What If Everything’s Important? (Part 2: ‘How To Be Your Prospects’ Priority’)

As business owners, we’re bombarded every day with messages, things to do, ways to innovate, plans to make for the future; the list is endless.

Amidst all this noise, it is easy to forget that we’re not the only ones in this position.

Our clients and customers face exactly the same prioritisation challenges. They too are trying to juggle all the things they have to do and make the most of their valuable and limited time; so don’t be confused if they don’t grant it you. Their time is precious; you have to earn it first.

So… how do you get on your client’s or customer’s priority list? How do you earn their time? The answer: Make your business desirable. Make them want to do business with you.

Here are 5 tips to get you started:

  1. Connect: Focus on building good relationships right from the first encounter. People love great conversation and your clients are no different. Keep in mind that small talk can often feel stilted and insincere – instead, make real conversation with your prospects. Ask questions; engage with them about what is going on in their lives. You want to identify how you can help them and build trust. And don’t forget that some people don’t want to talk, so be aware and responsive and recognise when it is time to move things on.
  2. Individualise: Where your customers receive a steady and sometimes overwhelming stream of marketing and sales messages they will invariably tune them out. To overcome this you need to give them a reason to listen, by tailoring your message to respond to their individual situation:
    – Avoid a seller-orientated sales approach. Instead, be client-orientated and clear about the benefits your offering presents.
    – Avoid preaching and hard, negative statements. You want your clients to feel at ease around you. Be positive, discuss and make suggestions instead.
  3. Understand: Customers prefer to buy from people who understand them. Guide them through exactly how your product or service will meet their needs or resolve their problems. Avoid bombarding them with features. Instead, select elements of your offering that are most relevant to their priorities and translate them into benefits. 
  4. Streamline: Understand your client’s priorities and discover what is important to them. Ensure your processes reflect this. For example, does every customer need to fill out a satisfaction survey every time they use your service?  Does every new client need a 30-minute induction? Respect their time, they don’t expect you to surpass their expectations on everything and most don’t want to wait while you try. Focus instead on performing well in key areas and surpassing expectation on one detail.
  5. Stand out: Ask for attention or you could be waiting a long time for them to notice you have something of value to offer. Be enthusiastic about your business.  It is energising, uplifting and a powerful influencer. Enthusiasm and confidence make people want to connect with you. If you look like and sound like you have something they need to hear, they are much more likely to give you time in which to say it.

It’s frustrating when you try to sell, follow up a lead or arrange a meeting, and your prospect gives you the brush off. The familiar: ‘I’ll call you next week’; ‘we’ll bear you in mind’; ‘drop me an email’, can be discouraging. Don’t be despondent. With a little fine tuning, you can easily make your business more desirable to clients and customers.

How do you ensure you are a priority for your clients?

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