What do customers really want from you?
When prospecting for new business, there are different conversations required to suit different situations so chatting during a network event is different from pitching an elevator speech in the proverbial elevator because your potential customers are different.
Problems with elevator pitches
The common problem with elevator pitches is that they often fall into a rhythm of what we do, our skills and experience – which is great as an aide memoir – but do you ever notice the recipient’s eyes starting to glaze over?
Your elevator speech is not about you. It’s about what you can do for someone otherwise why would they be interested. It’s like meeting some nice at a party and want to get to know them better. What follows (hopefully) is a two-way conversation by being interesting and listening. Do you think this works better than a monologue? You bet!
I often improve my elevator speech to find what works best and a good trick is to record it on video and play it back. When I first used video I felt it was a good take but on playback it was awful, lacking any spark and showing no interest in any recipient’s problem other than beginning with “I help…….”
Making that emotional connection
The secret of a good elevator pitch is to establish an emotional connection with the prospect and you can’t do that if you only talk about you. Why? Because once they realise you might be a provider of a possible solution they’ll start to warm to you, making you memorable, which is a more powerful motivator than any fact-based benefits you serve up.
Once prospects like you they’ll open up about other problems they want solutions to. By exploring these through conversation enables you to showcase possible solutions (without going overboard). Continuing the conversation means you to delve even deeper to learn even more and start building a firm relationship. See the relationship through their eyes.
Relationships are changing
Lots of companies who form great relationships with the client at the start find the contact cooling as it becomes more about efficient and effective processes, budgets and delivery times. There’s nothing wrong with that except the playing field is changing, and changing quite dramatically.
Customers now want and expect a better level of personalisation and those businesses who tune into this more attentive position will certainly thrive. This builds client confidence, integrity and a developing pride which in turn creates passion and advocacy for you brand. Clients become proud of the relationship. Your responsibility is then not to let them nor your own brand’s integrity down.
Constantly delighted customers
This whole emotional package is about constantly delighting your customers in ways your competitors aren’t, small things like promising delivery in say 4 days but delivering in 2. Customers notice and are pleased. Anyone in your business who has any contact with customers, needs to be in the picture, trained in managing this type of relationship, and disseminate feedback within the team.
When you deal with large organisations as a supplier, it’s important to understand what worries them most is not whether you can do the job but that they made the right decision in choosing you. If you fail, they fail in the eyes of their peers, which can affect their bonuses, their standing, or even their continued employment. I’ve worked with the main boards of several large global retailers and this is a common response to what keeps them awake at night, and it is a purely emotional one.
What else matters to customers?
Apart from forming productive relationships, customers want you to meet their expectations. They want to be able to contact a relevant human easily, and through more than one channel. They want you to respond to them in a timely fashion, solve their problems and feel their business means something to you (avoid impersonal answerphone style responses such as “thank you for calling, your message is important to us……….” – because it obviously isn’t!).
Above all, customers don’t want to be ignored, forgotten about or perceive they’ve fallen off your radar. So, demonstrate their importance to your business every time. Your mission, like your elevator speech, is to delight them, constantly!
My next blog will be about hot desking vs co-working.
Gerry Westwood. 8th September 2017. Article for CambridgeSpace Blog.
Keywords: elevator speech tips, video your elevator speech, emotional relationship building, constantly delighted customers, what matters to customers,