3 steps to create a closer bond with your client
One of the main challenges we face when visiting a prospective client is knowing beforehand the information that should be gathered in order to make the most of those “30/45 minutes” that are allowed for a first meeting.
Persuading a demanding, highly informed client will require an outstanding effort from us.
What are the changes that made it possible for clients to obtain so much information?
First of all, technology, and by technology I mean any tool, platform or knowledge you should also have in mind if you are to be considered trustworthy.
There are several ways to move towards Customer Intimacy.
I would like to show you 3 phases that will help you assess information better, so that you may reap the benefits when it comes to focusing on the client.
Phase 1: Detection and analysis
This phase is made up of 3 sub-phases: clients, competitors and the person you are to speak to.
You just had a conversation with your client. The meeting that was scheduled for next week has been confirmed. Great!
When you start the analysis of your client (keep in mind that you will be meeting him/her in short) you must consider several aspects: type of client, market niche, areas of expertise...
All this information will help you put up the proper questions to find out whether they have a need, what kind of need it is and, above all, if the necessary budget is available to them.
But... what if your competitors have been there before you? Well, you should keep in mind who your competitor or competitors are, what they offer, whether they are already selling their products or services to your prospective client or else what they offer.
You must know your competitors. When you meet a client, you must ask the proper questions to find out what happened before your meeting with your client.
The following step consists in finding out more on your contact person. After all, perhaps the person who gives you access to the first meeting is not the one who will buy your product/service.
Analyze and find out more information on the people in the company. A fascinating tool to obtain a picture of a company’s organization chart is Linkedin Sales Solutions.
Don’t forget you need to know to whom your sale is targeted and who the buyer will be.
In short, the current phase is just the beginning of the sales process: you start with a relationship and knowledge to further on build a proposal that provides the solution to the need.
Phase 2: Building a Proposal
Congratulations! Your client considers you a proper contact person and asks you to submit a proposal. You are now in the previous stage to building the proposal.
Let me give you some advice: before you start building your proposal, carefully gather and read the notes you took in the meeting with your client. You must be careful not to forget a single detail of everything you discussed in the meeting.
The following step in the generation of the proposal should highlight the attributes that meet the client’s needs you previously identified in Phase 1.
The proposal should include the value of your product/service, which should be stated clearly and properly (keep in mind that you will need to explain it later).
Above all, it should make an understandable difference in terms of providing value.
The difference in terms of providing value is relevant, because if it is not shown in your proposal your client won’t be able to understand it. Comparisons will be made in terms of price, and that’s not what you want.
What happens if your product/service has a higher price than that of your competitor?
- Carefully consider your client’s need to buy, and, above all, the budget.
- Emphasize your value by previously knowing your competitors. This action will make it possible for you to back up your presentation with facts to clearly state your competitive difference, which is what will make your client pay some more money and choose what you offer.
Phase 3: Presenting and Discussing the proposal
The time has come to submit your proposal to your client. Several scenarios may come up now, so you should better be ready and practice discussing your presentation as much as possible. Remember to give your client the pills to action the “buying levers” in him/her.
Never mention prices when presenting your proposal. This should be mentioned at the end. If your client interrupts you and is only interested in price, you should be wise enough to bring the conversation back to your goal, as this is the only way you have to state your value.
Do not provide interpretations, just confirmations.
These are the best possible arguments to minimise objections (which will arise for sure).
You need to find a way to exceed your client expectations while fulfilling your business commitments. Your services must be adapted to any particularities of your client.
In short, if your proposal costs 10 and that of your competitors costs 8, you should take the following into account: your client has already “bought” into a proposal that costs 8, now you just need to differentiate yourself and provide arguments for the increase (2).
Don’t forget to ask your client to provide feedback when you introduce your proposal. This is the best way to foster a feeling of closeness and to generate confidence so that you may start building a close relationship with your client.