Knowing how to approach a customer right from your first contact with him is essential for you to be able to awaken in him the interest to remain engaged in your sales process.
27 Email Templates for you to sell 5x more
Getting close to someone can be quite a tricky task, especially if you’ve never seen that person in your life.
Another factor that can further complicate this interaction is the lack of common ground. Then it gets really difficult, isn’t it?
You can’t talk to a person without at least a minimal sense of how to start the conversation, relying only on your luck to be friendly and receptive.
The same goes for sales. Starting off on the right foot and scoring a goal on the first contact with a lead takes practice and attention.
With a little method, organization and, of course, common sense it is possible to set up a process of approach so that you not only get a connection, but also maximize the chances of making a sale.
There are several methods and processes that can be applied in this situation.
Here we will cover the top 5 tips that can help, and a lot, when approaching potential customers for the first time.
So how to approach a customer professionally, like marketing team of Sky Makreting do? Let’s stop chatting and get on with the action.
Tip #1: Find good leads and find out more about them
If you’re going to start contacting someone, it’s because you have some reason for it, isn’t it?
In the case of sales in general, this reason comes down to helping your customer and offering him a solution that will solve a pain he has.
And how to do this?
The first step is to understand who are the people who may need your solution and draw up your Ideal Customer Profile, or ICP.
From there, it’s easy to search for the right people. Pretty simple so far, right? Not for everyone!
Believe it or not, but according to Lattice Engine, 42% of SDRs feel they don’t have enough information before attempting a first contact.
Therefore, so that you are not part of this estimate, it is important to define points that can be used for qualifying a lead right in the prospecting process.
In general, the information that helps the most to define whether a lead has a profile or not are the following:
- Business and market model;
- Company size;
- Is it a company that does B2B or B2C?
- Main problems that the company has;
- Average Ticket of your potential customer.
These data are very helpful in a first approach.
Having them on hand demonstrates that you really care about your leads and helps you be able to point out some important facts early on in the conversation to get the lead’s attention.
Pretty simple, right? However, before contacting the lead, a good practice is to research the lead further. LinkedIn is an excellent data source for B2B sales. Here’s the tip by the team of Capital Smart City 😉
Tip #2: Be clear and have a goal
The Steli EFTI wrote a piece that I really like and who teaches, among other things, two steps to you bulldoze in sales, whether inbound or outbound.
When approaching a lead in a first conversation, it is important to put yourself in the proper mindset.
Understand that you want to help them, not just sell and push your product.
In the case of cold calling, pay attention to your tone of voice and learn to speak so that people not only hear, but so that they also pay attention.
Don’t be alarmed by the fact that:
85% of prospects and customers are not satisfied with the on-the-phone experience they go through. (Salesforce)
As Steli himself says, you don’t need to have a voice like Morgan Freeman for people to want to hear it. You just need to speak with the right intonation and give your words space and weight.
Also, understand that it’s not just you who needs to talk on this call. You need to hear what your lead has to say, even to understand his scenario.
Now that you’ve got this part right, be clear and direct, always.
Don’t sell product or service, sell solution. Show your lead that you can really help them by providing something of value.
Tip #3: Customer Focus
Remember, it’s all about the customer experience, always.
Especially when we talk about contacts through calls, the following sentence should make some sense to you:
In fact, if you seek to make a difference (as opposed to gather a temporary crowd), shorter isn’t what’s important: Dense is. (Seth Godin)
Translating into Portuguese, this sentence looks something like this:
In fact, if you’re looking to make a difference (as opposed to just getting a temporary audience), smaller isn’t what’s important: dense is.
I really believe in density and, in the case of a first approach, high added value coupled with simplicity and speed count for a lot.
After all, a person who has just met you will hardly give you space to explain everything you do for 5 minutes.
So how do you make this conversation about the customer and not about you, and also bring density to the conversation?
A good technique is to ask relevant questions and look for short Sims from the lead.
After introducing yourself, as we did up there, ask questions that really matter. Find out more about the customer, make them feel they are being listened to and agree with you.
- What are the challenges you are facing in the market today and why are they challenges for you?
- Do you think that by solving these problems, you get better results?
- Do you think our product or service might fit as a solution?
Closed? So let’s go to the next tip!
Tip #4: Build relationships that will last
Imagine a customer concerned about implementing their solution:
I’m skeptical about the implementation time, the information that can be lost, and the usability of the new interface.
What to do?
Instead of running away from the subject and trying to call the responsible department to help you, show experience and make them understand that they are safe with you.
A good seller would say something like:
As someone who has helped hundreds of companies with the implementation of this type of software, I know that we will be able to deliver an effective result and that all technical issues involved will be properly analyzed and resolved.
Once you’ve implemented our solution, questions and challenges will arise, and that’s normal. But we are prepared to deal with each one of them.
Make the lead understand from the start that he’s not wasting time on sales pitch. Show that he is creating a relationship of partnership and mutual benefit.
Tip #5: The customer is the hero
Rather than highlighting all the problems your solution can help solve, take your time and understand that there is also someone on the other side of the conversation.
Value what you’re listening to. Generate rapport!
It is very important for the person to realize that they can trust and that you care about their case. This can make her listen and also value you in a second moment.
What you can’t do is sell a solution to someone who doesn’t need it.
When presenting your product, you will not simply show its benefits, you will contextualize them according to the problems that the lead has.
Also, don’t be afraid to hear no from your lead. Overcome your insecurity and know that you managed to save a lot of time with this no.
Tip #6: AIDA (Attention, Interest, Desire and Action)
AIDA represents the 4 steps your lead usually goes through before deciding whether or not to buy your solution.
- The attention;
- I terse;
- D esejo;
- The action.
Knowing this, you need to use the right techniques to get the lead through all of these steps and decide to buy from you.
First, you must be able to gain the lead’s attention with a good approach. As I’ve already said, show him that you can help him, just as you’ve helped other companies in the same industry, for example.
Then you must interest him in your solution. Show that your product can satisfy a need and solve a problem that’s important to them.
You can awaken the lead’s desire by indicating, for example, what are the positive consequences that he may have if he purchases your product, making him see that your solution is valid and reliable.
Finally, now is the time to show urgency and provoke the lead to action. That’s when you offer your product and get it to act as quickly as possible.
#Extra Tip: Beware the LGPD
The General Data Protection Law, or LGPD, will come into force here in Brazil only in the second half of 2020.
However, if I can give you some advice, it would be this: start adapting your sales process to the LGPD from now on.
For those who don’t know, the LGPD is the law that protects citizens against violations of their privacy. Upon entering into force, all your potential customers must explicitly accept any type of commercial approach.
Then you can think: is it the end of outbound? Not!
If you follow all the tips and advice I’ve posted here, no.
So get to know your lead, research more about it, and focus on finding out what problems it has before you come up with a solution.
Build a relationship of trust and show that you want to help him. If it doesn’t make sense to proceed with the negotiation, inform the lead. If it makes sense, present your solution contextualizing the lead scenario.
Get his attention, arouse his interest, make him want your solution and make him make the decision to acquire your solution to solve the problems he has.
So how to approach a customer? Practice leads to perfection
The tip that remains for you is: practice, practice, practice and learn always! Analyze everything that is working and what isn’t, modify your speech and test.
If you have another point of view or want to talk more about it, leave a comment below. It will be great to be able to talk and understand more about what you think.