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We've all had those moments as a customer when an uninterested salesperson—whether a waiter in a restaurant, retail clerk, or even a B2B salesperson—was acting like an "order-taker."

You've seen it before... The waiter stands there holding a notepad to jot down your order and doesn't even bother to tell you about today's specials. Or the retail clerk stands outside the changing room, asking you, "Does everything fit?" but doesn't make any extra effort to help you find some great outfits. The B2B salesperson asks, "Are you ready to invest in a new system?" without taking the time to even ask you any questions. All those are examples of poor customer service, poor marketing, and missed opportunities to create a better experience for the customer and a more lucrative sale.

Unfortunately, the "order-taker" mentality is still far too prevalent among many marketers.

Here are a few questions to ask yourself to see whether the "order-taker" mentality might be present in your organization.

Do you assume that customers already know what they want?

I see this happen in a lot of B2B sales organizations. They assume that their customers are already well-versed in the latest technology and solutions on the market, and so marketers craft their marketing messages around the assumption that customers are at the point of being ready to make a purchase. Companies assume that they just have to offer a catalog or checklist of things to buy.

The truth is that most customers don't know exactly what they want. Or even if they have a general idea, they need additional research and support to make a better-informed decision.

Your marketing needs to go deeper to educate the customer and help uncover the customer's unspoken needs. Instead of letting the customer drive the conversation and expecting the customer to clearly tell you what he or she wants, the best marketers know how to inspire a new feeling of discovery.

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image of Al  Davidson

Al Davidson is founder of Strategic Sales & Marketing, a leader among lead generation companies, providing appointment-setters for global clients.

LinkedIn: Al Davidson