by Elaine Slatter | Featured Contributor
A few weeks ago I interviewed Pat Duckworth an international author, speaker and NLP expert on my podcast. We had a really interesting and engaging conversation about connecting with prospective customers.
Pat talks about how people want to feel understood. Are we really listening to want they want and need? Although we may have all the answers ahead of time and can anticipate many of their questions, if we go too fast, they will feel no connection with you. Prospective customers have their own pace, so don’t rush them.
Mistakes When Connecting With Prospective Customers
A friend of mine said this very thing happened to her. She is an accounting professional who uses the latest cloud based accounting software called Xero. It’s pretty new software in North America and many people aren’t familiar with it, preferring an accounting program called Quick Books. When a prospective customer called her asking about accounting/bookkeeping services, she talked about how great Xero was, even though the prospect had never heard of it. He wasn’t interested in hearing about Xero as he had been using Quick Books for many years.
This is the bookkeeping program he is familiar with and was inquiring about. My friend realized when she had hung up the phone that she hadn’t connected with this potential client because she was way ahead of him. He didn’t end up becoming a customer.
What should have done instead? My accounting friend could have used this technique, recommended by Pat Duckworth.
1. First Ask A General Question
Start with something like
“Do you have a problem with your bookkeeping/accounting at the moment?”
Listen to the answer and then paraphrase the answer back to the person using their own words. This way they know you understand the question asked. Something like:
“You have explained that your current bookkeeper takes weeks to post the entries every month into Quick Books, is that right?”
2. Ask the Follow Up Questions One At A Time
Let The Customer Lead The Pace
“Can you tell me more about this?”
By asking the questions one by one you are clarifying each question rather than jumping ahead and assuming you know both the questions and answers. Jumping ahead can confuse your prospective customer because it can catch them off guard and down a path that is nowhere near addressing their immediate problem.
3. Developing Trust In Just A Few Minutes
Once you have let the prospective client truly explain their problem and they know you understand them, you have quickly established the trust factor. Once there is trust, it is easy to continue the connection and eventually turn the prospect into a customer.
Tune into the Fabulous Fempreneurship podcast to hear how expert, Pat Duckworth, leads you through the whole process of building trust with prospective customers. You will be amazed how simple it is and you aren’t selling a thing!