In my work with people who sell, I often find myself surprised by how little the typical salesperson knows about the person he is selling to. Among other questions, I usually asked a potential client what he did, not necessarily for a living but more about what he did with his life, in general.
Why? The answers would help me shape my approach to selling to them. For example, if I was selling to an accountant who was very detail-oriented and needed time to process information before making a decision, I would know that our proposal would likely need a lot of detail and that I would be unlikely to get a decision immediately upon presenting it.
On the other hand, suppose I was selling to an artist who only wanted to know that I “got” what he wanted to have done and was not at all concerned with the details. I would know then that I had to simplify what I would be presenting and that I would likely have to slow down the potential client’s inclination to make a decision immediately.
Try it and see what happens. The average person usually loves to tell others about what he does. Use the resulting knowledge to increase your sales success!