If you’ve spent time in sales, you know that there is an unlimited supply of content about best practices that focus on communicating with prospects. Within your own organization, you’ve probably spent countless hours and meetings going over strategy, process, and outbound approach. You likely have an abundance of metrics that track your outbound activity.
Most of those discussions and metrics are important to have so you clearly understand how to get in front of your ideal prospect. However, what does getting in front of your ideal prospect matter if you can’t effectively communicate in that critical first meeting? Having your elevator pitch down (while important) is not what effective communication is about.
A few weeks ago I posted on LinkedIn about how communicating with prospects can be somewhat compared to communicating in a relationship with a significant other. While these relationships are not of equal importance. You can learn a lot about communicating with your prospect by reflecting on the valuable relationships in your life.
American Entrepreneur and motivational speaker Jim Rohn once said, “If you just communicate, you can get by. But if you communicate skillfully, you can work miracles.” When meeting with our prospects, our goal is not just to get by, but to succeed. We must be skillful communicators.
Here are three tips so “you can work miracles!”
Listen and Inquire
During your first coveted meeting, as on your first date, things will tend to go much better if you spend more time listening and asking about them, instead of dropping your practiced elevator pitch right away. I cannot imagine my wife going on a second date with me if I started off with how great I am and all the problems I can solve.
Listen, ask, and repeat.
After you’ve listened to your prospect and clearly understand their needs, be honest about how you can serve them. You can’t solve everything, so don’t pretend you can. Honesty goes a long way. Even if you don’t land that coveted deal, most prospects will appreciate the honesty and maybe you just made a great referral partner.
Give First, Don’t Take First
I know, I know, we are in sales. However, communicating with prospects about what you can give instead of approaching the conversation with what you can “take” is important. Successful relationships are full of give and take. However, if you are looking out for your needs first, it will clearly show and could be your downfall.
Communication is not one-size-fits-all. However, the three principles above can be worked into everyone’s style; yet, they are often overlooked. If you want to do more than just get by and get more than a first meeting. Build upon these simple tips and develop your version of skillful communication.
This article was written by Tom Orsat. Tom has been working with Rubico for many years as an Engagement Architect. He is based in Austin, Texas. For further information about Tom, check out his LinkedIn.