Have you ever tried to attract a new prospect but felt that you were falling short of making your case? Sometimes it’s because we may be coming off like a salesperson. Because, if you try to sell someone something, a typical reaction you may receive is that person becomes immediately not that into you. As the nation’s #1 sales expert Jeffrey Gitomer says, “People Don’t Like to Be Sold, But They Love To BUY!™”
In businesses where the seller and the buyer’s relationship matter, instead of focusing on the product or service, it seems to be smarter to incorporate more of the relationship and connecting. Here are 4 strategies I have seen that have been successful in attracting the best prospects.
1. Research diligently before meeting a prospect. Research potential prospects even if you don’t know when you’ll meet them. The more you know the better the conversation will go. Today, no matter who your prospect is, it is easy to conduct online research beginning with their website, LinkedIn and other social media platforms. And, online research is not violating any personal space – your prospect put that information there for you to see.
2. Ask big questions. Building on #1, if you have researched you will be prepared to ask good, insightful questions that will engage the prospect. The key with engagement is interaction and that happens most succinctly when THEY are talking, not you. Most (and I really mean most) people are focused on themselves and are more than ready to talk about themselves and their products. The reaction can be surprising when you ask big questions like, “I know your business has received a lot of awards – what was the most meaningful one to you?” Or, “What’s your biggest challenge?” Or, “What is the one thing you wished your current advisor would do?” The key is to ask a question that requires an answer, not an open-ended one.
3. Listen curiously for more than 50% of every conversation. If the interaction is focused on asking big questions and listening, you will immediately stand out. If you can get the prospect talking you actually become unique –someone who is truly interested in them. The average attention span is 8 seconds today. Listening to another person intently is rarely done and may show more about who you are than if you had talked about yourself or your company.
4. Build a better story. The biggest mistake made in marketing yourself and your products is to not clearly and concisely describe who you are and what you offer. When you are asked what your firm does, how do you answer? Do you have the most compelling answer? Sometimes there is a need to have a refined story to assist in gaining the most attention in the distraction-filled world. Take a few minutes and write out how best to describe your firm. It will be time very well spent.
The good news is you can transform someone from not being interested to wanting what you have. I believe you can get others to pay attention to you through the way you pay attention to them.