Talking to people, not technology
For some time now, our focus has been firmly fixed on the pandemic.
Are you tired of that sentence yet? I will try my best not to refer to that unprecedented disaster again in this blog.
There is a huge focus on sales, and everyone has been listening and learning and adapting to the new way of selling. The truth of the matter is that selling has not changed that dramatically when it comes to the IT sector. Yes, the face-to-face pitch is great, and it does help you gauge your client’s response to what you are peddling, but at the end of the day, it’s how you land the message, and whether or not you piqued or captured the customer’s interest.
Tech talk vs straight talk
We often get so bogged down with technical details when we describe how a product or service can do “this and that for you that we forget the actual reason why we are engaging with a client in the first place …
The customer has a need… We need to listen and understand the issues or blockers that customers have. We need to engage in a way that keeps them thinking and we need to prioritize what they need as opposed to just which clever tech tool we can sell them.
I’m sure there are many sales/pre-sales ladies and gents and/or even subject matter experts who can talk tech for hours and hours around a product. I know I can. But what is the focus of the conversation? Where must we point that sales needle? Where are we showing the most value or Return on Investment (RoI)?
Making a wise investment
Keep in mind that a call with a client is an investment. You are investing your time and skill for the duration of the call, and your client is investing their time in your expertise and knowledge!
Here are 4 important tips to improve your client conversation:
1 – Drive relevant points home
An important part of any sales call process is being able to explain your products and services in simple terms. Steer clear of too many technical terms and industry jargon. If your prospect doesn’t understand what you’re calling about in the first place, we all know what the outcome will be.
2 – Make sure the customer is engaged
Stories are a powerful way to connect with your prospects and keep them engaged during a call. Relevant and meaningful stories, not complicated tech talk, help establish trust, build rapport and make complex concepts easier to understand.
3 – Ask relevant questions at the right time
Asking leading questions and really listening to the responses will give you a better understanding of a prospect’s needs, challenges, and pain points. This allows you to customize your pitch and increase the chances of closing the sale.
4 – Above all else – leave a positive impression
Your prospect or client should look forward to the next conversation with you. Create a thirst for the possibilities that you have shared with them during your engagement. I like to say: “Always leave them wanting more of your time”.
Yes, first impressions count but impressions are not everything, I can be impressed but not necessarily interested in what you are selling.
“Not all people are salespeople” is not necessarily true! Everyone sells their understanding or experience or knowledge and as professionals, we see this as being critical to making a sale and yes, it is, but that’s not all it is.
I recently attended a session and heard something that has stayed with me. The speaker said, “If you get pulled over by a traffic officer, depending on how you tell (sell) your story, you might get out of paying a ticket.”
It’s a simple yet effective point. We all have it in us, all we need to do is harness the strengths we have and use them to get the most out of any interactions within our own teams as well as with potential clients. Talk to people, not technology.