By Caroline Creedon
Keeping up good communication is a priceless skill. Whether it’s with your team members, your clients, or even your family and friends, communication is the heart of nurturing your relationships and keeping good things going.
When it comes to running a business, we often get so caught up in trying to make our pitch that we let our communication skills slip when we’re talking to potential clients. I’m about to introduce a super-simple 3-step process to help you open a dialogue with your prospects and convert that dialogue into a partnership.
This process has been tried, tested, and tweaked to perfection and now it’s time to pass the learnings on to you. It’s all about how you can reach out to new prospects as well as past clients you’d like to re-engage.
The first problem we often see with business owners’ attempts at striking up a conversation with a business prospect is the conversation is too broad or too impersonal. For example, you might be trying to connect with a prospect by copy-and-pasting the same message you’re sending to ten other people. Heads up – nine times out of ten they can tell you’re doing just that!
Another especially common hurdle we see through on social media ads where we tend to send out messages that are very broad and don’t really speak to anyone in particular.
Now, don’t get me wrong, this is not a notice to halt all the things you may already be doing. Instead, this is a process you can do on top of what you’re already doing to help narrow your focus and improve your results.
The first step is to create an event – this can be in-person or digital, but I don’t recommend trying a webinar for this purpose. This event is an opportunity for people to come behind the curtain of your business and learn more about what you do and, most importantly, how you can solve a problem they might have. It’s a chance to welcome people to an intimate conversation with the experts.
You might even go as far as to call it a “VIP event” for a very select few people (10-15 people max) you genuinely believe you can help, and focus the event on a specific topic. Note that you might want to avoid focusing the event on one product as this can come across as too “salesy” and less inviting. Instead, focus on a particular gap your prospects may have in their lives and use that to show them you can fill that gap. You’ll also find a general Q&A session will be a huge help.
Remember, these are people you want to do business with, so when you get them into the event, you need to try to understand what they want. This is the second step. Find out exactly what that gap in their life looks like by asking two simple questions (and writing down their answers):
- The Dream Question: What would need to happen in the next 3-6 months for your dream to become a reality?
- The Kryptonite Question: What might stop you from making that dream come true?
The third and final step is to follow up. This can be as simple as writing an email or making a quick phone call (phone calls are much more personal) that sounds a bit like this: Hey, would you like some help making [that dream] come true and avoid that [kryptonite]? Call them out on what they revealed at your event as being their Everest and their potential pitfall, show them you were listening, and that you’ve got a specific plan to help them get there.
Here’s a quick recap on this three-step process to nailing prospect communication:
Step 1: Invite them in.
Step 2: Ask them those two questions.
Step 3: Follow up on their answers.
Now, remember, this event doesn’t have to be daunting. The smaller your audience, the more likely you are to get some really genuine answers and build sincere connections. Keep it simple and pay attention.
Finally, there’s no sale. There’s no pressure to close or make a deal or get clicks in this VIP event. It’s literally just about opening your business up for questions from prospects, and the offer comes in the follow-up, not in the pitch (hint – there is no pitch).
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