Quick question – What do all successful businesses have in common? They know how to sell their products or services.
If you want your business to have a steady growth, you need one essential skill in your bag of tricks – the ability to convince local clients that they need what you’re selling.
Big companies have hundreds of marketing persons promoting their products everywhere while using almost any marketing field: local marketing, video marketing, SEO, social media marketing and many others.
The fact of the matter is, every business niche is competitive in the current state of affairs. Because of this, you will need to become competent in closing as many clients as possible if you want to get ahead of the local competition.
But never forget that where there is competition there is also a lot of money involved. Learning how to position yourself in relation to the prospecting customer will land you a lot of new clients in the long run.
Start working on your social skills
Convincing a local customer that your business is a perfect choice is no easy feat. Just one bad choice of words can be the difference between a closed client and an obvious sales pitch that failed miserably. But the good news is, once you get the hang of it, you will become so good in the art of convincing local clients that you’ll end up getting conversions without even realizing!
Here’s one true story that happened to me last week.
I needed to take my girlfriend’s car to a local garage for a tire change. While I was waiting for the car, I got to talking with the owner of the repair shop. After around 20 minutes of conversation that started out very casual, I had convinced him that his business needs a new website redesign. Just two days later, the guy was in my office looking at various website templates for his new website redesign.
Don’t take away that I specifically choose that garage to acquire new clients for my business. I simply went there because it was the closest to my home. See, I have been doing this for such a long time that my mind is already wired to steer every conversation towards a closing moment.
How to Convince Local Customers to Choose Your Business
There are a series of techniques and common practices that are regularly used to influence customer behavior. In order to be successful in steering local customers your way, you will need to learn the ropes of customer influencing.
Without getting into the actual theory, here’s a list with practical advice that can be used by small business owners to close more deals with local clients.
1. Don’t say anything that will help your business
You can’t do any worse than to start the conversation with an obvious sales technique. Consumer trust is one of the most important aspects of the sales cycle. Nobody will be inclined to buy from you if you sound like you are following a sales script.
The key here is to let the conversation to flow as natural as possible.
Whenever you start off a conversation with a potential customer, you should stay away from saying things that will put your business in a good light. During the initial interaction, focus on building trust with the potential client.
Most clients are very aware that end goal is to convince them to buy your product or service. Since they know you are not impartial, boasting about the quality of your services or products will not get you conversions.
2. Focus on understanding the problem
Never showcase the solution without understanding the customer problem. Even if you understand the problem, act interested in order to portray the idea that you are really trying to help. Instead of going straight to the close, start asking innocent questions that will convince the client that you’re genuinely interested in their problem.
Ask about what needs to be improved and what other solution have they tried until now. Don’t force anything into the conversation. Only provide the client with relevant information that is required to make an informed decision.
3. Don’t lie
Brutal honesty is often the needed trigger to make a prospecting customer forget that your end goal is to actually sell them something.
Sometimes in order to prove to the client that you’re actually more interested in solving their problems, you will need to mention stuff that doesn’t help you or even does your business disservice.
For example, rather than avoiding to talk about your competition, you might want to encourage the prospecting customer to check out the competition first before making the final decision.
This might seem to be counter-productive for your business, but once you show them that you mean more than to extract money, the deal is as good as closed.
4. Be friendly (but not too friendly)
Local clients want to do business with people that they trust. Don’t make it seem like you know the answer to everything and listen to every argument without making rude interruptions.
If you think it’s appropriate, you can even offer to take the conversation to a lunch of dinner if you think it’s appropriate (and cost-effective).
But don’t force anything, as excessive cordiality can be a huge deal breaker if the interaction seems like it leads to their pockets. Instead, pick your spots carefully and always leave an avenue opened for future meetings.
5. Let them WANT your services
Even if you previously showed them honestly and established trust, don’t always spoil the magic with a plain invitation to do business. By allowing a small business owner to take the initiative, you will be a lot more likely to get a closed deal.
Try to explain how your solution can make their problem go away without actually asking if they want your services or products. Also, consider telling stories about other similar projects or clients that you have had in the past to encourage them to ask for help.
Make sure that the potential client knows what you have to offer, but don’t ask them outright to get your services. Most of the time, casually mentioning that your business is there to help with the problem is enough.
Aditional research material
If you have the time, Matt Abrahams provides some immense insight into the best communication techniques that will help you add clarity and confidence to the conversations with your local customers. Watch the video below and improve your communication technique!
This is our shortlist of things to consider when trying to convince a prospecting local customer to choose your business. We really hope you will find this advice helpful. If you are looking for further guidance, don’t be afraid to ask for help in the comment section below.