There are few more frustrating experiences than explaining how your product or service can benefit a prospect only to have them totally miss the point. You see clearly how your prospective client can implement your solution and save time, money, grow sales, or whatever the outcome will be, but you can’t seem to communicate it effectively enough to get them to share your vision and buy from you.
But what if they did get? What if you figured out how to nail that conversation and were able to easily say the right words that resonate with your prospect so that you both waste less time and decide if taking the conversation to the next step makes sense?
Understanding Client Pain Points
When you meet with prospects in the relationship building stage, your primary job is to listen to how they describe their problems and pain points.
The exact language they use are the same words you want to use when you’re explaining what they can achieve by employing your services or products.
For example, if you build websites as a service, when you talk to someone who wants a new website, here is something they may say, “I spend a lot of time explaining how our approach to delivering school lunches is different from our competitors’ approach. I need a way to show people our salad bar and how it’s different from a pre-made grab-and-go experience and helps children learn how to make healthy food choices.”
When you tell them about how your process to building successful websites and say things like “We use video on all of our websites to make sure your marketing message comes through,” they may not be able to envision how you’ll be able to help them.
A more specific response would be, “It sounds like your best customers truly understand the difference between your lunch service and your competitors’ service.
If the first thing a visitor to your website sees is a line of students standing still with their plates in their hands by your salad bar waiting to make their own choices, would that help you show your clients the value of your service and how it’s unique?”
The second version of this response will inspire the prospect to want that website as soon as possible and they’ll think you really understand what they’re trying to accomplish.
Figuring Out Client Needs — A Step-by-Step Process
Depending on the type of problem you typically solve for your client, or for that matter, what type of shiny object that you sell that they desire, make a list of questions that gets to the heart of what’s standing in their way between peace and the present moment.
Step 1: Growth and Problem-Solving Projects
If your prospective client is growing a business, they may be in the process of hiring new employees, developing a new marketing plan, raising money, improving their operational capacity, or launching a new product.
The tighter you’re able to niche your offer, the more specific you can get. Your job here is figure out what is paralyzing them from getting to their desired state.
Step 2: Ask What Activities Are Their Biggest Time Suck
Most people are so busy that they don’t have time to get everything done and this keeps them from getting to their desired state. That’s why they need help. Even though there are thousands of companies who build websites, it’s not easy to find time to figure out which one they want to hire if they’ve never done it before.
If you’re prospects are mired in daily activities such as responding to email, servicing clients, training new hires, or any number of other things, they may be feeling stressed about getting their larger important projects started and finished.
If you can figure out their biggest bottlenecks to not having time, you can identify pain points they’re experiencing around time management and communicate to them how you can solve their problem.
Step 3: Ask Them What Keeps Them Up at Night
Are they worried about cash flow, that their A+ talent is going to leave for new opportunities, about not having an important skill or tool to take the business further? What other stressors are they experiencing that is getting in between them and their passion and joy for their business?
By figuring out your prospective client’s struggles and stressors, you can figure out the gap that your product or service fills for them and you can craft your positioning.
This can be difficult for new entrepreneurs because you’ve been thinking about your offer in terms of what it does and how it works instead of the result after it’s used.
Going back to the website example, if you talk to people about your business in terms of building beautiful websites on WordPress and Squarespace with videos and email opt-ins, you’re going to lump yourself in with lots of other people who build websites.
Take your thoughts deeper on the transformational outcomes that your service brings about for your customers and you’ll find the language. This can take practice because you then must discuss the outcomes in the same language your customers use.
Once you figure out the magic words that convince your prospective client that you know exactly what problem they’re trying to solve, in a way that they know you truly get it, you’ll earn their trust.
They’ll be happy to do business with you as well as relieved that someone else understands what they’re trying to accomplish and how it makes an impact to their business.
If you prove you understand the outcome they’re seeking, by showing what you’ll deliver using words, you’ll communicate your value and close more business.
Belinda DiGiambattista is a serial entrepreneur, business coach, and outsourced financial controller and can be found at www.belindadi.com.