You’re probably spending a lot of time looking for new customers, as a young entrepreneur.  But what happens when someone who could be a potential customer actually approaches you (in person or online) about your business?

How you speak to potential customers helps guide their decision about working with you. To make your customer’s decision a positive one, keep these three steps in mind.

1. Listen first, then speak to potential customers.

Question: When meeting a prospect, who should talk more: you or your prospect?

Answer: Your prospect.

Let your potential customer do most of the talking. Your job during the first online or in-person conversation is to listen to your customer and learn what they want. You might be really tempted to interrupt while a potential customer is talking, especially if you’re an extrovert or just a naturally talkative person.

Don’t interrupt or talk over what the other person is saying. Patiently listening can literally pay off.

Listening can switch your potential customer into a regular customer who feels they’re doing business with someone they can trust.

2. Identify needs when you speak to potential customers. 

Ask your prospects questions that will help you learn exactly what they need. You should also try to ask more open-ended questions that encourage descriptions and/or stories from your customer. In other words, limit questions that can be answered with simple “Yes” or “No”.

This will help you provide the product or service that does the best job of meeting your customer’s wants and expectations.

Here are some examples of questions you can ask potential customers:

  • What do you want out of this (type of product/service)?
  • What is your price range?
  • Why are you considering this product/service?
  • What other choices have you considered?
  • What are your worries or doubts about this product/service?

3. Be honest with your potential customers.

You probably know that lying to customers, and in general, is a very bad idea. But in this clickbait world of ours that promises everything — from “The Best Cookie Recipe Ever!” to “The Easiest Way to Make $1 Million Online Today!” — you might find yourself exaggerating the benefits of your product or service.

The truth is that your business might be great, but you can’t be everything to everyone. Sometimes, your service or product won’t be right for some of your prospects. And it’s okay to say so if and when you realize this while speaking to potential customers.

Doing this will help you and your business keep a good, honest reputation. You will also save yourself and your potential customer from some possible disappointments or frustrations.

Final Thoughts on Speaking to Potential Customers

You might feel caught off guard when a potential customer starts asking you questions about your business. Remember these three tips when talking with people who could become your newest customers.

  1. Listen to your prospects first, then respond to their questions and/or concerns.
  2. Identify your potential customers’ needs.
  3. Be honest.

These tips will help you show people that you genuinely care about their needs and issues.  People who feel seen and heard by you are much more likely to be not only your next customers, but also the best promoters of your products or services.

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