Communicating with Your Customer: Think Like a Jeopardy Contestant

People won’t buy from you simply because your company has the best product or the best service. They will not buy from you just because you are the nicest, the funniest, or the most charismatic sales person (though this certainly can’t hurt). People buy things that fulfill their personal needs.
This simple fact is true whether you are selling yourself, selling a product or selling an idea; selling to an individual consumer or selling business to business. The personal needs of whomever is wielding the credit card will undoubtedly play a major role in the decision to buy or not to buy.
According to Gene Bedell, author of “3 Steps to Yes: The Gentle Art of Getting Your Way,” the personal need to win or succeeded, the need for security and/or predictability, and the need for acceptance and approval are cited as three of the strongest personal needs rooted in the decision making process. Though there are many other needs that can influence a person’s purchasing choices, Bedell emphasizes that these basic three should never be discounted when your persuasive efforts are being applied.
If your version of “persuasive efforts” entails dumping a load of features and benefits into the customer’s lap, it is likely that this will not have the success rate you most desire because this method of selling does not provide the opportunity to learn what your customer really needs. To accomplish this you must engage him in conversation and shape your sales pitch into the form of a Q&A.
But according to, it is not enough to ask questions. You must also ask questions the right way. Blogger, Tony Alessandra offers “10 tips for Asking More Effective Sales Questions.” The ten suggestions for framing your questions provided by Alessandra are a good match to Gene Bedell’s idea of appealing to personal needs. If your sales pitch, even formulated into a question and answer format, bring about the feeling of uncertainty or hint at unpredictable outcomes this may make even the most highly qualified prospect skittish but by keeping your questions nonthreatening and avoiding unnecessary jargon, you help to make choices more risk free. Additionally, when you engage the consumer in this way, you take time to learn his needs and you may discover a competitive advantage that you didn’t even know you had.
Call Manning Media’s marketing experts today: 301-620-7700 in Frederick or 301-733-4500 in Hagerstown, or fill out our online request form by clicking HERE and get the answers to those $1,000,000.00 marketing questions that could keep your business out of jeopardy.


Bedell, Gene. 3 Steps to Yes: The Gentle Art of Getting Your Way. New York: Crown Business, 2000. Print.
Alessandra, Tony. “10 Tips for Asking More Effective Sales Questions.” Web log post. HubSpot Blogs | Marketing. N.p., 26 Feb. 2016. Web. 18 Oct. 2016. <>.

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