12 Jun What is Profiling Your Customer All About?
There are many items we could cover in profiling customers such as: industry, size of the company, national or international business, employees, capital, hierarchies, etc.
Today I will focus on the individuals. This is because everything comes down to one-on-one communication.
Years ago, it did not matter what profile your customer had. It was important to know which hierarchy the person you are talking to is at. Does this person have the competence to sign the contract or not? Then sales people prepared themselves to present their product and service in the “right light” with lots of arguments and were well organised to overrule an objection.
This was very short sighted. If one still has this behaviour, he or she misses out on what else could be possible during a conversation.
What if you started a presentation knowing you will win? Too good to be true?
In my consulting business I’m often asked, “can you sell your service to any industry or do you have to have specific knowledge about it?” The answer, simply, is yes.
You can sell any product or service to anyone. The difference in great selling is that you know what your client is looking for and that you can solve a very specific problem. So, one of the first steps in profiling your customer should be:
What is my client looking for? For example, for which problem can I help them find
- Their specific solution
- A way out of difficulties
- More success
with my concept, service or product?
I was once hired to build a leadership team after a merger. They had problems accepting each other and working together. Company culture was in shambles. So, I asked the CEO and his colleagues before I started my presentation:
“What would be the best outcome and what should be different, after my work with you and your leadership team? And if you did not create these changes, what would that mean for you and your company?”
In asking these questions you will get many different answers. Every meeting attendee has his or her own picture in mind, which reveals their internal values and shows their behaviour in answering these questions. If you are aware and present in observing them, you will “see” what is important to every person and how you can address them.
Some elements of proﬁling a person:
Body language, eye-contact, mimic, speed of speech and tone of voice.
Behaviour during your presentation.
What patterns can you discover and how should you act or react:
- Loud tone, acts independent, goal-oriented, strong-willed, and maybe forceful, wants to make immediate decisions and seems very ambitious.
- Be clear in your presentation or communication,
- Be specific, brief and to the point.
- Stick to the business; don’t talk about irrelevant “filler” issues.
- Be prepared with supporting material in a well-organised package.
- When you experience a person who is somehow magnetic, enthusiastic, friendly, demonstrative, has a loud and “singing” voice, likes to laugh and smile
- Ask “feeling” questions to draw their opinions or comments.
- Do not deal with a lot of details – provide them afterwards in writing.
- Provide a warm and friendly environment. Don’t be cold or controlling.
- When you perceive a person who is patient, predictable, reliable, steady, seems to be relaxed, a balanced, quiet voice
- Break the ice with a personal comment. During a presentation you could do this by acknowledging what he has already experienced.
- Present parts of your presentation softly.
- Ask “how” questions to draw their opinions.
- When you perceive a person more careful, neat, may be budget compliant, wants the processes to be perfect or very precise, wants every detail upfront and seems to be careful and is more or less silent during the presentation and, less eye contact
- Stick to business – no personal comments
- Be accurate and realistic – show examples of how something can be applied to a real situation
- Be very prepared with many details, in case you need them
Now, it´s your turn. Set yourself up to win by preparing your presentation as if you yourself had all these four customer profiles at this meeting. Ask yourself what questions you could ask every customer and think about what would be the benefit for him or her in hiring you or your service. This will bring you one step closer to winning over all your customers!