I spoke with several coaching clients these last few weeks who were struggling with leads.
Some didn’t know how and where to find enough “good ones.”
Others were finding them, but not getting enough response from their initial outreach efforts.
The place to start fixing these two critical, life-and-death-of-your-pipeline problems is exactly the same.
WHAT’S THE PROBLEM
If you want to fix this pipeline problem the right way, you need to start at the other side of the equation – with the perspective of the customer.
Imagine yourself on the receiving end of a phone call or an email from someone you don’t know. In this case, it doesn’t really matter if it is a purely cold contact (meaning that there has never been any communication between the salesperson or company and the prospect) or if the first direct contact was set up with some warm effort beforehand (content, event, etc.).
In both cases, the perspective of the prospect is the same:
“Why are you contacting me and why should I care?”
PROSPECTS DON’T CARE ABOUT YOU AND WHAT YOU SELL
Unfortunately, most salespeople approach this question of why the customer should care from the exact wrong place – their product or service. That sounds something like this:
“Hi <name>, I’m calling to TELL you about OUR awesome <thing they sell>.”
“…I’m calling because we provide world-class safety solutions, or marketing solutions, or fully integrated web solutions……”
SO WHAT SHOULD YOU DO INSTEAD?
Try instead to open your conversations by telling people who you help and how.
It’s an old technique, but that doesn’t make it a bad one. Failing to do it right is what makes it a bad one, but more on that in a minute – for now, here is what this approach might sound like:
“I’m Jim from ABC manufacturing. We help industrial and manufacturing companies save money on safety equipment and related issues with quality products properly deployed and managed across the entire organization.”
“Hi, I’m Bob from Webco. We help small and medium-sized businesses get more leads from their web pages through…..”
THE WORD “HELP” FEELS LIKE THE TRICK, BUT IT ISN’T
When people hear about this technique, some think the magic happens because of the word help, and it doesn’t matter what comes after – because you’re not a salesperson now, you’ve identified yourself as a helper.
That couldn’t be more wrong.
This approach will work IF AND ONLY IF you take a DEEP dive into what problems you really solve for your customers from their perspective.
No – really – deeper than that. The answer can’t be your product or solution or some corporate speak from the perspective of the seller and your company.
Instead, focus deeply on what your prospect or customer is thinking about as they sit at their desk considering the situation they are in that could be positively impacted by what you sell?
That’s where you want to start.
Then go deeper.
The more you can really connect with this, the more effectively you will connect with your prospects and customers when you make outreach efforts.
To do this right, it will take some time. Ideally, you will never stop thinking about it, and the effort will be ongoing – but this is an investment in mental energy that will definitely pay off.
HOW CAN YOU GET STARTED?
- Ask your best customers why they work with you and not your competitor, and what it is about the way you work with them that differentiates you.
- Ask them what it is about working with people who sell what you do that really bothers them.
- Ask them what kinds of problems come up around buying the stuff you will that you help them alleviate.
Questions like these will help get you to see the problems you (and your product or service) really solve from the customers perspective.
Use these after the word “help” in this technique, and it will resonate.
Use your product or service description after the word “help” and you’ll sound like everyone else, even if you say “help” and “solution” like it does on your companies web site.
The devil is in the details, and this is pretty subtle and nuanced stuff – but increased traction, customer engagement, and success are waiting for you if you really dig into this.
Want better leads and leads that convert better?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Hi, I’m David Masover. With nearly three decades of B2B sales experience, I work as a private practice Sales Force Development Consultant. I help company leaders understand the root causes of sales issues that keep revenue from growing as fast as it could, and to fix those problems through work with reps, managers, systems, processes, strategies, and tools. You can learn more about me and my work and/or get in touch with me here at my web site www.davidmasover.com/contact/ or on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/masover/