How to Read the Mind of B2B Customers
Wouldn’t it be great if you knew exactly what is going on in your customers mind? You would know how to pitch your solution to each and stop wasting your time on leads that don’t intend to buy ever.
You may not be able to hear thoughts like a psychic but you can surely know what is on their mind. It all boils down to increasing your perception and empathy.
We lose so much of information in our environment just because we don’t pay attention to it. This is a useful quality when you are driving down a road full of hoardings.
However, it would be beneficial to actually pay attention to each and every word and action when it comes to a client meeting.
You need to decode many things to read someone’s mind. This may be hard task at first but with practice these processes become unconscious and you will automatically be able to tell what’s on your customers mind. What’s more, increased perception will also help you in your personal life and relations.
Start paying attention to following to build mind reading skills:
Listen to the speech
Many times we just hear words but don’t really listen to them. For example, the same words can mean different things based on the context. When a client says “call me later” does he really want you to call later or just want to avoid conversation?
To understand this you will have to listen to the tone of voice, context of words and also body language.
People can hide what they are feeling but the body always tells the truth. Reading body language is the most important communication skill that a sales rep can have.
For example, crossed arms and legs means that the customer is closed to your offer. This would be wrong time to pitch your product. At this point it would be better to work on building rapport and trust.
Another example, feet pointing towards the exit means that the customer is in hurry to get out of the conversation.. Usually salespersons are focused on their own pitching and completely miss these cues.
Knowing what is on the customer’s mind is not so hard once you start noticing these details. There are plenty of resources online as well as in books to learn about the art of reading body language.
Your past experience with the B2B customer will also give you a good idea of what is on the customer’s mind. Information about a customer’s company and position builds as you spend more time talking to them.
You can guess that a new manager will be worried about lengthy approval processes at his company based on your past interactions with the company. As you become a seasoned sales person you will subconsciously know the common objections in a customer’s mind.
Our minds are also shaped by the environment we are in. Pay attention to the customers work and personal environment to understand them better.
What is the culture of the company they are working in? What about the work ethics there? People in a company usually imbibe the company values as their own and this can have huge implications in your offer evaluation, deal negotiation etc.
Each generation thinks differently and has different work ethics. You can expect annoyance if you insist on communicating through chat messaging with a baby boomer (born between 1945-60) who prefers email.
There are four main generations as far as work environment is concerned and knowing about each will tell you a lot about how each of them thinks:
- Baby Boomers- born between 1945-1960 – they conservative and prefer strict hierarchy and clear definition of roles, they prefer face to face meeting
- Generation X – born between 1961- 1980 – they want work-life balance and loyal to their profession and not a company. They prefer to communicate face to face or on phone
- Generation Y – Millennials born between 1981- 1995 – these are the digital entrepreneurs and have parallel careers. They are result oriented and prefer online communications.
- Generation Z– Born after 1995 – This generation is yet to enter the workforce. They are multi-taskers and prefer to communicate through handheld devices.
Tying It All Together
B2B customers have high stakes in choosing a vendor. They are responsible for making the best decision and after sales service. They have a lot on their mind but you can figure it out with sensitive perception and keen attention.
Paying attention to their words, body language and environment will allow you to meet their needs better. Factors such as past generation and company values also affect minds of customers.