A couple of weeks ago I led a *Smarter Marketing Workshop for the Wells Business Forum to pull together a strategy entrepreneurs could use to help them get to where they are headed faster with less risk.
The question that unlocks where someone is headed is simple. "How do you see the next 12 months panning out for you?" It's one of my favourite questions for a number of reasons. Let me explain:
In business, our real job isn't just to sell products or services; it's about seeing into the future where our clients (or prospects) are better off. Think of it this way: we are joining them on their journey wherever they're headed, Our role? To listen, to understand and decide how we might make that journey quicker, safer, or easier.
At some point in our conversation, we remember to ask a key question like "How do you see the next 12 months panning out for you?" It’s a peek into their hopes, plans and ambitions. Then, we need to pay special attention.
It's not just about hearing their words but also reading their body language and understanding their emotions. This insight helps us offer the right support or solutions to make their path forward smoother. We need to listen long enough to understand at a deeper level which means asking continuity questions such as “tell me more” - “and?" - “what difference will that make?” … you get the idea.
Some people have a clear vision and are excited about the future. That's our cue to consider if we are in a position to help them directly. For us, it's all about being their satnav.
However, not everyone is in the same boat. Some might respond with uncertainty or fear, or perhaps they're content with where they are. These responses are just as valuable. They give us a chance to explore deeper, understand their concerns, and maybe offer a new perspective and encouragement, that align better with their current state or aspirations. Maybe we can help them by introducing them to a referral partner who has the experience to help them. Not everyone is a prospect for your business.
To sum it up, in sales, we're not just pushing products or services. We're selling a vision of a better future and showing our clients how we can help them get there. But we need to know where ‘there’ might be.
By tuning into their aspirations and concerns, we can tailor our approach to meet them where they are and help them reach where they want to be. It's about partnering with them on their journey to success, making sure it's as rewarding and straightforward as possible.
Now back to my headline. As you started the year, maybe you made New Year resolutions (how you see the next twelve months different to the last).
How’s it going? Wow, another great question. Let’s use it.
take care, Paul
PS: the video clip below is a short edit from the *Smarter Marketing Workshop. I've cut the session up into several bite-size bits you can dip into and you can access it here, free
Let me explain ...
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