By far, the five most underrated words in winning someone over are “How can I help you?“.
Far too often I’ve experienced cold emails, calls, face-to-face pitches that start off with a pitch about the company’s products and services, but never asking about the person or organisation’s personal goals. You read all these sales textbooks that teach you to hustle, do objection-handling and how to create the perfect pitch, but they seldom tell you to ask the most important question.
It seems like common sense, but I’ve found that it stems from our own self-interest, to promote our own products than to focus on really bringing value to your clients. “How Can I Help You?” literally allows you to discover your customers needs and injects a personal touch into the brands service.
My favourite book on this is SPIN SELLING (summary of book in linked-pdf), a sales-book based on data that dispels the myth of pressuring people into signing contracts with constant irritating calls for high value sales. I think this should be made an essential reading for all B2B entrepreneurs looking to make their first sale.
I’m a firm believer that if we took more effort in starting the pitch by asking our client, “What are your goals this year?” and “How can I help you achieve those goals”, will not only help us sell more, but create better products.
So.. my dear reader, how can I help you? What are your goals for this year? How can I help you achieve them?