Last Monday two sales representatives knocked on my mum’s door. After a short (and not very friendly) greeting, they asked her if her medical insurance covered all the services she needed.
Her answer was very direct too: ‘my health insurance provides me with everything I need, and the health staff has always treated me pretty well.’
Apparently, this was response they were waiting for, because they were ready to launch their first strike:
“Excuse me madame, but given your age, we doubt that your insurance covers everything you need. We think it’s time you explored other options and considered switching to a more complete plan.”
When my mum told me this anecdote, I couldn’t help thinking about the cold emails we sometimes send to offer our product/service to a potential customer.
What is a cold email or a cold meeting?
In terms of marketing, we say that a client and a company have a “cold relationship” when the client doesn’t know anything about your product or service.
With this in mind, the first impression and the information chosen to present that product will be crucial to “unfreeze” the relationship and make the client be interested in your offer.
Moreover, you need to take into account that the client might not buy your product today, but they could need your services in the near future. That’s why they need to get good vibes once they have finished reading your email or listening to your sales speech.
I’ve found myself both in the side of the person presenting the product and the person listening and deciding if it is worth it.
Understanding both perspectives have made me learn three steps that can help create a good ambiance during the first «encounter», and today I will be more than happy to share them with you.
They are really simple (and free 😊), so you’ll be able to start practising them for today. Here we go!
3 simple tips to «unfreeze» the relationship with your client for the first time
1. Aggressiveness has NO PLACE during the meeting
In most cases, the person who receives the email (or meets you for the first time) knows nothing about your business, so you should introduce yourself in a polite way and tell them the reason why you are writing to them.
Clients don’t know how (and where) you have found their contact information, or why you are calling them by their names.
Once you explain that you have found this information on their websites, social networks, etc. they will feel safer, as they will realise that this is the public information they once published, and that you have taken your time to read about their company and what they do.
Thanks to this, they will be more likely to talk to you (or answer your email).
2. Present your product in a catchy and POLITE way
Once the presentation is done, you are going to describe the problem that your potential client might have (your product will be the solution to that problem). This explanation must be simple, concise and, non-aggressive.
Let’s take my mum’s anecdote as an example. In this case, the rep needs to prove that her health insurance isn’t as complete as the one he is selling right now.
Let’s compare the answer the sales representative gave to my mum to the one written in the following paragraph:
“Your golden age has arrived. Retirement years are the best ones to chill out, enjoy life and receive the best possible quality of care. Have you ever thought if your health insurance covers everything you need for the coming years? If not, we have a good solution for you.”
What do you think? To me, the second one is better. It introduces the topic in a non-aggressive way, and it also includes a question to involve the reader in the conversation and catch their attention.
After that, the representative sales will show the benefits the client could get if they opt for his health insurance plan.
3. A polite “goodbye” is (always) a terrific idea
As you see, you need to prepare your speech (a written speech if you are writing an email), try to connect with the clients and their needs, and after all this effort, they client might not be interested in your offer.
If the final answer is “no”, your “goodbye” must be polite too. You never know if that customer will ever need your services, and it’s better if they remember your first one on one as a positive experience.
Being polite doesn’t mean that the client is superior to you or that the client is always right and you must “fear” them.
The objective of being polite is completely the opposite. We can use it as a secret weapon to address potential customers and show them that our product can solve a recurring problem of their business.
Politeness means showing our best smile, being natural, and telling the truth about our product. Politeness is a way to demostrate our professionalism every time we close a sale and satisfy our customers.
And finally, a quick reminder…
Has the client answered “yes”? Great! That means you are on the right direction. The way you have displayed the problem, its solution and your kindness are a good combo. You can try the same formula with new clients.
Has the client answered “no” but you have maintained a cordial conversation? That is also great. Your approach has been correct, but the client might not be ready to buy yet. You can try this formula with similar clients.
And what if the client is not very happy at the end of your conversation? Your presentation might need a twist. Empathising with your clients is the key to break the ice and create a good vibe during your conversation. If you understand their needs and worries, you’ll be able to write an email (or start a conversation) full of politeness.
It would be awesome to know how your sales are going after implementing these tips! You can leave a comment and I will be more than happy to answer you 🙂