Type “how to think like your buyer” into any search engine and you’ll receive countless links to webinars, publications, marketing conference invitations, online classes, and regular old books.
The Words That Will Change Your Close Rate
You could spend hours online reading white papers and parsing data but in our experience, thinking like your buyer really comes down to three words: Be a human.
Yes, it’s that easy.
The past year has seen significant changes in how people use the internet. There have been increases in online purchases, entertainment, education, and connections. As people were relegated to working in isolation, they became increasingly reliant on a virtual world to keep them connected.
Marketing and sales were quick to leverage this increased online activity and our inboxes have been flooded with offers and messaging. Sifting through the noise to find the real value has become more difficult and time-consuming.
As a result, customer service and an excellent customer experience are increasing as a priority for buyers.
For those searching for business solutions, connecting with a (human) representative willing to listen, uncover business pains, and offer appropriate services is more important than ever.
If you aren’t listening to your clients, you probably shouldn’t expect them to respond to you.
Now is a good time to revisit two key skills that could put you inside the mind of your buyer and on track to increase your close rate.
1. Listen Up
It seems counterintuitive, but too much time spent selling takes time away from listening.
Many sales professionals move onto the next prospect if they fail to receive an immediate response (positive or negative) from their current lead. If you’re making this mistake, you’re leaving sales – and money! – on the table.
If a prospect’s initial answer is that they are not interested in your product, service, or solution you have the opportunity to ask why, and then listen to the answer. Find out why they are saying no and you may be able to further the conversation.
JMS Elite’s business development executives (BDE) have mastered the art of listening. It’s a talent that has proven to be a major aspect of our success and why our clients keep coming back to us.
Nuances are revealed in the margins of conversations. As the seller, you’ve got to be invested in the entire conversation. You’ve got to respond not only to what you hear but to what’s not being said – without jumping to your own naturally biased conclusions.
Ultimately, the sale isn’t about you so get out of your own head. You’re courting your prospect, and asking them to take a chance, to stake a large amount of their money on your solution.
Through years of experience, our own BDE’s have learned that when they put themselves in their prospects’ shoes, they gain a greater understanding of their prospect’s motivation.
2. Create Meaningful Interactions
The stereotype of the cold-blooded sales pro ruthlessly baiting the iron-fisted tycoon is an image from a bygone era – and good riddance.
In B2B especially, “the deal” is a months-long process requiring the seller to establish trust, educate a prospect, nurture the relationship, and adjust methodology based upon a prospect’s motivation.
Don’t fall victim to the belief that your prospect “just isn’t interested” if they haven’t called back. They’re busy. They’ve had to adjust to a volatile market and an uncertain future but it doesn’t mean they can’t benefit from your solution, or that they wouldn’t appreciate a real conversation with someone who understands their industry and business pains.
They are human. Your response to their cues should be human as well. Don’t walk away; get on the phone! Even with all of the available forms of communication, the phone is still the most powerful way to actually connect with someone.
Do you want to change your close rate for the better? Check-in, offer support, send an interesting article – even if it’s on something not related directly to the sale. If you’ve been listening, you’ll know what course of action is the right one to take.
Editor’s Note: Originally published in 2014, this article was edited and updated in Jan 2021.