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How to talk to your prospects to create a connection 

Comedian Jerry Seinfeld has a great bit about being married… and how his wife doesn’t like his “tone of voice”… 

“When I was single, I did not know that I spoke in different tones… and now that I’m married, I know now that not only do I have many tones, I have many incorrect tones.” 

One reason it’s so funny is that probably everyone on the planet can relate. And nobody likes it when we’re called out on our “tone.” 

He also makes the joke interpreting “tone” as simply the “note” you’re speaking in, as he buzzes different notes (tones) to test them out on his wife. 

Obviously, in human relations, tone is more than just that - it’s both what you say and how you say it.

And yes - it makes a difference.

It makes a difference with any human communication, and the outcomes you want, including whether or not your prospects become clients or whether or not your clients keep coming back.

If you want to truly connect with your prospects, keep reading because today I’m gonna make the case for watching your tone, what will happen to your business if you don’t, plus what to say and how to say so that you earn the trust and loyalty of your prospects and clients.

It Boils Down To One Word: Trust

So what is the best way to approach your prospects? Certainly NOT making your prospects wait for 15 minutes while they try to get past a robot on the phone.

Certainly NOT reading a sales script to them in an accent they unfortunately can’t understand. 

This is where you need to question the tools you use - scripts can be a useful guide, but they can also be a bane to your sales. Recorded voices on the phone may be cost effective in the short term, but may turn off your prospects. 

Another example, emails that just look like huge “walls of text” and are filled with corporate jargon… make your prospect feel like a number you checked off on your spreadsheet.

The root problem of each of these examples is that you are undercutting the trust your prospect has in you.

We’ve repeated this so much over the years, it’s become our mantra - people buy from people they trust.

Two points there - PEOPLE and TRUST.

Note that these are NOT just “soft skill” nice-to-haves for businesses, these are essential factors you must prioritize in your marketing, in your sales, in your fulfillment… across the entire client life cycle.

Take a look at a few recent statistics that will help drive this point home. According to LinkedIn’s Global State of Sales Report:

  • Only 37% of buyers say that salespeople are trustworthy
  • Yet, buyers rank “trustworthy” as the No. 1 trait they value in a sales professional
  • And finally, 89% of buyers describe the salespeople they ultimately do business with as “trusted advisors”

Can you see the progression there? 

Your buyer automatically sees you (or your sales team) with distrust. You must EARN that trust because they want to buy from someone they trust.

It's imperative you build trust with your prospects. 

Don’t act like a steel entity people can bang their head against - be human. Prioritize trust and you’ll find that you'll get a much better response, one likely to increase your bottom line.

Now let’s talk about how you can do that.

Want to learn the system I use to build trust with my prospects?

Just Talk to Me Like A Person

Take a look at this and think about what yo’d do if it landed in your inbox…

Ugh. When I see stuff like this I delete it immediately. 

We’ve all been on the receiving end of that, right?

We call these people “Leg Humpers”…and you definitely don’t want your audience thinking of you like that.

Sure, 1 out of 2000 messages like that might get a response, but you are burning bridges with 1,999 potential future clients with an approach like that.

If you’ve ever read the book ‘The Ultimate Sales Machine’ by Chet Holmes, you may be familiar with the concept of the Demand Gen Pyramid.

Basically, this chart breaks down the different segments of your audience.

It buckets them into targets that fall into one of five categories:

  • Ready to purchase

  • Open to buying, but not looking

  • Not thinking about it (indifferent)

  • Think they aren’t interested

  • Know they aren’t interested

Now the fact of the matter is that most people are lazy. 

They only want to talk to the 3% of their market that is ready to purchase now…

This is short-sighted as it leads to you ignoring the much larger audience out there for your product or service. 

Let’s take out that last 30% that know they aren’t interested. That leaves you with 67% of your market audience that you should be developing relationships with. So that when the time is right, they think of you.

Why would they do that? 

Because they TRUST you. 

3 Tips To Build Trust In Your Communication With Prospects

First things first - meet them where they’re at. 

As we mentioned, you can’t just start a conversation with people ASSUMING they are in the ‘buy-now’ crowd. IF you do that, you are firmly in ‘leg-humper’ territory.

So what do you do?

You need to warm these new prospects up to you. 

You want them to become familiar with your name, your message, and your business. 

You must nurture them. That means consistent follow-up. It means showing up on social media. It means making several calls. 

Second, Be Conversational

You’re not looking to dominate your prospect here. It’s the opposite. You want to listen to them and understand why they might need your solution. And you want to hear how they talk about their problems, and the reasons they want it fixed.

So, going back to Jerry Seinfeld - you want the right type of tone. 

What tone do you want?

Regardless of the communication medium, whether SMS, Email, a Sales Conversation, or a video, you want to approach them conversationally in both tone and structure. 

Remember, long gone are the days when people would automatically trust whatever they hear, just because it’s written down, or because an “authority” of some sort says it. We know better. Today’s audience is more sophisticated. 

Your prospects automatically distrust sales people and can sniff out canned elevator pitch type marketing from a mile away. 

Get around that and use this trick to make sure you stay conversational in your tone: 

Pretend you’re speaking to a friend in a cafe about their day and perhaps you offer advice.

Think about it - how do you help your friends?

That’s exactly how you should speak with your prospects. You wouldn't use corporate jargon and boiler-plate benefit statements in that scenario, right? 

Your prospects want to be helped. They want their problems solved. No one wants to be sold or convinced that this is the right decision. 

But hang on… Isn’t that what sales IS though? 

Yes, but it’s more subtle than that these days. The best way is to be a trusted advisor presenting the info and to let your prospect come to that conclusion themselves. 

Third, Use This Checklist

Here are some more real tips to ensure your conversation is, well, conversational! 

  1. Speak Casually (remember, like you’re talking to a friend)

  1. Use short sentences. (This makes your communication easier to read and easier to engage with. Nobody likes a giant text wall in their email.)

  1. Get to the point (your prospects don’t have all day. Use a tool like the Hemingway Editor to ensure your emails are precise and easy to understand)

  1. Avoid overwhelming lists of features and benefits (This is counterintuitive, I know, because you want your prospect to understand all the great things about your offerings. But it will only turn your prospect off. Don’t push reasons on them. Be an advisor, not a traditional salesperson.)

  1. Be careful with clever lines. (use humor and cleverness sparingly; they don’t always translate well via text and may come off as rude, immature, or sarcastic)

  1. Never use fear to sell. (Another big turn off. This is hypey and triggers their BS radar. Also, their experience matters. How your prospect feels about you matters. If you make them feel bad, they’re not gonna come back.)

  1. Deliver quality info (Avoid misleading information. Again, it’s hypey and you’ll lose any chance of trust.) 

A note about Misleading Information: CRUCIAL to avoid at all costs

I want to highlight another stat from LinkedIn’s Global State of Sales Report:

48% of buyers say that delivering misleading information (about a product or its price) is an immediate deal killer.

LinkedIn asked buyers what seller behaviors are immediate deal-killers. This was at the top. In fact, here are the top four:

  • Delivering misleading information about a product, its price, etc. (48%)

  • Not understanding their own product or service (44%)

  • Not understanding my company and its needs (43%)

  • Not understanding their competitors’ products and services (34%) 

As LinkedIn says, “The fact that delivering misleading information sits at the top of the list highlights the importance of trust for buyers. They look to sellers to provide accurate information and insight into a buying process that is often confusing.

Of the top five deal-killers, four of them involve failing to deliver useful or accurate information.” 

This shows just how critical trust is when it comes to sales, especially in today’s market.

Your Turn: Get Ahead of The Curve

THIS is the direction businesses are headed. THIS is how the markets are being trained to respond (and yes - it’s a reaction to the overwhelm and confusion of today’s business landscape.)

If you want to get ahead of that, I have a gift for you. I wrote a book called The Trust Equation.

I firmly believe that every business needs to consider how they’re using TRUST in their business. 

If you don’t, you’re entering every day like a ship at sea in an angry storm. Proceed at your own peril. 

The old way of marketing is a thing of the past!  

The Trust Equation is the new paradigm.  In the book, I break down how you can use trust in your business step by step.  

You can use it to get more leads and clients in a matter of days.

Since its release it has revolutionized the way small businesses approach growth and marketing.  

This book will change the way you see the lead generation and sales processes. It will change the way you get leads and clients. It’s so important that I’m giving it to you now.

But since we’re starting to open back up as an economy and business is starting to boom - I want you to have a copy today - at no charge. 

Get your free copy of The Trust Equation book here.

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