It doesn’t matter if you are pitching an idea, promoting a product or delivering a service, to make a sale your customer needs to believe in you. But with only minutes to win them over, where do you start?
1. Communicate your why
If you are like many of us in business, there are hundreds if not thousands of people who do what you do. But not all of them do it for the same reasons you do.
To inspire, attract and recruit the customers you want, you need a cause or passion that is much bigger than the products or services you provide. Give your customers something to aspire to and believe in. As leadership expert Simon Sinek says, “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.”
2. Show your passion
Have you had the privilege of being around someone who is truly passionate about what they do? It is infectious. You can’t help but get excited and passionate right along with them.
When you get passionate about your business, you engage and excite your customers in the same way. By showing you believe in your products and services, you give your potential customers permission to believe in them too.
3. Speak ‘to’ them not ‘at’ them
Ultimately your customer wants to be heard and understood; that is why it is so important to talk to them and not at them. Your potential customers are people with real issues, frustrations, and needs, and they have come to you to get help.
For this reason, switch your focus from selling to solving. Instead of talking about generic features and benefits, ask questions. Get to know them, their business and the reason they need your product or service.
Their answers will give you the clues you need to develop a personalised pitch, which in turn will give them the belief you are the right person or company for the job.
4. Tell stories
To increase your customers’ belief in you, you need to establish your credibility. While you can talk about your background, qualifications and experience directly, telling stories is far more effective.
To show you understand a potential customer’s needs, share stories of how others with similar goals or frustrations used your product or service and the results or outcomes they achieved.
If you find yourself pitching a new concept or idea without any existing customer stories, then try using metaphors to increase their interest and understanding.
5. Be relatable
Be mindful of body language, the tone of voice and the words your customers use as this will indicate how they like to communicate and do business. If they have a relaxed approach, be relaxed. If they want to get straight to the point, then get down to business. Meet them at their level.
But don’t stop there. To be more relatable, you also need to find points in common. Do you share interests, passions or opinions? Have you experienced or solved similar frustrations? Do you have shared contacts? Are you in a similar phase of life or business? We all want to do business with ‘like-minded’ people.
You can help us (and help yourself)
Small and medium businesses and startups have never needed credible, independent journalism and information more than now.
That’s our job at SmartCompany: to keep you informed with the news, interviews and analysis you need to manage your way through this unprecedented crisis.
Now, there’s a way you can help us keep doing this: by becoming a SmartCompany supporter.
Even a small contribution will help us to keep doing the journalism that keeps Australia’s entrepreneurs informed.