Extra! Extra! Future-Customer Needs Exposed—by You!

Dear reader, you’re feeling good today about the Experience you provide to current customers, and sure, you’ve got some hot prospects, but you need to know how to help them get ready to buy, right?

Don’t worry, you’re not alone. I go through it, and so do my clients. Today I’d like to bring you five power verbs so you can jump into action, speak to those future-customers’ needs, and convert more fence-sitters to sales!

Strategic Planning 5-a-Day:

Identify current best customers’ true needs and wants.

Ask— “When you purchased from us:

Why did you need what we offer?

Why did you want it right then?

How did you hear about us?

Who or what else did you consider?

What brought you to Yes?”

Think you know the answers, right? Ask them all. Try this once and you will be so surprised you’ll become a believer. This strategy alone could boost your sales so much you might not need the others, but keep going…

Set up a system for doing “post-mortems” on lost sales.

Not as much fun as #1, but if they’ve already said No what’s the worst that can happen?

Some clients who’ve tried this have made sales they only thought were dead, just by their sincere interest in the customer.

Your real objective is to find out how not to lose the next sale, by asking one simple question:

What could we have done better?

You’ll learn about your sales tactics, your website, your pricing, the nature of your sales cycle, and your true competition with this very under-the-radar strategy.

Eliminate choices on your website.

Sounds crazy, but you heard me right. Most websites offer too many ways to get lost, to forget what you came for, or even to wind up off on someone else’s site.

Every time you consider tweaking your site, look for more places you can remove choice. In an ideal world, you want to direct visitors’ eyeballs toward ONE next step, that leads to ONE choice, that inevitably leads ONLY to the site’s objective: contacting you or making a purchase.

Websites don’t exist in this utopia, but keep that ideal at the top of your mind. What ONE thing should the visitor do while they’re on this page? Make the push to do that ONE thing irresistible, and let all other choices fall away.

Assemble a list of competitors’ blogs and websites for you to research stalk.

Yes. Stalk. Learn what they do right, wrong, and what they leave out.

When you know what they leave out, go for that.

And keep stalking them—this is very much an ongoing strategy that too many folks treat as a once-and-done. Not you, not anymore.

Track mentions of hot-button phrases from your customer’s point of view with Google alerts and Twitter searches.

You sell radiant flooring, but no one talks warm boards. They talk heating bills, or cold feet, or home improvement, or resale value of improvements. See?

Know what sets their hearts, minds, and their wallets on fire so you can help customers with their needs in terms they already relate to.


From current customers, you find out how you got to yes. From past prospects, you find *gasp* there’s room for improvement—and now you know where. Both of them give you the words and thoughts on real buyers’ minds. From there you can tighten your web Experience, and expand your understanding of the customer’s needs even further.

When the next hot prospect wanders in to your store or office, calls for information, or visits your website, you’re armed with the best verb of all: you Understand the problem he or she has come to you to solve.

Bonus strategy:

Begin today.


Have you tried any of these strategies to plan for your future sales? How did they help your business?

What power verbs would you add to this list?


Grow and be well,

Kelly Erickson

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