If you want to succeed in business, you need to think like your customer. When people say you have a great product or service, this doesn’t always mean your customers will appreciate it fully. The common complaint many corporate customers have is that those who do business with you don’t really understand our company. Sometimes it takes the right approach to business to truly understand what your customers are asking for.

One way you can think like your customer is to ask yourself, “What would I buy if I was buying this product?” This question is equally important when you’re leading a team of people or dealing with customers in general. During the sales process, it’s important for your team to think like your customers, or at least what they would like you to think like them. It’s always easier to say, “I would like to” rather than, “Do I have enough?”

Customer champions go one step further than the “what would I buy if I was buying this product?” Customer champions ask the question, “What do I want to get out of doing this buying process?” This is a more abstract question than, “Would I buy this product?” But it still demands an answer. When you have a customer champion on your team, you can be sure the answer is something like,” maximizing the return on investment by meeting the customer’s business goals.”

Smooshy is one of my favorite buzz words in the consulting world. Smooshy is a term for someone who is a little off from the target market. You don’t want to have a bunch of Smooshy clients. A group of smooth clients will waste money and resources without much benefit to your business.

So how do you, as a business coach, create a smooshy client? First, you will need to think like them. You will want to look at what they are doing, their business goals, and their value proposition. Do some research into smooshy topics. Find commonality between your client’s problems and what the smooshies are talking about.

When you think like them, you will also need to think about your customer’s pain points. How did you encounter their problems? What are the worst features of that pain point? What are the most valuable features of the product or service your client is paying you to help them solve?

The key with smooshies is not to think like them, but to think like you. You might be the best social media buyer but if you can’t convert them you will be wasting your time. By focusing on what your customers really want and focusing on helping them solve their problems, you will build a great customer base.

If you want to improve product development and sales, learn to think like your clients. Your clients are more important than you think. By focusing on them and listening to their pains and challenges, you will identify key customers and become an important part of their lives.

In general, a good salesperson will first have a good conversation with a prospect. In many salespeople’s experience, the first impression the buyer has is the last impression. You want to have a very interesting conversation with the prospect. Be prepared for a lot of questions. The more information you provide, the more your prospect will trust you and may end up buying from you.

In addition to having a very interesting conversation with the prospect, many salespeople have the ability to predict where the conversation will go. This can be helpful. If you are trying to close a sale with a client who already has a negative view of your product features or service, predicting where the conversation might go may be helpful. Many salespeople also have an uncanny ability to predict where the call will end. A conversation where the prospect hangs up on you or continues the conversation with someone else takes on a different connotation. The best way to handle these unexpected connotations is to know how to “read” your clients and use your intuition about where the conversation is headed.

The key to successful selling is being able to identify with your customers and understand their viewpoint. Being able to do this is what will help you convert prospects into paying customers and helps to build a top client list. Learning how to think like your customer step by step, can be one of the most important keys to selling successfully. If you are looking to develop this powerful selling skill, take the time to check out the top clients on this list.

This blog was written by Ingrid Lindberg, a customer experience keynote speaker and founder of Chief Customer. Her work has spanned the Fortune 500 – including Finance, Healthcare, CPG, Telco and Retail, working with companies to create differentiating customer experience strategies and cultures.