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three fixes for widespread errors corporations make when answering buyer questions

Common ground, understanding and a little patience can be your greatest business assets.

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July
25, 2020

Read for 4 minutes

The opinions expressed by the entrepreneur's contributors are their own.

It's difficult for a customer to ask a question about your product or service. Their lack of knowledge can make them feel shy or even stupid.

Answering a question with complicated phrases and strange-sounding words that are delivered in rapid fire is like shooting dozens of frenzied tennis balls at a beginner without getting them in the right position to distract themselves.

If they manage to answer another question and you respond with more insider terminology, they'll likely pretend to understand before leaving confused and taking the money they wanted to give you.

In "Don't hesitate to ask questions in public," Lee Rosen exposes the internal problems people have with asking questions. These struggles include concerns: "What if my question shows that I missed the point?" and "What if my question shows that I'm not smart enough to get it?"

Instead of speaking to your potential customers, listen to their concerns and then slowly lead them to an understanding of how to solve their problem.

Here are some communication tips to help you do it.

1. Establish common ground

Did someone give you directions without first knowing where you were and what direction you were heading? The route details may have made sense ("Walk a mile past the old barn and turn left"), but without creating a common ground ("Where's the old barn?"), You were helpless to take the first step to do.

Many salespeople and business owners answer customers' questions with assumptions about what and why and go too quickly. Your answers move the conversation like a rocket, leaving your customers and potential profits in the smoke.

Related: 14 proven ways to improve your communication skills

Find your customer's understanding. Accompany them on their way and look at the dilemma from their perspective. Then carefully guide them to a solution.

2. Speak your language

“Did you know that hard drive manufacturers typically report the mean time between failures. These are population statistics that cannot individually predict the behavior of a single entity. Would you like to pay for your hard drive repair now with direct debit or credit? "

Some people may have no problem asking questions about your service. However, when you speak in code, they don't necessarily understand your answers. Speak clearly for improved customer acquisition and retention. "I think your hard drive is damaged, but I can fix it."

Whether brain surgery, heating and cooling, web design or individual coaching – almost everyone understands "Fix it".

3. Repeat

Make sure you are understood, even if it means that you are repeating yourself. Avoid signs of impatience. Instead, take on the role of a curious interviewer and ask yourself clarifying questions.

It may be a waste of time to invest so much time and energy to ensure that the person who asks you feels safe and served. However, consider the lifetime value of your customer relationship.

Related: 4 easy ways to better communicate with your customers

The concept is well known, but in "What most companies miss about customer lifetime value," Michael Schrage describes some lesser-known advantages of long-term customers.

Your company benefits from dedicated customers who share their ideas with you, evangelize on your behalf on social media, share their data with you, and introduce your services to new customers. So make yourself comfortable and take the time to communicate with your current and potential customers when they contact you.

In order to create common ground, speak a common language and offer a level of patience that your competitors rarely deliver, these are strategies that can create profit opportunities for you and your company.

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