Identify the now

Become a better seller with a relational approach | Part 2: Identify the now.

By: Rebecca Bergsland –

This is the second article in a series on how to become a better seller by building sustainable win-win relations with clients and potential clients. The discussed tools can be applied to any relationship in your work or private life.

Article overview:

  1. The relationship to yourself
  2. Identify the now
  3. Identify the dream scenario
  4. Become the bridge
  5. Bonus: Make it sustainable
Rebecca Bergsland – Professional coach and 
Business Communication Practitioner in NLP 

Part 2: Identify the now

In the previous initial article I presented three fundamental sets of actions for personal development that all have the power to impact directly on your sales work. It was described how you can find your “why”, how you genuinely embrace the attitude to give, and how you can be your own best example of the value of your services. In this second article I will explain how you can begin to build a solid foundation to a client relationship by establishing their current situation and use validation selectively to mobilize them into their (and your!) desired direction.

Why should I identify the current situation?

Regardless if your (potential) client is a physical person or a business, if you communicate online, over the phone or face to face; a great first step is to establish the current situation. That is to say, using a curious attitude to find out exactly where the client is right now. This includes investigating what doesn’t work, which the biggest challenges are, and/or what is already good and can become even better. To explore the current situation is especially useful for two reasons: 1) it becomes clear for both the client and for you what the starting point is and what problems you have got to work with. 2) It mobilises the client by creating motivation to move away from the current situation. Mobilisation leads to action and action leads to change, which generally is the desired outcome for both of you if the client wants something and you want to help her/him obtain it.

How to identify the current situation

Begin by asking an open, investigating question which allows the client to verbally paint a picture of the current situation. Follow with more detailed questions as needed to fill in the blank spots. Through the whole conversation listening is essential to create trust for you as a sales person. However, every now and then you want to use selective validation to clarify and direct the conversation. Validate what is important in the client’s story by repeating keywords or sentences, or make a short summary when necessary. Shine a light on everything that the person says that indicates a desire to act on her/his problems. This will enforce the motivation to move away from the current situation. Validation is indeed a great tool to mobilise someone into taking action. If, on the other hand, the client is stuck in negative thought loops about her/his problems there is no need to enforce this further. Where ever your client may be, a good way to finish the second step of identifying the now is to make a short, validating summary.

Once you have discussed and established the current situation, it will be clear if the client is satisfied or not and how to act in response. If s/he is happy the way it is you will know what s/he would like to keep or have a lot more of. Then your future role will be to help the client to create a structure that will certify that s/he stays in the current situation and gets more of what s/he wants. If the client is unhappy you will know what s/he doesn’t want. Then your future role will be to help her/him to create a structure that will take her/him away from the current situation. More to come about that in the following articles.


This second article in the series Become a better seller with a relational approach has described how you can start building relations with people and potential clients by investigating and validating their current situation to strengthen their motivation and mobilise them to act. In the upcoming article I will explain the third step: to identify the client’s dream scenario. Thereafter the fourth article will regard how you can become the bridge that the client needs to get there. The final and fifth bonus article will explain some simple yet very powerful techniques to make the relationship reciprocally beneficial and sustainable.

The author is Rebecca Bergsland; a professional coach and Business Communication Practitioner in NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming).

As the owner of Change Coaching & Consulting she is specialized in change processes, relations, and communication and is currently planning a new research project within the field of psychology.

What is your #1 insight from this episode? Please comment below.