There are no fast rules or slow rules when dealing with a potential customer. Sometimes, experience and situation played some parts as well.
First, I would like to share a few expectations:
1. The first meet-up is the hardest, awkward and a total mystery. Sometimes you just don't know what to expect. Just be prepared and expect the unexpected.
2. Not all potential customers are going to convert into paying customer. They could be not ready to buy or you are not convincing enough.
3. Don't get starstruck. A big corporation would be nice to have as a marquee client, but don't lose perspective. Those kinds of prospects often demand extensive proposals, they have high expectation, take longer to make decisions and expect highly competitive bids.
Here some guides when dealing with a potential customer. Fine tuned them as you get more involved.
1. Don’t Come on Too Strong – Respect Your Prospect
It’s very important to be respectful of a customer’s mood when trying to propose your products or services. Keeping your patience is key to giving your prospect the time to air out their preferences or requirements. The more comfortable the customer is the more likely they’ll share valuable feedback or info that can help you in a preparing a solid proposal.
2. Always Listen – Hear What Your Prospects are Saying
At a time when it’s easy to have a two-way dialogue with your prospects, it’s important to truly listen. Some people are reluctant to share or reveal their problem to a stranger. So whenever the prospects brought up his problem, do take note. It will be easier to come out with the solution if you know the problem.
3. Continue to Satisfy – Offer Follow-up and Support
The #1 reason for customer attrition is dissatisfaction with customer service. Do everything in your power to provide excellent service to your customers or prospects on an ongoing basis.
There’s never any reason to slow down on satisfying your audience, especially when they’re chatting with you live over the phone or gave your their valuable time for a meeting. It’s important to note that 81% of companies with strong capabilities and competencies for delivering customer experience excellence are outperforming their competition. Take note, customer satisfaction is a key differentiator in a sea of other companies.
4. Treat a Prospect Like a Valued Partner – Communication is Two Way
As previously mentioned, take your prospect’s feedback seriously even though they are no yet your customer and act upon reasonable requests. What’s the point of listening if you’re not going to act on that feedback or request? Make sure it’s clear that you want your customer’s feedback and that your business truly values them as a partner.
If you’re looking for an example of how to show your customer that their opinion matters, look at what the Buffer app team is doing. Buffer app is a social media management tool that helps businesses and individuals schedule their content for the best times to share and get engagement. The Buffer blog features a variety of quality content focused on marketing, achieving happiness, and a monthly series known as the Happiness Report.
5. Follow Through on Your Word – Follow Up on Promises
Your word is your bond. Following up on your promises helps show the transparency of your business while helping to build a feeling of trust and dependability with your audience.
Manage the expectations of your customers to ensure realistic goals are set and can be met. By remaining consistent in your messaging, your customers will learn what they should expect from you in the future.
F.W. Nichol said it best, “When you get right down to the root of the meaning of the word “succeed,” you find that it simply means to follow through.” Or locally, there is a term called "Jangan cakap tak serupa bikin".
6. Impress when possible
Some prospects are very particular with your capabilities. They want to know if you know your stuff before they part with their money. If they asked for an opinion, share with them your experience and track record and how do you solve a similar problem before. And when it comes to technology, let them know that we are also constantly learning and improving to catch up with technology advancement. That should give them some comfort that we want to maintain our competency.
7. Always Say “Thank You” – Kindness and Gratitude will Take You Far
Last, but certainly not least, always say “Thank you.” As many as 3 out of 4 customers say they have spent more with a company because of a history of positive experiences. Kindness and gratitude for a customer’s business is an undeniable way to further enchant them for the long term.
Thanks them for their time even if there are not buying your product.
8. Lastly, keep calm and be ohsome