Stop trying to help your customers

Posted on /by Natalie Sisson/ in Business Resources, Coaching Corner / 1 comment

As women, we are sometimes programmed to help others.  We see problems, we know exactly what needs to be done to solve them, we run in to fix them, and all is good.  And this is a good thing most of the times.  In corporations large or small, women are often the ones who notice what needs to be done, get the work done, and are the glue that hold everything together.  If you are a mother, you know that you are often the first one to notice that your child is upset, is uncomfortable, needs to be fed, etc.

However, we may run into roadblocks when we transfer this desire and this know-how to working with potential customers.  Have you experienced working with a potential customer where you can see exactly where they are struggling and where you have the perfect solution for them, but you can’t get them to buy from you for some reason?  You go over the benefits, how your product or service can solve their current issues, how implementing your solution will save them tonnes of money and time?  And nothing.  They walk away, they say they’ll call you back, and maybe they do, or maybe they don’t.

I’m going to challenge you today to stop helping them.  Stop jumping in and offering to help, offering to give your products or service at a discount, or worse, for free.  Just walk away.  But before you do – ask them a few questions.  Ask them if they are seeing the challenges that you see in their business.  Ask them if they have a plan to resolve it.  Ask them how they’re going to fix it.  And then walk away.

The key is – you can only help people when they are ready to be helped.  People hate being told what to do, what to buy, where to buy it from, especially if they don’t already trust the person giving them advice.  Your solutions, or pitch, or whatever you call it, will fall on deaf ears if your potential clients aren’t attentive to the fact that they even have a problem.  And you telling them what their problem is doesn’t really go over well.  So instead of giving the solution, ask the question.  Get them to think about whether they are doing well with their current course.  Could things be better?  Could they be more efficient?  What problems are they not even aware of?  Do they have a plan on improving things?  How are they going to do it?  Then leave them with your contacts and an opportunity for a further discussion.

When they call you back – they would have had some time to think about their issues, and they’ll be a lot more receptive to what you have to offer.

Felicia is a business coach specializing in working with women entrepreneurs on business growth and development. She is the Founder and President of Candeo Communications Inc, a strategic partner of the leading Ghost CEO program in development for professional and business women.

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  • Holly

    I love “But before you do – ask them a few questions. Ask them if they are seeing the challenges that you see in their business. Ask them if they have a plan to resolve it. Ask them how they’re going to fix it. And then walk away.”

    This is genius! I think a lot of clients don’t really understand why they need a service. They can see it would be useful, but might have a hard time applying the need to their specific situation. These questions really make them think!

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