© Tweeter Linder 2016 – All rights reserved. Photo by author
The first commercial teaching step is about establishing comfort and confidence. Instead of cold talk you need a warmer built around insights to frame your client meeting. Take the opportunity to make this a crisp element supporting the end goal of helping your client to take desired actions.
Skip sweeping trends
Sharing market trends is a safe choice for the early stages of a client interaction. These trends are often high level and generic so they are “right” and fit with any client’s view of the world. Trend descriptions rarely bring insights which reduce their value to your client.
It is hard to take presentations of trends beyond the obvious “what” a trend is about to the critical “so what” and “now what”. As a commercial teacher your aspirations is to help your client to see why a trend is important. from their perspective and in a way where they take actions.
Bring outside-in perspectives
Start with an outside in perspective on your client’s business. You are not in the room to learn from your client. You are there to bring insights to the table. You need to do your homework and find an outside in perspective on your clients business. Not for all but for the opportunity at hand you plan to address and influence.
Inspire customers to act now
You want to influence your client to take actions now. With that agenda you need to focus from start on insights that can trigger actions sooner rather than later. Skip all statements that are true but where the opportunity trigger is further out in time. Aim to aspire to areas of the nature created by record lottery stakes. “This week we have a record pool so buy a lottery ticket to be part of the draw”. Similar observations exists in most businesses.
Expected customer gains
A natural point to start is the positive gains your offering can create. By articulating the gains that shape the opportunity you start on a positive note. Focus on the expected outcomes rather than what create the gains. 2-3 gains is enough in your warmer.
Elimination of existing pains
Even though gains are great, it is the pains that most likely will trigger actions. A vital prioritization for any business is to decide which pains to support. By articulating your client’s pains you show and understanding of their business. The pains get even clearer when you articulate them with a number on the parameters in play. 3-5 pains is enough.
Questions for you and your team
- What do we know about our client’s needs – focus warming around their hot buttons on both pains and gains.
- Which major market trends force your client to take action now – select the topics that are most relevant triggers today.
- How much ice do we need to break through to establish a trustful communication – without trust the rest of your meeting will be tough.
- How do we best find more gains and pains – be humble in searching for gains and pains beyond your initial analysis.
Additional reading suggestions
- Challenger: Use a warmer to create credibility [BLOGPOST] – by Repeatable Success
- How marketers can inspire their customers to act [ARTICLE] – by Aj Agrawal, Forbes
- Fire up sales with warm up questions [BLOGPOST] – by Paul Cherry, The Side Road
- Five ways to make your customers feel warm and fuzzy [BLOGPOST] – by Heather Allard, American Express Open Forum
- Ideas for an icebreaker introduction for a business meeting [BLOGPOST] – by Houston Chronicle
- Better customer insight – In real time [ARTICLE] – by Harvard Business Review