GREAT Sales talk

How to unlock sales through service

Many people view sales and customer service as different skills and different roles. Whilst there are distinctions, simply dialling up the core GREAT customer service skills can lead to a value-add, solution-focused conversation with your customer.

Here are three strategies to help you to unlock sales through delivering a GREAT customer experience:


  1. Identify stated and unstated needs

As customers, we research before we buy; we have all of the information we need just a google search away. It’s not enough to be just problem-solvers in a sales conversation because customers can usually find solutions on their own. Customers now expect us to be experts – someone that knows more than they do. They want us to be able to give them information that they had not even considered. They want us to be problem-finders – someone who can help them to see their situation in fresh and revealing ways and help identify a problem they did not know they even had, and then provide a strong solution that meets their own unique needs.

It’s simply about taking the time to ask a couple of extra curious questions to understand the customer’s situation and gain a deeper understanding of the complete picture, then listening to learn from what the customer is saying. Being curious about the customer and their situation allows to learn as much as we can about the customer and how we might possibly help them beyond their current issue. It’s about looking for stated and unstated needs:

  • Stated needs are needs which the customer specifically states they want – they are obvious to and recognised by the customer; the customer has stated this need as something they are looking for or would benefit from
  • Unstated needs are needs which the customer doesn’t yet know about or problems they haven’t yet foreseen. This is because as customers we don’t know what we don’t know!

What curious questions will you ask?


  1. Earn trust and the right to talk sales

Trust is the foundation of every relationship. Research conducted in 2020 shows that the biggest reason why people don’t buy is because they don’t trust the salesperson[1]

To earn the right to move into a sales conversation, you need to own the customer’s issue and resolve it first. Do what you promised your customer and resolve their issue – then you have earned the right to talk sales.

It’s also important that you own the sales conversation – after all, you are the expert and credibility (led with warmth) builds trust. If you’ve built trust and reassured the customer that they are in safe hands, why wouldn’t you then take another step to help the customer further and add value?


  1. Link and position

Linking and positioning takes place when you take the step towards transitioning from the service conversation to the sales conversation; it’s positioning this in a way that helps the customer become more receptive. You do this by signposting your suggestion in a positive and personal way, then linking back to what you have learnt about what is important to the customer.

To link and position:

  1. Think about the stated and unstated needs that you have uncovered in your conversation so far
  2. Use your knowledge of these to position and personalise your link into the sales conversation


Take a look at our GREAT sales talk programme and if you’d like to explore this topic or any other aspect of customer service training then please do give us a call on 01582 463464. We’re always here to help.

[1] HBR, To Win Over An Audience, Focus On Building Trust

Categories: Customer service

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