Recently meeting with a client as a part of the Brand Strategy process, we were discussing why their sales were lagging a bit this year. It wasn’t for lack of leads, it was that a few key projects didn’t close. When we dug into that, what we discovered is something that’s common for many experienced professionals: sometimes you know your business so well that you can quickly assess what someone needs but you forget to take THEM (the customer) on that journey from point A to point Z.
In this case, I hypothesized that perhaps the client was skipping over some foundational elements in the sales process; and after a moment of consideration, he agreed.
It’s your job to help your client get from where they are now, point A. to their goal, Z, and this requires moving them from B to Y. It requires a customer journey experience.
By taking pause to dive into our client’s sales process, we were able to develop a few simple strategies that they can utilize to improve their customer experience and increase their close rates, heading into their next sales meetings:
Here are 3 simple tips on how to accomplish that:
1: Stay curious! Be a great question asker and listener. Invite your prospective client to open up about what they actually desire so that you aren’t jumping to assumptions about what they want. Sometimes, as a seasoned provider of a service, you are already assessing what that client may need. However, if what they need is different from what they want in their head and you aren’t taking the time to move them through that sales experience to help them understand how what they actually need is different than what they set out to receive, then they are going to think that you aren’t listening or don’t understand them because you have not guided them through understanding how that solution is actually in their best interest and will help them achieve the goals that they outlined. This goes back to: stay curious and ask questions so that you can hear them say what their goals are.
2: Sell to their needs/Be perceptive to the type of person they are and aim to serve them in a way that resonates with them (rather than selling based on your preferred style). How many times have you been annoyed with a sales person going way too slow, way too fast, giving too much detail, not enough detail? Chances are, they operate differently than you and they were operating according to THEIR nature and not meeting you where you are. On the DISC profile, I’m a high D, I assess information quickly and move quickly. I find that I do much better with a well executed 20 minute meeting than a drawn out detailed 60 minute meeting because at that point, I’m annoyed that the person serving me didn’t check in to ask me how long I was comfortable with meeting, or how I’d like to receive the information. Here are some tips on how to assess the type of buyer you are working with so that you can adjust to their needs:
Up front at the meeting you can state: I’m going to walk you through this proposal and I’ll check in for you to tell me if you’d like me to go faster, slow down and if you’d like more detail. Before we dive in, typically, do you prefer high level get to the point, or would you prefer greater detail and some relevant similar customer success stories throughout the conversation?
Right here, you are inviting them to tell you what type of experience they would like; and then, during the meeting, check in with them, it’s ok to use humor and be a real person, it invites your guest to tell you what they really think/feel: “would you like me to move through this more quickly? / Do you have questions at this point? Are you hanging in there? Am I boring you yet, if so, let’s fix that. Good on time?
3: Build relate-able connections with the prospective client by having other relevant examples at the back of your mind. Know the type of customer profile you are selling to: At SPM we work with clients to develop customer personas, from this, they are empowered with knowledge about what typically drives this person’s decision making, what they care about, barriers to buying and more. Heading into the meeting, if you have an idea about which persona your prospect fits into, you can be prepared in the right mindset about who they are. Now, this isn’t to say to walk in and assume you know everything about them, because remember, rule #1. But what it does help you to accomplish is walking in with some similar customer success stories fresh in your mind that you can reference as needed, to help create a bridge between you and your customer by demonstrating that you have worked with other customers with similar needs/concerns as them. By having other relevant client stories that are similar to your prospective client, you can call on those examples as needed to help ease your client’s concerns or fears as you demonstrate that you understand who they are, and that you have the experience to help them achieve their goals, as demonstrated by other similar happy customers.
Those are 3 tips to help you create a more thoughtful sales experience.
Want to learn more about how to create and implement a thoughtful customer experience strategy into your company? Let’s chat. That’s all a part of the Brand Strategy process that helps companies like yours define your market position, make better connections, and increase sales.
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