How do I get direct customers
How do I conduct customer meetings professionally? The 7 best tips
Insecurity, stage fright and pressure to succeed. Young founders in particular often find conversations with customers uncomfortable. We will show you in 7 steps how you can conduct your customer meetings professionally and confidently.
You have successfully set up your business. The first customer talks are now on the agenda. Now it is important to function precisely and to convince your customers of you and your product range. How it works? You can find out here:
# 1: Be aware of your conversation goals
Under no circumstances should you go into a customer meeting unprepared. The most important lesson is to be clear about the goals of the conversation for yourself.
Is it just a first information meeting? The focus here is on building trust with the customer. Or do you want to have a sales pitch and get an order? Then you should actively promote the benefits of your products.
tip: Be sure to practice your elevator pitch before talking to the customer!
# 2: know your customer
In the run-up to the customer interview, you should not only think about the goals of the conversation, but get to know your customer as well as possible. If you work in the B2B area, your first point of contact is the customer's homepage. Xing profiles are also available.
In which industry does your customer work? What products does he sell? What type of company does it have, e.g. sole proprietorship, GmbH or KG? How is his company positioned? Information about hobbies or common interests can also have a positive influence on the conversation later on. The more you know about your customer, the more confident you will feel in conversation.
# 3: Use the first impression for yourself
This does not only mean the fashionable appearance. Of course, the right choice of clothing also plays a role in the first customer contact. Suit? Is not always a must. You know best what is common in your industry and what seems authentic.
But your behavior is even more important than your external appearance: An open smile, direct eye contact and a solid handshake convey sympathy, openness and self-confidence. A perfect introduction to your customer meeting!
# 4: If you ask, you lead! So: let the customer talk
Wonderful - you are finally sitting across from each other. Your chance to present yourself and your company in detail and to rattle off your own product catalog! You take a deep breath and ... stop. Rule number 1: The customer speaks. Not you.
You show genuine interest in your customer (keyword: building trust) by asking questions. What are your customer's problems? What wishes and needs does your customer have? Instead of doing a monologue yourself, you should listen. Help is provided by the so-called W questions: What, how, why, for what, which, when.
# 5: Highlight the product benefits for your customer
If you asked the right questions, you now know exactly where your customer's problems, wishes and challenges lie. And how you can specifically help your customer to cope with their problem. Your time has only now come.
But the same applies here: Concentrate on the essentials! No extravagant company and product presentations. Specifically describe the solutions that will help your customer. Also mention what sets you apart from your competition. The more specific your offer is formulated to the requirements of your customer, the better.
# 6: Gestures, facial expressions, posture - use your body language
Another tool: your body language. Gestures can underline your statements effectively and credibly. With gestures you automatically "take up more space" and thereby convey subliminal self-confidence and conviction.
Smiles, affirmative nods of the head, slightly bent upper body and direct eye contact show your customers real interest and sympathy. So use your own body language consciously - with a little practice this will soon no longer be difficult.
# 7: Design the end of the conversation
Did you achieve your conversation goals? Or at least partial goals? It is now important to conclude the conversation with specific instructions.
If it is an informational meeting, offer the customer to send him any information that may still be missing and arrange a follow-up meeting right away. In the case of a sales pitch, too, it is important to specifically address the further procedure: dates, deadlines, contact persons, contact details. So you stay “tuned” to the customer.
With these 7 tips you will be well prepared for your customer meetings. As in many things, the same applies here: Practice makes perfect! After each meeting with a customer, analyze what went well and where there is still room for improvement. Then you too will soon be a professional in dealing with customers!
You can find more informative articles on the subject of customer communication here:
How do I get my first order?
How do I win customers for my company?
How can I retain customers permanently?
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