“Think like a wise man but communicate in the language of the people.” – William Butler Yeats
And that sums it all. Properly communicating with prospective clients is seriously important. When you fail to communicate properly and in the language your prospective clients understand, you lose a business opportunity. And being in the service industry, you can’t take it less seriously.
Even if the ultimate goal of communicating with prospective clients is to sell your services, but that does not mean you should try hard and sell your services in the first go. When a customer approaches you, or you approach a customer, the goal of your interaction should be to guide the customer in the right direction, so they can decide.
It is actually very essential that you reach out to your prospective clients in efficient and professional ways. The mode of communication is a pivotal way of growing any business and you have to master the art of communicating with prospective clients. When you communicate to your prospective client, you have to understand their needs, budget, schedule etc. if you are running a small business and you are looking after client communications then this is the post worth reading. I am going to share a few quick and simple tips for communicating with prospective clients.
How to communicate with prospective clients
When a prospective client approaches you, they are actually looking for a solution to their problem. And your approach and positioning can actually help them understand that you can offer a solution. How you position and communicate can make all the difference;
Here are a few of the basics that you should keep in mind when communicating with prospective clients;
1. Listen and understand the requirement
We have got two ears and one mouth for a reason. We are supposed to listen more and speak less. When you are communicating with a prospective client, make a habit of listening. When you listen, you actually get to understand about the problem and issue the prospective client may have. Listen carefully and without interrupting your client. Get to know the issue they are facing and then speak. If required, you can carry forward the communication and tell your client that you have a few more questions and you will be happy to email it to them so they can reply as many as possible. This approach can be highly effective for larger and complicated projects.
2. Ask smart set of questions
It’s seriously important to ask right set of questions. When you ask right set of questions about the project or issues, you will be able to offer best possible solution. In fact, by asking smart set of questions, you can actually impress your client.
For example, assume you represent a website development company and when you meet a client, if you don’t ask relevant questions, your client may assume that you are not so serious or smart. How can you design a website or logo for that matter without knowing the purpose, mission, vision and objective of branding or having a website?
3. Be honest and confidence in communicating
Be honest and confident while communicating. Making false promises like presenting false data and wrong information will take you nowhere. Offer your best solution in a language that the prospective clients can understand and you win. When you are communicating with your client, your way of sitting, talking, presenting things will be taken in to consideration. You cannot come up in informal party wear and sit cross legged while dealing with your client. You must have a proper formal wear; you must carry all the required documents and identity proofs, the pamphlets and brochures of your company so that the client can understand the points easily.
4. Communicate to help not to sell
In many occasions, your client may not communicate well with you. May be they are actually don’t know what best for them. This happens more often in case of creative kind of services like website development or interior designing or wedding planning. Client may not have real idea of what they are actually looking for. It’s your responsibility to understand their problem and guide them to a solution that best suits them.
Offer genuine and expert opinion and add value. When a potential customer knows that you are truly after helping them, chances of conversion improves dramatically. When your intent is to help, sell will happen naturally.
5. Revert on time
Reverting on time is seriously important, especially for small service business when the customer is in hurry. You can’t afford to delay in responding. In today’s world, where everyone has a mobile phone with internet, people don’t want to wait. If you are not reverting on time, they can approach other agencies and you lose a business.
Reverting back on time is more important than anything else. Whether it’s sending updates, or answering questions asked by a client, or sending proposal or quotations. If you can’t revert to your prospects on time, chances are you will not revert on time when your client needs you. Not reverting on time can be disastrous to your business.
6. Be punctual
It’s better to meet the client in person, especially for service related business. In case of pre-scheduled meetings, you should always reach on time. Always be punctual and reach on or before time for a client meeting. If the time of meeting is fixed at 10.00am, then it must not be 10.15am. And when you know you will be late, let your client know with genuine reason.
7. Post meeting follow-up
It’s really hard to find a prospect and get a meeting done. In many cases, client may need some time to make up their mind or compare rates from another business or just because they plan to use the service in near future. And that’s why it important to keep in touch. When you keep in touch with your prospect, you may finally win the business.
After every meeting, I send a mail to thank my prospect and convey the minutes of the meeting we concluded and next steps. It helps me share my contact detail and also create an impression that I am well organize and give importance to the client. Even if they need time, they have my contact details and they can reach out to me, whenever they need. Hope you get the point. Grab every opportunity to impress your prospect.
When it’s about communicating with prospective clients, you can’t afford to get it wrong. Properly communicating with prospective client is also important because they are yet to trust you. This is your chance to win over and impress your prospect so they do business with you.
And here’s what you can do to get it right.
- Listen carefully without interrupting
- Understand the needs of your prospect by asking smart questions
- Be honest and confident in communicating
- Communicate with the intent of helping instead of selling
- Always revert on time
- Be punctual
What else do you think one should keep in mind while communicating with prospective clients?