Discovering Your Customers’ Needs

Understanding prospects’ values and day-to-day challenges helps uncover their most compelling needs.

You’ve piqued the interest of a potential customer by highlighting the value of AMSOIL products, but the process is far from over. Building trust and creating a solid relationship requires a full understanding of the customer’s everyday workload and attitudes. What are the challenges of his business? What does he value most? The answers may not be what you’d expect. Step Two in the Buy-Sell Process centers around discovering your customers’ specific needs and values.

The Basics

It may be helpful to step back and review two fundamental aspects of the Buy-Sell Process.

  • “Buy” comes first. The focus must remain on the customer for the process to yield successful results.
  • This is a non-linear, circular process. When a prospective customer slips from the “Assessment” phase to the “Not Looking” phase, a savvy AMSOIL Dealer recognizes the change and adapts his/her strategy accordingly.

A Day in the Life

Consider the issues typical shop owners encounter on a regular basis. Discovering what they need (and what they don’t) might start with envisioning the drama unfolding before you even walk through the door.

  • The everyday balancing act – managing the flow of vehicles in and out of the shop, paying bills, consulting with customers, etc.
  • Ordering hassles – ensuring the right parts are delivered on time.
  • Managing time and money – completing projects within a limited timeframe while attempting to maintain a certain profit margin.
  • Employee issues – finding and retaining reliable workers.
  • On the shelf – motor oil may not be high on their list of concerns.

Unexpected problems can arise suddenly in any of these areas. Be prepared to give a prospective customer some breathing room and, if needed, re-schedule your visit if the shop environment looks particularly hectic that day.

Ready to Listen

It’s possible that many of your customers will have similar needs, values and experiences. There’s only one way to find out. When speaking with an independent repair shop owner, consider prefacing the meeting with a straightforward question like, “Why did you decide to open your own business?” Listen intently to the answer. The prospect’s story will provide insight into his/her values and motivations. Prospects’ attitudes may even align with the way AMSOIL conducts business and approaches the market.


  • You have moved a potential customer from”not looking” to “looking” by creating interest and curiosity – now focus on his or her needs.
  • Discovering what the customer values most is your prime objective in this phase.
  • Many businesses are concerned with maintaining high-quality service, attracting customers and improving margins. Determine what compelling needs might exist.
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