A really good salesman should know their customers’ industries and current challenges, at least as well as he knows his own industry. You probably know that it’s not enough to meticulously read through a book about sales, or listening with big ears during a lecture, in order to become an expert. Much comes with experience, but it does not necessarily mean several years in the future – make a plane immediately!

  1. Pick an industry that your company is strong in, and put together a collage of all reference customers in that industry. Learn these so that you know them inside and out.
  2. Visit at least three existing customers (preferably geographically far away from each other). Get to know them, their challenges, the industry’s characteristics and in what forum they meet. 
  3. Have a clear goal with your aftermarket visits. Before the meeting you should have written down what you want out of the meeting, such as X number of new leads, industry knowledge and sales. Do not underestimate that it may take a while  before the customer opens up and have confidence in you. Give and take at the meeting and, most importantly, write down the three biggest benefits that each customer find in your product/service.

You can also turn it around. If you were a potential customer and a sales person tells you about your industry’s challenges, and the opportunities that this brings. In the discussion you get to hear how three industry colleagues, most of which you already know by name, and how they use the product/service and how they have saved time and ​​money since its introduction. Doesn’t it feels like you are losing money for each minute that passes after this?

Find an industry, book customer meetings, become an expert and good luck!