By Ryan Warren, Vice President of Marketing
When getting clients on board with what you have to offer, do you tend to ramble about how great your company is? Many of us may not realize it, but sometimes we go on a spiel about our own business’ successes instead of bringing it back to the client. I know you’re trying to convince the customer they need to work with your company to see results, but, let’s face it, there are times when your rehearsed speech is a waste of valuable meeting time—which is your time, by the way. Refocusing your attention on the customer and the product can help you quickly improve your sales productivity. In fact, sometimes your focus on your own company’s own greatness during a client meeting results from not knowing your customers well enough.
So here are three tricks to stop yourself from constantly talking about your own company and refocus on the customer’s needs:
1. It’s Not About You
In a recent Inc. magazine article, Geoffrey James wrote about receiving emails from companies that were focused on selling him on the business, not on providing him with a solution to his needs. While the companies in question got marks for telling a story to get his interest, James wrote it was all about them instead of him. And in the sales business, it should be all about the customer.
Exact Target suggested sales reps and marketing professionals remember who the audience is and target their speech accordingly. The customer isn’t there to be sold on your company itself but your product and how it can help them.
2. Leverage the Customer’s Own Stories
Every person has a story to tell about the one time they needed a certain solution, or had a bad experience, and as a sales rep you can take advantage of your client’s need to connect by asking them about a time when things went wrong; turn the story back on their company. Not only does this show the customer that you’re there to help them, but it builds trust between your company and theirs. They understand you’re in the business of selling them a product, so go ahead and get them to talk about how much they need it—you may find the client start to convince themselves to purchase your solution.
3. Know When to Talk—and When Not to
If I haven’t already scared you off, take heart by understanding that sometimes you should talk about yourself—just know when.
Exact Target recommended asking yourself before you speak if the information you are about to communicate to the client is actually worth their time. Now, this can be subjective, but it can be beneficial to watch what you communicate. Broadcasting is a great way to get clients on board with your company—just understand when something is irrelevant and switch gears back to the customer if you notice you’re off target.
James wrote that he would have bought one company’s product if they had spun their solution to him in the following way:
“Imagine you’re calling a vendor for support and the call center guy has NO CLUE what you’ve already bought,” James wrote. “Suddenly you’re spending your valuable time providing information that your vendor should already know. So here’s my question: how long before you start looking for a new vendor who has their [stuff] together?”
Bring everything back the client by refocusing your strategy on how you can help them, not the other way around.