovation and design. They may just want a simple transaction. They don't want any drama. They want a low price, and they want it to be very reliable."
Get beyond the answers many customers give: "It's because of the service," or "because of Jimmy Joe Bob or Mary Sue." When you do that, you will start to pick up on recurring themes, and those themes will help determine customer segments.
To learn more about territory coverage economics, order the DVD from last week's event. Part II and III of this MDM Webcast series, "Building an Effective Sales Organization for the Recovery," are Aug. 5 and Aug. 12. Learn more here.