Icebreakers are not always fun…”
It finally happened! After all your marketing efforts and begging for referrals, a few of your coveted prospects agree to spare 10 minutes of their time. It’s not enough, you think. You have your whole story ready. Oh! And what about that new product feature X.0? You know your development team has definitely knocked that one out of the park.
NEWS FLASH : POTENTIAL CUSTOMERS JUST DON’T CARE ENOUGH ABOUT YOUR PRODUCT FEATURE!
Not Yet. They have their own pain-points they are struggling to solve. They have agreed to spare some time for you because :
- Something in your marketing campaign caught their interest
- Your customers highly recommended you
- You are news-worthy and that got them curious
- There is no “4”
First interactions with potential customers are always daunting. Your eagerness to get their business often gets the better of you.
“It raises all the red flags when it ends up being all about SELLING and less about VALUE ADDITION,” says Sumant Dubey, VP Operations, Nalashaa Solutions.
The uber energetic “go-getter” was kind enough to address the age old question of “How to talk to potential customers?”
Smita: “What rules do you follow?”
Sumant smiles: “ There are no rules. We have to understand something here. Just like they are your potential customers, for them, you are a potential problem solver. You’ll be amazed at all the interesting use-cases that they may throw your way, provided they open up.”
Smita: “How do you get them to open up?”
Sumant: “ Ah! There is only one way really. Build Trust. Be patient. They always have something on top of their minds. Encourage them to talk about their problems. They want to be heard and not being sold into something they don’t quite understand. Build Relationships. Humanize the business. They are coming to you for their betterment. Show them you care.”
Smita: “Sometimes it does happen, that they are not fully convinced about your product’s value addition.”
Sumant, nodding: “Happens all the time. It should be an organic process. Educate your potential customers about your offerings and how it can solve their burning question. Always do your homework well before-hand because there are going to be curveballs. Evaluate where your products and services fit into their ecosystem.
The moment they sense that palpable synergy between their organization and yours, they would be willing to hear you out.”
Smita: “ Nice. Okay, so what do you do when all you got is 10 mins?”
Sumant, laughs: “ When they say 10, they actually mean 5. Don’t beat around the bush. Sometimes, they might be in a rush. Come to the point in the first three minutes. Build rapport. I understand it’s not enough time but it is the best you got. You are there to bring value to them, sales is only a by-product.”
Smita: “Thank you Sumant for your insights. We did wrap it up in 10, didn’t we?”
Sumant, all smiles: “See..doesn’t take much. It has been a pleasure.”
The next time, you are worried about talking to potential customers, focusing on Mutual Growth might be the way to go.
KEY TAKEAWAYS ON HOW TO TALK TO POTENTIAL CUSTOMERS :
- Build Relationships.
- Do your homework.
- Be Patient.
- Put your Prospect’s pain-points first.
- Educate potential customers about how you may add value to them.
- Sometimes, during time crunch, driving straight to point helps.