Thinking. Sales thinking. Service thinking. Business thinking.

You have opportunities to think about your business growth and your sales growth every day. The big questions are: How and when do you do it? 

And once you’ve arrived at your thought, your idea or your response, how do you deliver it? Or better stated, who is the message in terms of?

Everyone will tell you to, “Think things all the way through.” But not many are able to teach that methodology effectively, unless they think: outcome. And unless they think: customer.

That’s the secret: don’t just “think it through.” Think it through to the desired outcome that the customer wants or the customer is hoping for. What happens after delivery.

Example: Customers call with what you perceive is a simple problem. I have found, however, that what most people consider a problem, is actually a symptom.

Here’s a real-world scenario that happens in every business, hundreds of times a day:

1. Someone calls and presents you with a complaint, a problem, question, service call, an order, an opportunity or even an idea.

2. You pause – and take the time to Think! You may think to yourself or think in writing, or think out loud. You think about the situation or think about the resolve, or some combination of these scenarios. In short, you try your best — using your experience, combined with your corporate rules, prices, and policies to think it all the way out.

Insight: Rarely do you think about the outcome of the call: what happens after the issue is resolved, the sale is made or the item delivered.

3. Now it’s time to respond, to help – or even try to resolve. You present your reaction, offer your help, your suggestions, your knowledge, your ideas, your solutions and your thoughts.

3.5 The questions are: Who is this in terms of? And what are the motives and expectations of the customer? Who have you thought and responded in terms of? Is it “what you can do?” Or is it, “Here’s what we can do to get you what you really wanted, and here’s what will happen after that.”

The object of thinking is to flesh the idea all the way out from the beginning of the opportunity to the outcome – to the solution all the way out to the end – in terms of what the customer really wants.

Here’s how to think it through to a win for everyone:

  • Listen to the situation.
  • Discover the immediate opportunity, the symptom and the problem.
  • Communicate the action.
  • Reassure the customer you know what they really want.
  • Look for a long-term opportunity.
  • Create an add-on idea or tailor a personal experience.

Wow them with something as simple as being friendly or minding your manners.

Jeffrey Gitomer is the author of 13 books, including The Sales Bible and The Little Red Book of Selling.