Earlier this week we talked about how asking authentic and unique questions can help you better understand your client’s challenges and goals. Today, we share several more ideas to prepare you for your initial meeting. Theses ideas help you build a stronger relationship with your potential clients and customers from the start.
The second idea is to prepare before you go on a sales call. Take time to look up the company online, look at what trends are impacting their market, and understand how their industry might be evolving. I spend at least an hour researching before calling clients on the phone to introduce myself. In the age of Google, shame on you if you don’t do your homework. Lack of preparation impacts you in ways you can’t imagine. I find that most people calling me don’t have any idea of what I do. I’m not very well hidden, but sales professionals continue to call me and my better clients without even looking at our websites.
The third idea is to have well thought out opinions on what you do for a client. There’s nothing worse than sitting in a meeting with a sales professional who is so busy using buzzwords that they miss the opportunity to share their results with potential clients. Take time to simplify what you do from the client’s perspective. If you ask a question, make sure you have a success and failure story to help support the client’s answer. Don’t leave your client wondering if they are the only person who failed to get the result they were promised.
For example, I help my private business owners get the maximum return on their businesses when they sell them. I work with clients for several years before they sell to get their business ready for sale or for new leadership. My ideas are based on being involved in over 70 of these deals in my life. I tell stories about people who did it right and some, unfortunately, who did it wrong. Very seldom do prospects walk away from our meeting not knowing if they could use my help.
Here’s a quick checklist to make sure you are connecting and engaging your clients:
- Are you actively listening to the client?
- Do you use stories to help make your points?
- Are you supporting your client as they share what they’ve been through?
- Do you know several pain points your client may be experiencing?
- Are you responding so they can see that you understand their situation?
- Can your client see why you’re the best choice for them and what they want to accomplish?
The final idea is to determine if your questions and your attitude inspire your potential clients. So many sales professionals miss the opportunity to show their clients the potential future they will have if they work with you. You must challenge your clients to think bigger than they are today. If you can’t get them excited during the initial sales call, there won’t be a second meeting.
Take time to uncover your client’s hidden dreams and aspirations. The more you can connect them to the greatest possible future, the more likely you will be part of it.
Try these ideas and let me know how it goes. See you next week.