How to communicate with business prospects?
One of the most critical parts of closing a sales deal is how you communicate with your prospect. We’ve seen situations where we (Geeky Works) have competed against some of the top companies and won the project simply through the power of effective communication. What’s our little secret to effective communication? Well, read on as we spill the beans and help you explore some ways to communicate effectively that every company should keep in mind while dealing with a client.
Introduce: We’ve heard many amateur sales people start off a telephonic conversation with ‘‘Hi! My name is Mr. X and I work at Blah Blah Company. My colleague told me you need help with so and so services, so tell me how can I help you?” We geeks hate it when someone talks to a prospect like this. So letting go of one of our well kept secrets, let us help you, the star salesmen of tomorrow, learn the art of introducing yourself. When you get on to a call with a prospect, take some time to introduce yourself and your company before you proceed to the next stage. Let them know that they are talking to a sane human and not some brainless zombie who is only concerned about sealing the deal and achieve his sales target.
Understand what they do and what they want: You have talked enough about yourself. Now is the time to understand who your clients are, what they do and what they want? It’s really important to understand your customers’ needs at the beginning of the project so that you both are on the same page. Besides, understanding their business from them would help you understand their needs better and deliver as per their expectations.
Listen: And we don’t just mean listening from the ears but also from your mind. Give your prospects the room to talk and express themselves and do not interrupt. Listening to your prospect’s needs would:
- Give you a clear picture of his needs
- Help you decide whether his requirements compliment your business’ strategic goals
- Allow you to promise only what you can deliver
Make him comfortable: It is very important for your prospect to feel comfortable while speaking with you. One of the most important traits of a great sales person is to have the ability to easily break the ice with a prospect. Master this and you will substantially increase the probability of earning a project.
Think of this like starting a relationship. When you approach a girl and want to ask her out, you just don’t go to her and tell her so. You start by breaking the ice and take your time to make her comfortable so that she can trust you. A prospect is very similar to that girl; you can’t keep peeping into his pocket all the time. Treat a prospect with respect, take it slow, earn his trust and you have laid the foundation for a long-lasting relationship.
Avoid Jargons: Always remember that you are not talking to your colleague but with someone who may be completely unaware of your industry. Avoid jargons and talk in plain English (or whatever language your prospect speaks) to make your prospect feel comfortable.
Take notes: No use of talking to a prospect/client if you can’t remember a darn thing after two days. Make it a habit to write the important things down while you talk, so you can recollect everything that was said and the promises you made (using this technique with your wife can be pretty effective as well!). Also, try not to take notes on your computer; it could produce an annoying keyboard-hitting sound. Always keep a notepad and pen handy to jot down the important points.
Probe, probe, and probe – Many a times we hesitate to ask questions because we think that might make us look like an idiot. Our advice: It’s better to ask a dumb question than to correct a dumb mistake. By not asking questions and assuming things you may create a situation in the future where your assumptions (those you made by not asking questions) differ from your client’s expectations. Problems are sure to arise if the two of you are not on the same page.
How do you communicate with your prospects? Do you have any pet opening lines or one-liners that do the trick? Come on, spill the beans. Let us know your little secrets in the comments section below.