Having Meaningful Conversations is Both an Art and a Differentiator
Winning the attention of a prospect has never been more elusive for those seeking enterprise level print business. The homework has been done, the research verified, and you’ve identified a couple people in the organization that match your ideal persona. So, why can’t you get the meeting? Maybe they aren’t looking for the services you offer at the moment. Maybe your opening volley is a bit harsh. Or maybe they just aren’t interested in having a meeting – but they may be interested in having a conversation.
Conversations with strangers … remember those? The more digitized we become, the harder it is to have conversations, especially meaningful ones with people who don’t know or trust us yet. Email and texts have their place, but they can’t replace the connection we can build through a meaningful conversation. Face it, we’ve all become very guarded in all we do. We don’t answer the phone if we don’t recognize the caller ID, we don’t answer the door if someone rings the bell; it’s no wonder that it’s harder and harder to break through and connect with someone you don’t know.
Offering to engage in a meaningful conversation with a prospect can significantly enhance your ability to differentiate you and your business. Here are just a few examples:
- Connect the dots: Through meaningful conversations, you gain insights into the goals and challenges the person may have. You are able to validate the research you’ve done on the business. This allows you to customize your solution to their specific needs and it doesn’t sound like a canned response. Note: how many unsolicited pitches do you receive from people and organizations that can offer life-changing solutions to you, yet it’s apparent that they don’t know anything about your business and there is no fit at all.
- Begin a personal connection: Building rapport and establishing trust and credibility are table stakes. Meaningful conversations create a personal connection with you and the prospect. When we feel a connection, we are more likely to choose a solution that comes from a trusted and reliable source. Without these connections, you’ll be shown to the commodity window where the lowest price usually wins.
- Validate your expertise: Why should they work with you? Meaningful conversations allow you to share how others have trusted your business to fulfill their go to market needs. They allow you to share your industry knowledge and problem-solving If they feel you are very good at what you do, they may be more inclined to trust your recommendations and choose you over your competitors.
Finally, let me share this analogy: You go to the doctor because you aren’t feeling well. When the doc sees you, she immediately writes a prescription – without any conversation. How confident would that make you feel, and would you trust that the doc has your best interests in mind? Probably not. If you are in a sales role, don’t diagnose before doing the exam.
We collectively need to have more conversations and actually connect with those we rely on and trust to help us. Email and text messages certainly have their place but it’s tough to build trust only through a keyboard.
These are ideas for refining your sales approach to maximize your revenue generating efforts. In the meantime, if you have ideas or comments on the subject, please include them below. Good luck and remember, doing nothing certainly is an option, just not a great one!
Mike Philie can help validate what’s working and what may need to change in your business. Changing the trajectory of a business is difficult to do while simultaneously operating the core competencies. Mike provides strategy and insight to owners and CEOs in the Graphic Communications Industry by providing direct and realistic advice, not being afraid to voice the unpopular opinion and helping leaders navigate change through a common sense and practical approach. Learn more at www.philiegroup.com, LinkedIn or email at email@example.com.
Mike Philie leverages his 28 years of direct industry experience in sales, sales management and executive leadership to share what’s working for companies today and how to safely transform your business. Since 2007, he has been providing consulting services to privately held printing and mailing companies across North America.
Mike provides strategy and insight to owners and CEOs in the graphic communications industry by providing direct and realistic assessments, not being afraid to voice the unpopular opinion, and helping leaders navigate change through a common sense and practical approach.