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14 Aug, 2012

Get Inside The Heads Of Your Customers – Susan Granfield

Posted by: The Coaching Academy In: Personal Performance Coaching|Personal Success|Tips

Get inside the heads of your customers

If you could read minds, hear what people were thinking, see their thoughts and feel their emotions…how great would that be?! OK, in some situations it might not be all that great, you might find out some things you would rather not know about!

However, apply that superpower to dealing with your customers and just think how beneficial that could be to you!

Have you ever had a situation where you and your customer have had a conversation and you think, “Great, there’s a real opportunity here” or “Fantastic, they’re going to sign on the dotted line”…..only to hear them say “I’ll think about it” or “Now’s not the best time, I’ll get back to you in a few months when things have picked up”?

That’s not necessarily a new phenomenon, however, as people are being more cautious about how and where they spend their money, there does seem to be a bit more hesitation and reluctance to commit……Or is there?

People are still spending money, organisations are still spending money so how do you encourage them to spend it with you?

What I think has happened, is that people’s buying strategies have changed. That is, the process (the thoughts and behaviours) they go through before saying “Yes!” has changed (or is at least being influenced by the economy and the media coverage of the state of the economy).

So, imagine if you could see that process or strategy played out on a screen or hear it described to you in detail, imagine how powerful that could be to you! You would be in a much better position to identify what is likely to make them say yes and what is stopping them.

We all have these strategies, which often we are not aware of, but they guide everything we do. So, before we make a decision to buy a product or service, we go through a specific sequence of thoughts and behaviours which guide our decision making.

We give other people clues as to what our strategies are all the time! In our language, our gestures, our movements, even the way we move our eyes!

you are going to buy a new suit for work. What is your buying strategy? How do you decide which suit to buy?

Do you pick it up and feel the material, look at the shape, then if it feels right when you try it on, go ahead and buy it?

Do you have a look, maybe try it on but then leave it for a bit to see what else there might in the next shop, before deciding?

Do you go into a shop and ask the shop assistant their advice on a suit that fits your price range?

Do you prefer to have someone with you who you can ask for their feedback on how good you look in it before you buy it?

You will use one or a combination of these approaches when you are buying a new suit, or indeed anything else. The point is that certain factors will have to be “ticked” before we buy and the order in which those factors is ticked is also important and unique to us.

So, the look of something might be the most important factor for you – therefore you need to see it before you buy it.

Or, the feel of it might be the most important factor for you – therefore you need to experience it before you buy it.

Or, it might be really important for you to hear what others think about it before you buy it – so getting feedback from others is important.

All 3 may be important to you but the order in which they are important to you may differ to someone else.

Also, for some of us, we can make a decision really quickly once those factors have been “ticked” for others we need more time and may need to come back to it and see it/experience it/hear about it a few times before we commit.

When you are dealing with your customers, remind yourself that their buying strategy might be different to yours, and in the absence of being able to read their mind, look and listen out for clues as to how they like to make decisions and that will help you adapt your sales approach to them.

2 Responses to "Get Inside The Heads Of Your Customers – Susan Granfield"

1 | Jon Luckhurst

August 14th, 2012 at 11:15 am


Hi Susan great article, could not agree with you more.

I often use the holiday example, people are still going on holiday but not as frequently in the one year. This affects their buying criteria and their expectations.

To successfully sell them the holiday takes a different approach using more empathy, listening and questioning, same as selling management development today!

2 | Marsalidh

August 14th, 2012 at 7:14 pm


Yes, thanks Sue. This is a really useful way of seeing it … a range of deliberations that doesn’t necessarily reflect on the selling practice or the buyer/seller connection. But. yes, it’s a good pointer to the need for empathy and listening.

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