Throughout my corporate career, the thing I heard most often was, “Jeff, you have such good relationships with everyone you work with.” And I did. I had outstanding relationships with customers, peers, management, employees, stakeholders and just about everyone I came in contact with. I did not realize how extremely valuable that skill (developing relationships) would be in marketing. So, I thought I’d write a series of blog posts about the topic of building relationships, and I’m going to start with how to TALK TO people in a way that builds relationships.
Click below to watch a short video on the topic or just scroll down and keep reading.
Most importantly, talk to everyone from THEIR perspective. When you talk to kids, you refer to their parents, as mom or dad. You say, “Mommy will be home soon.” or “Can I talk to your dad?”
You don’t refer to the kids parents by their name, or your relationship with them, you refer to them from the child’s perspective. We do this to ensure they know exactly who you are talking about. We use their language. Kids have a lot to teach us about the world, and this is no exception. W learn from kids, in this case that people understand better when we are talking to them from THEIR perspective.
My first corporate job was an interesting one and I learned a lot about relationships. I collected money from health care providers who were paid in error by the insurance companies that I represented. What that means is that I would call health care providers and convince them to resubmit the bill to Medicare and refund the money to my company. They were not legally required to do this rebilling, so I had no choice but to develop a relationship with them so they would want to do this for me. This also frequently meant that they would have to accept less money for the services rendered because the Medicare rate was less than what had already been paid by the insurance company.
What I quickly identified was that we (the insurance industry) had a VERY different vocabulary than the health care providers I was contacting. The most notable was what we called the person who received the services. We called them the “beneficiary” (‘bene’ for short), but the providers called them the “patient.” So, I started referring to the “bene” as the “patient” and saw that something as little as that made me sound less like a “jerk from the insurance company” (which is basically what I was).
That’s just one of many examples of how talking to the providers in their language was beneficial. The industry is complicated and there were numerous opportunities to use sensitivity their language as a method to increase my influence.
This is exactly how to approach marketing and talking to clients and prospects. Always approach the conversation from their perspective.
Do they want a coach? NO
Do they want a training program? NO
Do they want to attend your event? NO
Do they want a 6 part CD series? NO
They want something REAL, like
• A better love life.
• Better behaved kids
• Less Stress in their business
• A lifestyle that allows them to have more Freedom (my favorite).
Those are the terms in which you must talk to your clients and prospects.
You want to sell them a 6-part CD series.
They want a better love life.
Sell the better love life, not the 6-part CD series. Just like the beneficiary vs. the patient.
Always get right down to these two questions:
• Who are you talking to?
• What do they want?
I’m obsessive about this. I keep notes with specific words I hear, so that I can use those same words to talk to clients and prospects. The more I can talk their language, the better I can serve them and as a result influence their buying decisions. Since I offer amazing products and services, I can rest easy that influencing them to consume my information is the best for them.
What is a simple thing you could change to make the conversation more about them and less about you? Leave a comment below.