When it comes to generating new business, companies generally focus their time on the customers they deem most valuable or most likely to convert. But it’s pretty much inevitable that at some point, you or your staff will receive demands of time and attention from leads who just don’t hold much promise. While it’s tempting to save your breath and theirs with something simple but polite, like “I don’t think we’re a good fit for you,” there are several advantages to seeing these inquiries through to a reasonable conclusion. And the rewards can be a whole lot more than goodwill and a warm feeling.
Before we dive in, it’s worth saying that all leads or potential customers deserve serious consideration. Our discussion here is limited to those clients or customers who have already been eliminated from consideration, whether by your methods or their own choosing. When it has become clear that a business exchange isn’t in the cards, it’s how you proceed next that we’ll be discussing.
It’s The Right Thing To Do
Helping others simply for the sake of helping others is the right thing to do. We need each other, like it or not. Science has indicated that helping others not only makes us feel better; it could contribute to a longer, happier life. Whatever your personal philosophy is, no business thrives without people, internally and externally, and positive relationships require us to give and take. So if a customer with a shoestring budget wants to know about your top-of-the-line services or products, don’t just roll your eyes — help them understand what you offer at various price points and why. I wholeheartedly believe that we reap what we sow, and if we help others, it will come back to us when we need help. Today, you might be the cool, calm expert handing out advice, but mark my words: One day you will be the panicked, frustrated voice on the other end of that call. Take a moment to remember how you felt the last time someone really came through for you and seize the opportunity to return the favor.
It Can Educate And Empower
Taking a moment to educate your audience about what you can offer them, and why it’s valuable, is always important. This can often be a necessary step in determining whether a lead is, in fact, viable. Don’t get hung up on specifics of their request too early on; just try to understand what they want to accomplish and whether you can get them there. Plus, giving an impromptu pitch for your company is always good practice for more high-stakes sales scenarios.
Educated customers make better decisions, and it’s harder to take advantage of them. When bad actors convince unsuspecting clients to part with their hard-earned budgets, no one wins, except the unscrupulous types. A once-bitten, twice-shy customer may lose faith in your industry or profession altogether. We certainly can’t be accountable for every con artist out there, but we can arm clients with enough knowledge about our offerings to help them navigate the market wisely.
It Won’t Go Unnoticed
Being kind, helpful and courteous leaves a lasting impression on people. You may not have given them what they hoped for, but if potential clients walk away from an interaction with you feeling validated and informed, they’ll likely remember it. One study of 10,000 consumers found that 44% shared a very good customer experience with someone else by phone, by email or in person.
In the case of website design, we often talk to entrepreneurs in the early stages of establishing an online presence. These savvy self-promoters know they need a website, but many of them have no budget. Instead of taking a “What’s in it for me?” approach, our staff provides a quick overview of what’s involved in designing and developing custom websites and may even present low- or no-cost options to help them get started. Down the road, when they’re ready to upgrade, we’re often their first call.
It’s A Win-Win Scenario
Just because an individual or company isn’t in the market for your services today doesn’t mean that it’s the end of your story together. By offering them useful and actionable information, you’re still creating value that clients will associate with your brand. It’s a minor investment in time that can pay huge dividends in reputation and leave you feeling better personally and professionally.
Go to Source
Author: Hannah Trivette, Forbes Councils Member