We hear a lot of talk about the importance of employee engagement, but how well do members of your sales team engage with current and prospective clients? Whenever a customer and salesperson talk directly, or a prospect reaches out to a business on their social media platform, the process of engagement takes place. It also serves to highlight the customer’s key needs and pain points.
Each time “you put your name and brand in front of your customer you go to the front of their thinking,” notes Forward Focus, a change management company. Client engagement “increases brand awareness,” and, in turn, “recognition of brand trickles down when it comes to contract renewals or buying additional products.”
In other words, an engaged client is one who will more likely say “Yes” to your sales pitch.
Here are tips on boosting client engagement among your salespeople:
Be the expert on what you sell.
Salespeople should be well-prepared ahead of any contact with prospective customers. Preparation in this case encompasses a full range of knowledge about the company’s products or services, as well as how these offerings can benefit prospects.
But expertise should be broader than this. Be prepared to come forward with unique solutions to a client’s pressing needs. Bring pertinent data and industry examples into the discussion. Do everything possible to demonstrate you are the expert the client can rely on.
Know your buyer’s persona.
A lack of knowledge about your customer base can mean valuable time and resources are wasted chasing after unqualified prospects. No business can succeed for long by pursuing a one-size-fits-all approach to customer acquisition.
Instead, be sure to craft a buyer persona for your business:
- Ask current customers why they buy your products or services (as opposed to those of your competitors).
- Look closely at which customer appeals are most effective, and with which group of customers. Compile information relating to customer age, gender, location, job title, education level, etc. Make sure the sales team understands why customers make the decision to purchase your products—and, conversely, why other prospects choose not to buy.
- Focus on what it is prospects require from you and your business. What problems do they face that you may not have considered before? Are there ways to upgrade your products to better solve these problems?
By leveraging buyer personas and other pertinent data, your sales team will likely see a higher percentage of qualified leads ready to move through the sales funnel, with less time and money spent on the qualification process.
Provide relevant information to prospects.
Prospective customers want to have a sense of who they’re dealing with. The key, says Camino Financial, is building “an emotional connection with your customers by showing them they are dealing with an actual person, not a ‘faceless’ corporation.” To do this, make sure the “About Us” page on your company website offers clear information, not bland self-promotion. Send along introductory information prior to your initial meeting or call.
This way, prospects better understand where you’re coming from and how you are well-placed to assist them.
Be active on social media.
Leverage your social media platforms to further “introduce” yourself to newcomers. And, when your products or services are reviewed online, be quick to respond to inquiries and/or customer complaints. Any prospect who investigates your business beforehand and sees how much attention you devote to customer interaction will likely be more open to your initial approach.
Effective client engagement often begins well before a salesperson reaches out to make the initial contact. By focusing on what is of most importance to clients, businesses can move ahead through the purchasing journey with a greater likelihood of success.