Top 10 Ways to Speak Your Customer’s Language
It’s not uncommon in business, as in life, for connections to be made between individuals who feel a like-mindedness or personal connection with a person, a service or a product. The key is to uncover the language and manner of communication that your prospect and customer are most likely to respond positively too.
Here are 10 thoughts to ponder when determining how to speak your customer’s language.
1. Know enough about their business to sound knowledgeable
Too often, we overwhelm prospects with far too much information about ourselves and our businesses. Instead, do some on-line research about your prospect/customer prior to a meeting so you sound aware and informed. Remember to ask them questions about their objectives and make connections only where you think there is one. If they state a need that your company is not able to provide, refer them to someone who can assist them more effectively. You’ll begin to position yourself as a trusted and credible resource.
2. Do not profess to know more about their business than they do
Remember, however, not too much so that you sound more informed, aware and intelligent about their product or service than they are. Everyone wants to feel that there’s a basis of understanding when someone walks through the door to attempt to sell us something that we need to grow our business and be more successful. No one wants to feel like they’ll be doing business with a know-it-all, either.
3. Know who there clients and vendors are
Thank goodness for the world wide web! It’s easy to determine plenty of information from your prospect’s web sites or those of your competitors, colleagues and your prospects competitors who are doing business with each other.
4. Search the web for industry-specific information
Look into trends, past performance, industry leaders and rainmakers. If their names come up in a meeting, you will sound smart and well-read on your prospect’s industry and will win points with whoever you’re meeting with.
5. Research their company’s key players, recent press releases, etc.
I recommend to my coaching clients that they sign up to receive the press releases of the companies they have targeted to do business with. This way, they are finding out timely information about their prospect exactly when their prospect employee base is becoming aware. It also provides you with an up-to-date opportunity, when appropriate, to contact your prospect and comment on the announcement.
6. Create a monthly communication plan
Marketing is having VCR – visibility, consistency and repetition in the marketplace. It is as simple as that. You want to be in front of your prospects and customers on a consistent basis and you want to repeat that image and message repeatedly. There’s an advertising rule-of-thumb that you have to make a minimum of six impressions in the minds of your customer base before they make a connection with you and what service or product you are selling. Be sure to make the most positive impressions with them each time you communicate with them.
7. Ask your contacts (current and past clients, vendors, colleagues) for an introduction or direct referral
Chances are that if you have done a great job in the past, or are currently servicing your clients well, they would be happy to spread the word about your good work and how it might benefit another department within their organization, or another company they have connections with. Oftentimes though, we don’t ask. If you don’t ask for a referral, people are busy and may not offer it on their own.
8. Pay attention to the details
Details matter. Have someone proof read your proposals and correspondence. Show up five minutes before you are scheduled to meet with someone. Send them relevant information you think would help their business – it doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with what you’re selling, simply a resource that would appeal to them. Attempt to be “they” focused, not “me” or “we” focused. This is another great way to continue to earn their trust.
9. Do what you say you will do and what they have requested you do
Be a person of your word. Do not forget to under promise and over deliver — consistently. Do not contact a prospect until you have delivered on whatever requests they might have made of you.
10. Exercise pleasant persistence
Easier said than done, being pleasantly persistent takes a special kind of talent. Treat your prospects and customers as you would want to be treated. As part of your monthly communication plan, touch base with them without expecting a response from them. Send them an invitation to an event or an article you think they might be interested in. Put special dates or occasions they might have mentioned in your database management program and refer to them at the anniversary of these events.
Speaking your customer’s language is about solidifying meaningful connections and relationships. We all like to do business with people we know and trust. These points will help you to create the bond necessary for someone to want to sign on the bottom line and enter into a financial relationship with you.
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