Sales Coach Christine Harrington
What's my hidden need

3 Questions to Uncover a Hidden Need of the Buyer’s Business

Don’t think I’m daffy, but I had this idea to write about a buyer’s hidden need from a recent dream. And the dream came about as a result of a coaching call with a client earlier in the day.

The client lost a sale that he thought he had nailed.

Has this happened to you?

I know it’s happened to me.

Here’s how my client Bob explained it:

“The buyer is nodding with agreement, asking questions, fully engaged all through the buying cycle. Then when its time to close the deal, the buyer said “NO” because the business is now going in a different direction. All I could think about is how did I miss this!”

My client didn’t know about the buyer’s hidden need.

How did this happen?

Your sales process can become rote if you’re not careful. Rote turns into a sales habit. A sales habit is formed by asking the same questions, making the same assumptions, using the same sales process steps as if each person sitting in front of you has the same business as the last person you sold too.

Sales call after sales call can turn into a blur. (I have coaching clients that are expected to make 50 face to face sales calls each week!)

The churn of sales call after sales call can distort your ability to think fresh, and to view the buyer in a fresh new way. Thus missing the real need of the buyer.

In Bob’s particular situation, he lost the deal due to the buyer’s decision to expand the business in other areas. Bob didn’t ask the right questions to uncover the buyer’s real need and thus was blindsided by the NO

3 Questions to Ask to Uncover the Hidden Need of the Buyer’s Business

  1. Mr. Buyer does your business have plans for expansion?
  2. What is your strategic direction as a company?
  3. Do you anticipate hiring or laying off of staff over the next 12 months?

Depending on the product you’re selling, these questions are important to know. If you’ve developed trust and rapport with the buyer, there will be no hesitation to answer your questions.

Generally, you should prepare follow-up questions for every question you ask to dig deeper. A good follow up question can be “What are your current priorities? Save money? Increase Productivity? Acquisitions?”

Here’s another often overlooked area that can blindside you. Many salespeople are blindsided because they discover too late not all the decision makers are revealed.

Be sure and ask this question earlier on in the sales process “Tell me about the company’s decision-making process apart from you. Who else is involved?”

The buyer has hidden needs and so do you. Be sure all your hidden needs (all decision makers) are present to say YES! And ask about the business strategy of the buyer so you can understand the full picture of the buyer’s business.

Do you want to learn more about uncovering the hidden needs of the buyer?  Schedule a complimentary introductory call session with me by clicking here.


Christine Harrington is the Savvy Sales Lady, helping sales teams and individuals win more sales through a unique way of selling called Peak Performance Mindset. Christine brings 40 years of selling experience with Fortune 500 Companies, to help you shorten the learning curve, move past your selling blocks and position yourself as a Peak Performer. Sales Leaders, Sales Managers, Sales Teams, Small Business owners and their employees have captured their edge by attending Christine’s Peak Performance Mindset Workshop and Coaching. Learn how she can help you or your team. Get the edge by clicking here

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