It takes more than great prices and great products to win over customers today! The number one opportunity in your business right now lies in improving your communication. You may have a great message, but if that message never gets through to your customers, it doesn’t matter.
There are four questions customers ask before they fully engage. How these questions are answered ultimately determines how your message is received and if it is received at all. To be clear, these questions have nothing to do with the features of your products. They are much more personal; yet, they are the same for everyone. These influential questions are: Why listen? Who cares? So what? and Why now?
Your customers may not come right out and ask you these questions directly, but that doesn’t mean they’re not asking them. The best communicators listen beyond the words, understanding that sometimes the words don’t even matter. When you can answer these questions with confidence, connection, and congruency, everything changes! The business of our business is people, and it’s the way that we treat each person and the way that we communicate personal value which matters most.
The first question your customers are asking is: why listen? They want to know why on Earth they should listen to you. Here is the good news: you do not have to be the best at what you do; you do not have to be the smartest; you do not have to be the most talented, and you do not have to spend weeks establishing credibility or building trust. All you have to do is be likable. If they like you, they’ll listen to you!
The 1st Law of Influential Conversations is: Style is more important than substance initially. Face it, we all like people who are just like us or how we’d like to be! Your customers are no different, and they all communicate in their own way. When our customers perceive us to be different from them or how they’d like to be, our message loses its influence. The best communicators tailor their style and approach by quickly identifying keywords and phrases that most resonate, by taking special care to speak in a tone, volume, and tempo that is most pleasing, and by using an adaptive body language to create the most familiarity and alliance. Moreover, the best communicators ensure that their words, voice, and body language are all communicating the same message.
When we tailor our style to each customer, it not only puts us in a position where our customers want to hear what we have to say, but it is also the only way to truly acknowledge, respect, and enjoy their differences.
The second question your customers are asking is: who cares? They want to know that you understand them. Without a little empathy, we are flat-out handicapped in getting our message through to our customers because people don’t care what we know if we don’t know them! It’s not enough to have all the facts. It is their feelings, not your facts, that drive their behavior.
The 2nd Law of Influential Conversations is: Their feelings dominate your facts. Your customers are all led by six emotional motives. To feel important, to feel independent, to feel responsible, to feel secure, and to feel loved. The best communicators make each deal bigger and more meaningful to their customers by skillfully skipping the small-talk and asking really good personal questions, which help them learn, lead, and leverage what’s most important.
If we want to bring value, add value, and become persons of real value to our customers, we must align our messages with what really drives our customers.
When we discover the feelings that are motivating our customer’s behaviors, we can position our messages so that they’re not just received, but so they hit home and make perfect sense.
The third question your customers are asking is: so what? Customers want to know how your product impacts them and their lives specifically. We all want to be able to lead others to take action and do business with us. Unfortunately, the only way anyone does anything is if they want to do it. It’s not enough to provide your customers with reasons to buy. Your customers have to personally own the reasons to move forward. After all, customers buy for their reasons, not ours!
The 3rd Law of Influential Conversations is: Their words matter more. Their words matter more because when they say it, they take ownership of it! It’s all about taking what you know needs to be said, and guiding your customers to seek it, see it, and say it. The best communicators don’t pitch. Instead, they paint pictures that help customers see themselves needing their product, they tell stories that allow customers to see themselves enjoying their product, and then they ask key questions that help customers articulate exactly why they should be buying their product.
When we help our customers experience exactly how our product impacts them and their lives, then our customers will be able to articulate exactly why they should move forward. Again, when they say it, they own it!
The fourth question your customers are asking is: why now? They want to know why a decision should be made now, versus later, or not at all. One thing is for certain: our customers will not take action until they want to take action. Urgency is not found in your customers simply watching or listening to someone or something. Urgency is created when your customers interact and experience something that is meaningful and exciting. Is your process fast, fun, and interactive?
The 4th Law of Influential Conversations is: Interaction fuels action. The best communicators leverage the momentum that is produced through interaction to create an environment where their customers want to move forward. Nothing inspires action more than genuine interaction, but genuine interaction can only happen when both you and your customers are completing a task together. This could be filling out a survey together, completing an application together, experiencing a product together, or selecting various options together. What’s important is that whatever action you’re taking, you’re taking it together! When we work with our customers and not just work for our customers, the whole deal becomes something that has mutual purpose with urgency, and everyone will want to see it through.
The number one opportunity in your business right now lies in improving your communication. It’s not enough to have a great message. We have to communicate in a way in which our message gets through to our customers. Answering the influential questions above with confidence, connection, and congruency, changes everything! When more customers know why they should listen to you, when more customers feel that you understand them, when more customers understand how your product impacts them specifically, and when more customers clearly see why they should act now, more sales are sure to follow.
Mike is obsessed with helping others build personal influence, become trusted advisors, and leverage solutions that are aligned with their customers' most powerful buying motives.
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