It’s critical to provide value to prospects during the sales process. But the definition of value varies considerably from person to person, even within the same vertical and demographic. Generally, value is contingent on their pain points. Identifying what the biggest pain points are for the prospects and how you can solve them is exactly what is needed to bring value to the prospect.
To provide value in the sales process, you really need to get to know your prospects and tailor your approach appropriately. I recommend these tactics:
1. Develop a thorough understanding of customers in your industry by sitting in on account management and retention calls.
You always need to know who you’re speaking to. While every prospect is unique, you can develop a strong understanding of common issues in your industry by sitting in on as many as account management and onboarding calls as you can. At Resy, we really understand the pains restaurants face because we treat clients as true partners and hear it first hand from them. Not only do we get feedback from our partners, many of the employees have worked front of house, operations or even managed and owned restaurants. This is a unique opportunity for sellers to truly understand what makes a restaurant tick. When we’re on the phone with a new prospective partner, we already have some idea of what the issues might be based on historical data, industry news and through personal experience.
Once you have this deep understanding of your customers, you can explain to a new prospect with confidence why they should continue talking to you within the first 30 seconds and actually be genuine with your why We know two common pain points that apply to all restaurants and can use these two pains as a starting point to why they should take a demo with us.
2. Keep up on industry news with LinkedIn.
LinkedIn is my biggest news source when it comes to tech. I probably use LinkedIn as much as I use Instagram—and believe me, I’m on Instagram a lot! By staying keyed in, I can figure out what issues my customers and prospects are likely facing.
3. Only “follow up” when you are able to provide something of specific value to the prospect based on your prior conversations.
There are so many ways to follow up with prospects these days. We encourage our sellers to use unique methods of reaching out if the traditional email or phone call is not working, for example using LinkedIn or Facebook.
However, just because it’s easy to follow up doesn’t mean that you should be sending follow-up messages that lack a clear purpose. When you follow up, make sure that you have something new to add to the ongoing conversation. I use the acronym WIFM, what is in it for me. Is what you are providing, worth the prospect replying, does your email benefit them? If so, they should respond!
One thing you can do is find something that’s relevant to your prospect, preferably something that is directly related to your solution. If there’s an article about the prospect in a media outlet, or you see news on LinkedIn, that can be a great tie-in for a follow-up message.
Of course, following up is a lot easier when you asked the right questions earlier in the prospecting process. If you really know the prospect, it will naturally be easier to find new topics of conversation and provide them with valuable resources.
If you’re writing to say, “I just wanted to check in,” that’s not moving the needle. But if you can say, “Hey, I know you were interested in this topic. I have something to share with you,” that’s helping you to build a connection. It all comes down to this: Is what you have to say worth their time?
4. Be honest when assessing fit and show a willingness to walk away from a deal if it’s not a fit.
The no-pressure selling technique can work wonders. To do this, you need to be very upfront with the prospect. Tell them, “Look, I don’t know if this is going to achieve the ROI that you’re looking for, but let’s take the time to understand your goals and see together if there is a good fit. I’ll let you know what I think once we’re done talking.” This method lets the prospect put their guard down because they don’t think that you’re going to push a product down their throat.
When you work with SMBs, as Resy does, money is much more sensitive. You really don’t want to waste the prospect’s time if it’s not a fit. Sellers have quotas to hit, and if they’re good they oftentimes can get a prospect to buy even if it’s not a good fit. At Resy, if our product is not the right fit, we empower our sellers to politely decline a partnership. They understand losing is not only what is best for the prospect but also best for the company. It is very difficult to walk away from a sale, but learning to walk away will make you a better seller in the long run.