We’ve all been there: You’re enjoying yourself at a party only to get cornered by that person—the one who sucks you into a one-sided conversation. You’re unable to get a word in edgewise. And with no back-and-forth banter it’s nearly impossible to find a break that allows for a graceful exit. You’re stuck.
It can be very frustrating to be on the receiving-only end of a conversation.
Therein lies the secret to sales success: We need to treat customer interactions like other personal exchanges. If you want to make meaningful connections with your customers and prospects, you have to use your ears twice as much as you use your mouth. It’s not a new concept. As sales professionals, we need to be sure we’re hearing what our customers have to say, that we’re listening to their needs and wants before we’re jumping into our sales pitch.
But what does that conversational customer engagement look like in 2020? In some ways, the pandemic has brought into clear focus what has been our charge all along: to serve our clients and meet their needs, rather than merely close a sale. The current remote state of business has pushed us to get more creative with our sales and marketing tactics to create those personal connections, leaning more heavily on digital channels.
This article is Entrepreneur magazine advises reframing your sales process to appeal to today’s buyer-led, digitally-driven sales experience. “Smart business development professionals are using inbound marketing to attract new clients with rich, targeted content and data. Identifying your ideal customer and delivering engaging content are key. Well-timed information is compelling for buyers in need of solutions and you want to be the one who provides it.”
My takeaway: If you want to be viewed as the best solutions provider, then you need to frame your sales/marketing content accordingly. The article outlines those content marketing areas that should be reviewed and revamped with a customer-leaning message—one that speaks to their exact needs—to help better align your sales and marketing efforts. Content areas to refresh: Your website, blog posts, social media channels, and resources like white papers. But before you start updating that content…
Listen to your customers. You want to engage with your customers and prospects, so use your social media channels to make meaningful connections with them: ask questions, invite discussion or reviews, start conversations for productive dialogue. Then, use the information that you glean from those interactions to help frame or enhance your messaging.
Refine your target. Remember that your product or service might not be for everyone—and that’s ok! Take the information that you receive from feedback with customers or prospects and use it to drill deeper to identify your ideal target audience.
Frame your value statement. What problem do you solve for your customer? How does your product or service make your customers lives easier or more convenient? How do you save them time or money? Inherently, people move away from pain (problems) and move toward pleasure (problem resolution). By simply framing those thoughts you can formulate a targeted value statement for your customers. The key to success lies in defining and articulating that value.
While the sales process looks a bit different right now for many of us, our charge still remains to provide greater value to our customers. By focusing on that first, the rest will follow.