Using better sales questions to personalize the customer experience

3 min read

Deb Calvert is the President of People First Productivity Solutions. She was named by Treeline as one of “The 65 Most Influential Women in Business” and consistently appears on lists of Top Sales Influencers and Thought Leaders. She has worked as a leadership program architect, sales productivity specialist, and researcher for over 20 years.

Her unique mix of senior-level Sales, Human Resources, and Operations experience gives her valuable insight and the ability to understand the challenges faced by companies and senior leaders. Deb is a top sales & leadership speaker for organizations and industry events.

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Time-Stamped Show Notes:

[03:40] What do you mean by the phrase customer experience?  

[06:55] What the benefits of offering a better customer experience?

[07:49] How would ask better questions to accomplish what you are describing?

[14:08]  How can I know that if I’m asking the right questions, is there any indicator? 

[15:08] You also talk about personalizing the questions to create a better customer experience. Could you please elaborate on that a bit?

[19:53] How do I make the transition? 

[23:55] What is that I should expect to learn about the prospect by the end of a discovery call? 

In-Short:

Question: What do you mean by the phrase customer experience? 

Deb: Customers no longer want just Customer service and we won’t get anywhere if we don’t provide good customer service, but the standard has been raised. Customers now want a full experience. They want something that’s relevant and meaningful and personalized to them. So a customer experience or CX as it’s often called is about every single touchpoint whether it’s online, and it comes to your website or if they got a cold call and they’re working with perhaps your Business Development rep or it’s that you have had a long term relationship with that customer but every time you have an interaction with them all of that every single time that there’s a touchpoint that is a part of the customer experience and buyers have all become very demanding when it comes to what’s involved in that customer experience. 

Question: What the benefits of offering a better customer experience? 

Deb: First of all, you’ll differentiate yourself from the competition. The more relevant, meaningful, and personalized you can make that experience the more you can involve the customer. The more differentiated you are and the harder it is for them to say no to you. 

Question: How would ask better questions to accomplish what you are describing?

Deb: There are really only two ways to create the customer experience. You could spend a lot of money. Wining and dining and catering to each and every customer or prospect that you have and that’s time-consuming and expensive. So not feasible. The only alternative to that is to create an experience to get them involved to get them feeling like it’s personalized and meaningful. 

Question: How can I know that if I’m asking the right questions, is there any indicator? 

Deb: Yes, one of the best indicators and it’s the best compliment people ever give me and that is when somebody pauses after you ask a question and they’re thoughtful, you can see that they’re thinking and then they say, “Well Vivek, that’s a really good question”. As soon as you hear that, you know, you’re on the right track.

Question: You also talk about personalizing the questions to create a better customer experience. Could you please elaborate on that a bit?

Deb: To personalize means that you have to listen. And, when you listen you’re going to pick up on the tone of voice or inflection, you’ll notice the pauses or the hesitations. And, when you do, you have a rich opportunity to personalize. You might be able to say something like I noticed that there was a little bit more there that you sounded like you almost wanted to say tell me more about that what’s really going on here, right if you have the trust built. Or maybe you just can use research that you’ve done. 

Question: How do I make the transition? 

Deb: It’s about being more natural in buying and selling. We sometimes forget the relationship or the progression of any conversation. It should stay natural. We get lost in our effort to just try to close the appointment or close the sale. 

Question: What is that I should expect to learn about the prospect by the end of a discovery call? 

Deb: I hope that you will learn more than their business needs. I would say that the other thing that’s very important to learn is what’s in it for that individual, not just the business needs but their individual needs are that their esteem and the company.

We are available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Google Podcasts. Subscribe to our channel for your daily dose of quality learnings and insights into the world of sales and marketing.

Sanjana Murali is a Marketing Specialist at Hippo Video. She is an award-winning blogger, one of her articles on “Customer Success” was selected from worldwide participants and won her MVP 2019 award. She has learned the knack of ranking her blogs and website pages in the 1st result of Google Search from her 6+ years of writing and marketing experience. She is also the host of #Limitless webinar and podcast series at Hippo Video. She loves to talk about branding and marketing with videos. An eternal writer, words are her lifeline.
Sanjana Murali

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