Oct. 19, 2022

#61 - Sales Mindset: Know Thy Customer

Before you can solve your customer’s problem, you need to first understand it… and them. What are their priorities? What is in the way of success? How much pain are they dealing with?   

In this lively 10 minute chat, Brendan and Bob talk about the importance of good customer conversations and how to make your sales calls and discovery process more effective and meaningful.   

And check out Mythic Quest here - https://tv.apple.com/us/show/mythic-quest/umc.cmc.1nfdfd5zlk05fo1bwwetzldy3  

And to learn more about the Accelerate Your Sales Success sprint course, click here - https://www.kiinetics.com/salesaccelerator

Before you can solve your customer’s problem, you need to first understand it… and them. What are their priorities? What is in the way of success? How much pain are they dealing with?   

In this lively 10 minute chat, Brendan and Bob talk about the importance of good customer conversations and how to make your sales calls and discovery process more effective and meaningful.   

And check out Mythic Quest here - https://tv.apple.com/us/show/mythic-quest/umc.cmc.1nfdfd5zlk05fo1bwwetzldy3  

And to learn more about the Accelerate Your Sales Success sprint course, click here - https://www.kiinetics.com/salesaccelerator


If you'd like to learn more about what we do, then please visit:


Hey Bob, guess what? Guess what? 


It's another edition of Let's Chat Sales 

Let's Chat Sales. Yes. 

We're kind of back from hiatus, by the way. Right. We took a little time off.


Well, Alright. Yeah, we did. 

I believe you were getting texts every couple days.

I send you videos of important topics related to the podcast and other things in life. 

Oh, geez.

All right. So the official purpose of this conversation is to talk about why you need to know who your customers are.

And the idea that you have to know your customer better... effectively better than they know themselves. 

Okay. I like that. So yeah, can I ask you some questions?

Yeah. Fire away. Let's do it. 

Okay. So first off, I don't need to know my customer because I know my solution and my solution is amazing. 

And so the customer needs to figure me out. I don't need to figure them out. 

What would you say to that? 

You see this a lot with salespeople.

They have a product to sell and they just go into selling the product. 

They just go right into feature/benefit mode, and then just talk about that as though the customer's like almost secondary. 

Right. And everyone is a customer to them. 

Yeah. And it's just funny to me because, that just does not work.

It doesn't work because unless someone comes to you and they're just, they're absolutely aligned and they've got that burning problem in that instance...

You're just, you're gonna deflect off somehow. They're gonna pick up the vibe.

You're not listening to them.

You don't care about them, and they're gonna shut you down. So, no that just doesn't work. 

Well, it works if it's something like a plumber.

If you've got a flooded basement and the water's coming outta the pipe, you call a plumber. You're just want that problem solved in that moment.

But so many of those solutions today are more complex.

And also I think they're really customized, right? 

Right. And the example you use the plumber... you've got a flooded basement and you need a plumber.

You've already self-selected. You've gone through the process. You've evaluated, right?


Whereas, and what we're talking about here is... Someone who doesn't know who you are. Now, that could be in a marketing sense or it could be in a sales sense. 

You run into someone at a cocktail party or in a conference and you have to talk to them for a bit. 

You don't know who they are. You don't know what their circumstances are.

Whereas in a plumber example used, someone's already, they've got a problem.

They've gone and they've searched. They've picked you as a plumber.

And now you're basically in the position where it's your deal to lose, right? 


And so you know fair amount about them just by the fact that they've picked up the phone, and are ringing you as opposed to the other way around, right? So, Right. 

Three feet of water in my basement. How, how soon can you get here? 

Yeah. This is of serious. This is qualified. These guys are right.

So, in our case let's assume that a customer doesn't know anything about you. So which means 

They know minimal. They might know your name. I mean, I get that a lot. Oh, I've heard your name or I've seen you at a networking event.

Yeah. Yeah.

That's usually as far as it goes.


I'm still waiting for that networking discussion. 

Yeah. So for me, the way I think of it is... you don't wanna start talking about what it is you do until you understand the position that that person is in.

Like, you wanna understand what their circumstances are. You wanna understand how they perceive the world. 

Right? And until you do that, you're operating at a disadvantage.

So this is why you need to know your customer before the conversation... at some level if you can do some homework beforehand.

But then more importantly, can you learn about the customer in the course of the conversation?

And can you empathize with where they.

Okay, and this is not asking questions like, I know you're struggling with this problem. 

That would not be the right approach?

Right. Well, you might, No, but you could phrase it differently. 

I got a phone call earlier today from someone that was their call. 

Yeah, I know you are. 

You're the owner of a business. I know you're having this problem. 

Yeah. Yeah. 

And I was like, Wow, you've been listening to my prayers. How could you know that? And the guy was completely caught off guard. And I said to him, How do you know that? He's like, Well, you're business owner.

You must be having this problem. 

And it's very off putting because it suggests, one it makes me feel like I didn't know what I was doing.


Which is not how you wanna start a sales situation. Two, it felt very demeaning. Like, you have this problem. You haven't solved it. You're really lousy. You shouldn't be a business owner. 

 Well, it's also not letting the customer tell you what the problem is.

It's much more important. It's much more welcoming if you were put yourself in a position where you're allowing the customer to talk. 

You're allowing the customer to say what's on their mind. 

Let them explain the priorities. Not only let them explain the priorities, but let them explain the

priorities in terms that are meaningful to them.


Right? So, if you can get the customer to talk about what's going on in ways that matter to them, that resonate with them.

That tells you a lot about how to communicate back to them. 

Don't you also find at times that as they're articulating the problem, it might be the first time they've really stopped to talk through it?


It's been on the radar. It's been something they worry about. 

It's been in and out, but never have they had to explain it to a person. 

Every now and then you get someone who explains you that to this whole problem. Then they go,

Wow, man, when I say it out loud, it's really bad.


Yeah. And in fact that's where as a salesperson... this is one of the things I think are salespeople are really are underrated...

Is in their ability to kind of get the customer to think about and articulate a problem and understand it in a new way. 

And so a salesperson that really knows how to focus on asking the right sorts of questions and having the right level of follow up and understanding and having a level of curiosity and having a willingness to not know everything.

So that curiosity that you have as a salesperson, as a founder, as a creator, you're learning right along with them and a certain level of surprise...

"Oh, I never thought about it that way. Oh, I see what you're getting at. "

Even you may have, 

Yeah. Even if you 

May have said that to you. Right?

Right, right.

But even you talk to 20 customers, you're gonna run into a certain amount of variability among those 20 customers. Even if they're all graphic artists, or even if they're all, they'll use 

Different surgeons or whatever. Software, there's variables.


And so it's a learning game. You're always learning. You're always seeing new angles, new patterns are gonna emerge. 

And so this is why this whole idea of having some level of curiosity around the customer is important because it's gonna inform how you talk to customers going forward.

It's gonna inform how you might formulate some of the solutions.

It's gonna dictate and help you under identify new products and new features. 

Maybe even new markets and new customers inside the same enterprise, perhaps. There are all sorts of opportunities. 

And so this idea of understanding your customer is kind of a long journey and you're all, you're kind of always.

You're always on it. That's why I would like that 

Now do you take notes when you're having these types of meetings? 

Yeah. Yeah, I do. Not crazy notes, if I do calls. 

Do you scribble stuff down afterwards? 

Like Yeah, I do. I have like, yeah.

And what I also try and do is, in a way, so I'll do some notes, is I go along and then on top of that is one of the things I try and do is I try and reiterate at the end of the call, "Oh, this is what I heard."

I hear that sort of thing. And, and then you can also reiterate that 

During that discussion, right? 

Yeah. Yeah.

And because one of the things you wanna leave with is, "Oh, I, I got lot, a lot out of this kind of a thing. I learned a lot here. Here's what I, you know, as I understand it, here's what we might wanna do next."

And so you've got the momentum for a next call. If you're in the very early stages from a discovery process, and you're still trying to figure out what your product is, what your solution is, that sort of thing.

You want an opportunity to come back around to them and, and test what you've understood, validate, and kind of warm them up as a potential early adopter.

So you've given me some great feedback. I wanna take that back to my 


Um, my office and really try to work through it. 
Brendan: Yeah. 

And I get back with you in a couple weeks. 

Yeah, exactly. 


And then when you do, you're in a situation where you can "hey, here's what I did. Here's what we thought about," and so forth.

And now you're demonstrating you've listened to them.

You've demonstrated that their ideas are valuable, and, and you've made advancements that suggest to the prospect, "Gee, these guys are on the right track and I'm helping to guide them..."

and they can listen well

Yeah, you're reducing the risk for me as a purchaser, as a customer.

I'm thinking, "Oh, this guy, or this person follows through. They listen, they execute, they do so timely. They have a respect for what I do." 

These are all things that make them an ideal early adopter. If they see that, like they see those sorts of things. 

Oh, this is the kind of customer I can, this is the kind of vendor partner I can take a risk on.

All right, Brendan, so I know you have a course that goes into this in more detail. We're limited. We wanna keep this program brief and airy. Yeah. 

So really quick, walk us through what that course does and how we can access it. 

It runs for 30 days. It's a 30 day program. It's kind of a sprint. And the idea behind it is to get you in the right mindset in terms of sales for early founders and creators, in particular.

It's to help identify and articulate and understand the sales process and kind of demystify it.

And then the third component is, is to get accountability and momentum. That's why it's 30 days.

It's every day. 

There's a little lesson, bite sized, 20 minutes or so. An exercise to get you in the habit of making

sales part of your regular process, because sales isn't necessarily that hard, but you have to be consistent at it.

You have to execute on an ongoing basis, and so this 30 days gets you the momentum that you need to get to get started as a early-stage founder or creator. 

And it's pretty easy stuff to do. 

It is

Show me some of it. We're not, you know, you're not expecting someone to read like the history of sales and all that.

Really just giving them the nuggets they need and action steps to take to get where they need to go. 

Brendan: Yeah. In a lot of cases, it's stuff that you already know. You have the experience. 

This is a way to put it together in a framework that I use, that gives it a cohesive whole. You see the whole thing. 

You see why I'm doing it this way, and the importance of this particular fundamental step, so then you start to realize that as a founder, you've got a lot of skills already.

You're just probably not applying them in the right order or with the right kind of mindset. 

Okay. And now Brendan real quick.

Brendan: Yeah. 

Bob: I like this. Give me a, a movie or a TV show review, something I need to watch. Oh, last week or last time it was, like No Country for Old Men 

es. And this week it is Mythic Quest on Apple TV. 

What's Mythic Quest?

Brendan: It's about a game company, a video game company. 

Bob: Oh. 

Brendan: And it's two seasons so far. 

Bob: It's Entrepreneur stuff and all that. 

Brendan: Yeah, it's got, Yeah, But it's funny and it's, 

Bob: Dude, I'm out right now. I gotta go watch that. 

Brendan: It's good. It's really good. It's really good. I have another one that's even better.

Bob: Oh, save it all right time. Right? We'll save it next time. 

Brendan: All right, cool. 

Bob: This has been great, friend, and I think we kicked it enough. We'll see you all real soon. Right? 

Brendan: All right. Thanks, Bob. Talk to you soon. 


That was another episode of Let's Chat. Sales. A quick one of course, and I hope it was helpful. 

And if it was, please like and subscribe and more importantly share it with your friends. 

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