Knowing your customers’ objectives might seem like a basic topic, it is not an easy concept to keep top of mind. At its core, objectives are the reason customer take the time out of their day to meet with you. If they didn’t believe you can help them with their overall objective, they would find a different way to fill their day. The mistake salespeople often make is focusing on the tactics they will use versus the objective of the customer.

There are three main questions you should ask when focusing on the objectives.

    1. How do you know what your customers’ objectives are with meeting you? Ask direct questions to find out. This concept is too important for you to say, “I think” or “it might be”.  You should definitively know their objectives.
    2. What can you do with that information?  You should confirm and repeat back to them each time you meet with them. #rinseandrepeat:  A best practice is to start your presentations with objectives, and to also end them with the objectives.  There are two benefits to this practice:
      • This will continue to confirm and re-confirm that you are aligned with the customer during the sales stage.
      • It will provide a framework for recapping post performance. Meaning, did you help the customer reach the objective you have confirmed multiple times…and if you did, it would seem obvious they should continue to buy from you and hopefully buy more.

3. What is the difference between an objective and a tactic? An objective is what the customer wants to accomplish. A tactic is                    the tool or tools the customer will use to do it. Often, tactics and objectives get mixed up. A quick rule of thumb: what you are                      actually selling is not an objective. However, objectives are always a part of the tactics to reach said objective.


I created a few examples of tactics being mistakenly used in objectives using Good Karma Brands’ media assets:

  • Utilize The Sports Radio Afternoon Drive Show to drive “fans” into Applebee’s for “Coach’s Appreciation Week.”
  • Align Applebee’s with premium programming in Ohio State Football.
  • Create brand awareness around the NFL Draft by using ESPN.

In all cases above these are tactics being used to reach objectives.   No company has ever said their objective this year is to advertise with Good Karma Brands (even though that would be great😊). As sales and marketing professionals we will win more often when we are thinking about and messaging customers’ objectives consistently.