3 Keys To Giving Great Advice Fast
Smart sells. Smart and Fast sells even better.
If you are in the B2B space there is little more valuable today than insight. Insight is attractive. Insight gets attention and sets you apart from competitors. Insight leads to influencing client behavior which leads to sales.
Good advice giving is important today especially in the abstract service spaces like online digital marketing or insurance or payroll services or social media services etc- you get the picture. And Business owners (especially SBs) are pressed for time and even more pressed for advice and counsel.
So when they talk with you Mr. or Mrs. Salesperson or Consultant; they expect you have something smart to say or something to share that they did not know before and the reality is, they have very little time to stand around ( or hang on the phone) to answer your 20 questions and wait for you to absorb, analyze and provide that insight.
So if you are charged with having to provide important tips or advice in very little time to a prospect or client, how do you do it? And how do you do it fast?
- Set the Table Correctly Before Asking Any Questions At All: It’s a rare day when you can amble up to a business owner or chat with them while they are calling in to place and order, and start to pontificate smart advice. At a minimum, a question or two usually needs to be asked. But it’s how you preface asking those questions that makes a difference. Tee up the questions with a statement that respects the appeal from the customer/ prospect’s perspective. “I know your time is short so let me ask just three quick questions about your business so I can then give you something interesting to think about” Business owners love the words “quick” and “three” ( they know when it is over!). And you have totally respected the time issue. Do this and you have just improved your chances of your questions being answered honestly and completely enough as he/she wants what you want –to give/get good insight, fast.
- Be an Industry Informant. There’s nothing wrong with taking a tact that starts with “You know what I’m hearing from a lot of the accountants I’m talking to these days…” Or “I gotta say the contractors I talk to today are hammering social media and print marketing pretty equally..” This approach doesn’t respect the client’s individual business needs (yet) but makes you sound very smart (you must talk to people just like me every day!) and therefore the advice has credibility. And of course, nothing is more influential to a business owner than what other businesses (who are just like them) are doing. Key here is you have to leverage Lines of Business or even some deeper segmentation (gulf coast contractors for example) that appeals to clients’ sense of your industry intelligence.
- “Think” / “Consider” vs. “Do”: The worst kind of advice to give to someone you don’t know that well just yet is to tell them to “do” something. Particularly in those more complex, abstract services and especially when those people you are talking about are business owners who have a pretty large sized ego, pride and sense of entrepreneurialism. Know your audience. Telling someone to “do” something can get backs to arch so to speak. Try “Consider some payroll options, a few things to think about are how much time you spend per month…” Or “One thing to think about is investing in some kind of trackable answering service…”. Semantics? Nope. Insert the word “do” in the last 2 examples and pretend you’re a business owner talking with someone you just met. Yeah- fun uh? Encouraging business owners to “think” and “consider” is smart. Not when you are suggesting buying a pen or upgrading to larger quantity – that’s fine use a form of “do”. But when you are in those more complex products or services, it shows you get how these folks work and that you are advising not closing at this stage.
Be Smart and Sell More!
Till next time,
Grow The Business.