When implementing a prospecting framework, there are many potential obstacles that companies can encounter that make it difficult for your prospects to understand your offering. Generally anytime a prospect is confused, you will drop to the bottom of their priority list. Focus can mean the difference between an inconsistent pipeline and building a scalable machine. Below are three such obstacles — unrefined positioning, speaking in tech jargon, and talking a big game — and how focus will help you avoid these potential pitfalls.
The more targeted you can be in creating an “Ideal Customer Profile” zeroing in on the prospects by specific industry, by stakeholder, with key attributes, and keywords, the easier it will be to communicate the benefit of using your product (or service).
Pinpoint the specific problem that your service addresses for your ideal customer instead of trying to be all encompassing. This may seem counterintuitive, since many startups try to position themselves as a one-stop-shop to appeal to as many potential customers as possible. This type of ‘wide positioning’ is difficult to repeat and can leave prospects confused as to what you do.
Start with a single vertical, testing content that speaks to the pain points of your top 2-3 stakeholders. Once you have proven positioning in one vertical that resonates with your prospects, the easier it will be to replicate that success in the next vertical on your target list.
Speaking in Tech Jargon
Many startups fall in love with their technology’s features and make the mistake of using jargon to explain what they do. But tech speak can be divisive and end up alienating the exact people you are looking to build a relationship with.
Instead of reciting all the amazing features of your technology, opt for using the simplest language to explain how the product or service will benefit your prospect. The easier it is for a prospect to understand how you can help them, the faster they move towards a meeting or referring you to a decision maker.
EXAMPLE: A recent client utilized this approach when selling a real-time verification software in a subscription model. Instead of taking the approach of what the software does and how it differs from other similar competing software, we focused on how the software can benefit the consumer — by reaching the elusive millennial demographic. In the end, reaching the demographic proved to be much more engaging than speaking to the technology itself.
Talking a Big Game
It’s easy to make claims that you have no true competitors. But words are cheap and customers are savvy enough to research which claims are legitimate, or not.
The age-old idiom “show not tell” applies to prospecting outreach — use proof points to demonstrate the results you’ve produced with prior clients (e.g. data, testimonials, case studies) in all email and phone touches.
Anyone can make claims about how great their product or service is, but let your prospect come to those conclusions on their own by giving concrete examples of what you have accomplished.
EXAMPLE: “Company A is an online global community of 4mm baby boomers & their favorite brands. Last year we drove over $1.5B of tracked incremental revenue for 200 major retailers like X, Y and Z.”
Following these three tips can help you narrow your focus into a repeatable system for interacting with the prospects with the highest probability of closing. By clearly positioning your service for the most ideal prospects, keeping your language simple, and letting your experience speak for itself, you will be qualifying faster and building consistency in your pipe.