Would softening your sales pitch help you convert more leads into customers? Are you losing customers after you win them due to a lack of transparency regarding service or product delivery issues?
Soften your pitch by acknowledging what the lead is doing well or right.
No one likes to be told that they’re not doing their job well, or to be made to feel as though the general perception is that they’re not doing things the right way. Before you point out what a lead has been losing or missing out on, point out something the lead has been doing right.
If you’re planning on explaining out how a lead’s lack of a certain piece of hardware or software is causing them to lose sales or cap employee productivity levels, you might first want to compliment the lead on how well they’ve been doing despite having outdated or inadequate technologies.
Compliments go a long way. Before you criticize or sweep in with your perfect solution, acknowledge something good about the work your prospective customer has been doing. The compliment can be personal or about the lead’s company. A thoughtful, positive remark about a marketing piece for which you know a person is directly responsible or acknowledging that a person’s company has achieved accolades for customer service or success in some other area—before you begin drilling into the lead’s pain points and giving your pitch—can help you establish trust and allow your sales pitch go down more smoothly.
Come through, and when you can’t come through, come clean.
Great! You’ve won a new customer. Now, you need to deliver what you promised at the time you promised you’d deliver it.
What do you do when you’ve promised something you can’t deliver, or can’t deliver what you promised on time? As soon as you know there could be a problem with delivery, let the customer know. Explain the problem and the steps you’re taking to correct it, and agree upon a new solution or delivery date. If you wait until the last minute to let the customer know that a setback has occurred, you run the risk of causing the customer to have to change their internal plans quickly; in other words, you run the risk of causing the customer to sweat.
Whatever you do, you don’t want to make your customer work harder. You’re supposed to be there to make the customer’s life easier! By being transparent about issues that arise and the corrective steps you’re taking to resolve them, you can build trust, enhance your partnership, and minimize disappointment. Adjusting the customer’s expectations early on is always a better idea than surprising them with bad news at the final hour.
Make no mistake: Lead nurturing begins at the first touch and continues (or should continue) even after the lead has been converted into a customer. Make the most out of your first encounter with a lead by looking at your sales pitch from the lead’s point of view and acknowledging what the lead has been doing well or right in addition to pointing out trouble spots. Then, keep nurturing your lead-turned-customer by being transparent regarding product or service delivery issues and the corrective actions you’re taking to resolve them. Acknowledging leads’ successes and being more transparent when it comes to your internal processes are two relatively easy things you can do to win more B2B customers and keep them for the long haul.