No matter what industry you’re in, there’s always an initial period of discovery in which a potential customer checks out your business and kicks the proverbial tires. During this time, it’s up to you to gain customer trust and earn their business. All too often, companies view this process as the time to convince customers why they should choose them. Instead, flip the script. Rather than working on how to win over customers, focus on how to inspire customers. Here are two key tips.
Make it about them.
When you focus on convincing customers to buy from you, your conversations are sure to be full of self-promotion and unintended pressure. Each objection a customer has is quickly met with a counterargument, or even a piece of collateral meant to put that objection to bed. This often devalues the relationship between you and the customer, and makes the entire process transactional. It may win you one sale, but almost never wins you a life-long customer.
Instead, tailor your early conversations around the problems your customer is experiencing. What made them think about choosing your products or services at this time? What’s most important to them about working with you? Ask a lot of questions, and really listen to the answers. When an objection comes up, ask more questions and listen some more. Then you can share a relevant case study or testimonial from a client you’ve had who shared similar concerns to help overcome that objection. By engaging in a real conversation, you take their lead and go at their pace.
Show you care.
When companies try to convince customers to work with them, they often list out canned stats and differentiators. “We achieved 4X ROI on average for our customers last year,” “our product has significantly more functionality than our competitor’s product does,” and so on… But while these are compelling proof points, they still fall flat.
If you want to inspire customers, paint a picture of what working with you will be like. How will your products or services improve their daily life? How will you solve their most pressing problems? As you set about painting this picture, you can absolutely include proof points in the conversation that demonstrate how you’ve helped other businesses like theirs. First and foremost, you’ll gain customer trust by showing them you care about them and their unique situation.
Inspiring, not convincing, is what will build the longest and most profitable customer relationships. Interested in more tips around customer acquisition and retention? We’re here to help!