Probably one of the most important parts of a B2B deal is creating a good conversation with your potential client. You want to show a potential new partner that you have a their genuine interest in what it is they do and what they have to offer your company in return. It's not always easy, you have your own challenges, your own difficulties, and your own desire to express your value.
However it's important to understand that by having better business conversations, it increases the likelihood of forming a relationship that is mutually beneficial to all parties involved. The more the other person understands that you care about their particular issues and challenges as it relates to their particular role and business, the more likely it is that they themselves would be open to what solutions and or value you bring to the table. It's a type of subtle dance which culminates in productive relationship. Here are 3 useful tips to help you make the most out of your business conversations.
In Business Conversations, Talk Less and Listen More
How can you expect to learn about your potential partner if you do not stop talking and do not take the time to listen to what they have to say? This one seems easy enough, and like almost commonsense, though you'll be surprised at the number of times this does not happen. One of the important things that you can do is just ask relevant questions that show a genuine interest in what your potential partner has to say. This involves engaging in some research into your potential partner in order to understand their position in the marketplace, their offerings, and other points of interest. This also involves anticipating their needs.
You should try to learn about any concerns or questions that they may have regarding closing the deal. When you take the time to really listen It opens up possibilities for areas where perhaps you can bring added value, you are showing them that you are more than just interested in sales, but someone they would genuinely want to work with on a long-term basis. So instead of doing all the talking, take a back seat, relax and listen.
Get to Know Potential Partners Beyond the Superficial Level
Many salespeople do not go beyond the basics when learning about their potential clients; things like who they are and what they do as a company. The more time you take to truly learn about who they are as people—what they desire to gain from the partnership, and anything else that gives you a deeper understanding of them as a who they really are, the better. That is why engaging in some type of activity like golfing is such an effective means of open communication between two parties considering a deal. Doing something as simple as taking the time to really get to know a potential partner will show a special level of care and commitment, that will probably make them more inclined to close the deal sooner rather than later.
You'll find this type of approach when big deals are involved, for instance industrial sales, industrial services, investments involving large sums. In these situations generally the sales person has come to the realization that developing and building relationships with prospective clients is how to move forward and this has helped that individual to reach new heights in their particular position in their sales career.
The data collection facet of getting to know potential partners beyond the superficial level, starts from the beginning; from the first lead magnet on your website and the questions that the prospective clients fill out. All of these are reference points from which to begin a conversation, and as we gather more information, all of this will help to continue to move the conversation along towards the intended objective
Your Potential Partner’s Objectives Should Be #1
Just as with the previous two tips, this one follows the same line of approach. If you've done a good job through your website content and other touch points, then your prospective client will already have an idea of what it is your company has to offer them, and they were interested enough to set up a meeting to discuss things further. So, do some more listening and learn what their own objectives are in regards to moving forward.
Undoubtedly, it may take many more engagements before the conversation reaches a point where a decision has to be made. It will depend on the type of deal and or business being engaged. In all cases, by learning what a prospective client is hoping to gain from this new deal, you will better modify what you say, so that you can provided reassurance that you and your company have their desired objectives in mind, and will work to make sure they get everything they are hoping to gain from a partnership.
When it comes down to it, having a successful business conversation with potential clients revolves around doing a lot of listening. Your potential client should always come first, and you should always take the time to listen to what they have to say and learn as much as possible about them. Doing this will help better feel them out, and help them to feel like you are more than just salesperson, but a partner.