I’m a client success manager at TechnologyAdvice, where we help connect buyers and sellers of business technology. In addition to serving consumers, we also work with vendors to grow their customer base through our unique demand generation programs. Before I was a client success manager, I was a tech advisor, handling inbound high quality leads who come to our site looking to purchase technology within the next few months.
Because HQLs are typically ready and willing to buy, the conversations are mostly pleasant and direct. Every lead we talk to has a technology pain point they’re trying to solve, but on one call, I encountered a lead who had a tragic personal pain point as well.
Immediately I could tell this lead was agitated. I said something like, “Hello! My name is Mary Houston and I’m a tech advisor at TechnologyAdvice. I hope you are doing well.” He quickly replied, “I could be better.” I braced myself and we dove into his technology issues.
He was looking for a new marketing automation platform for his growing real estate business. His current system was “cumbersome.” So I asked what features and functionalities he was looking for. He quickly cut me off saying that “I probably couldn’t help him,” because he had looked at “everything.” After some back and forth of the lead not listening very well, he said, “I am just going to tell you something that might give you a little background about where I am.”
He then explained that his brother and nephew had been traveling in Europe and were killed in a terrorist attack. My heart sunk. I felt terrible for this man and his family. He went on to say that his business had suffered since this tragedy and he was trying to get back into the swing of things. It was clear he just needed to talk about it to someone, and in that moment, he chose me. At the surface, my job is to talk about technology. I could have offered my condolences and turned the subject back to marketing automation. No one would have faulted me for that. But his story struck a chord with me. My husband is in the Army. I told the man this and that there are good people out there taking care of the bad guys. He started to cry over the phone, and told me to thank my husband for his service. I almost started crying myself!
We spoke for 45 minutes. We both connected on a personal level and I was able to send him some recommendations on marketing automation vendors.
The moral of this story is to listen and relate. We use the term “lead” which can be dehumanizing. But those leads are people. And people have issues that we’re trying to solve with our services, but that also have real human challenges, tragedies, and bad days.
Frankly, after this man shared this story with me I wasn’t even thinking about closing the deal! I just wanted to make sure he left the call feeling better than he did when we started the call. I feel like I accomplished my goal. Remember, to listen. Sometimes your ear is all people need.