What are Conversational Sales?
I recently took a course in Conversational Sales offered by Drift. Drift is a conversational marketing platform that helps companies to gain more sales leads, in a faster and more effective way. Some of their products are chatbots that start conversations with site visitors and customers, identifying what they're looking for, for giving them the information they need or contact them to a sales representative or customer service agent.
Drift chatbots are awesome! But in this course, I learned to let bots interact as bots; my job is to have more engaging, humane conversations with clients and customers; taking advantage of the help that bots provide. I wrote this recap of the main lessons I learned in this course and some reflexions based on my experiences:
In today's world, the way customers interact with markets and products is no longer centered on companies' processes and conveniences. Now customers want to decide when and how to buy or receive information about products or services that are interesting to them. Customers are exposed to millions of options, thanks to our every time more interconnected world. For this reason, if companies want to improve their practices and succeed among their competitors, it's necessary to train their teams to follow the principles of a customer-centric approach. Some of these principles are the following:
-Treat prospects and clients as persons, not as numbers: Sometimes, sales representatives can be too focused on sales goals and reaching numbers, that they can forget about interacting with clients seeing them as people, instead of just someone who can bring their money to the company they work for. It isn't too crazy to see cases of employees that treat prospects in a lovely way until they realize they're not going to become customers or the opposite. Not long ago I lived an experience like this one at a bank. The lady in charge of attending me treated me in a despective way once I mentioned that I'm currently unemployed. Once she checked information about me in their system, she realized I'm considered a top customer by the bank for the excellent banking history I have maintained with them. The change in her attitude was noticeable, she tried to be very friendly and kind, but by that time, I was feeling disappointed with the service I received.
-Interact as a human, not as a robot: Paul Whittington is a sales rep at 15Five. He gave a lesson in this course about how to be successful with chat. "I often interact with chatbots and chat agents in various capacities, and sometimes I can't even tell the difference in who I'm chatting with," Paul mentioned. He explained the importance of being empathetic and genuine, showing that I truly care about the customer. An excellent way to do this is to have real, natural conversations with them, and not just ask questions and wait for answers as a machine. Showing my personality makes the conversation more authentic.
-Make sure to know the customers' needs: It's crucial to understand very well the problems that my customers need to solve, and the best way of doing it is by asking questions and clarifying answers. Once I identify their situation, I can recommend products/services, explaining why they're the best option for them and how they would meet their specific needs.
-Create value in every step of the selling process: A great way of strengthening relationships with customers is by creating value every time I have interactions with them. Instead of sending just follow up emails, it's better to include links with information or software that can be helpful for them. Emails should be brief and to the point but should explain how the information I send is beneficial for them. Doing this shows that I know exactly in which part of their process they are and that I care about them.
To do this, it's essential to keep always researching my clients. For example, if my customers are companies, I should follow them and the members of their teams I interact with on LinkedIn and keep updated about what they're doing.
-Personalization is everything: Keeping communications personalized helps to maintain excellent relationships with customers. For example: adding value to their posts and creating texting relationships with them. It is more natural to have conversations over chat, and it'd probably provide quicker responses. Some sales might not close immediately, but I can cultivate them by building those relationships with customers.
Sending videos, mentioning the name of the recipient, is also an excellent way of getting noticed and connecting. Drift video is a great tool for doing this.
-Time response: When my clients are visiting the website of my company, I need to make sure to answer within 60 seconds or less; even if the bot already started the conversation with the site visitor. It shows him/her that there is always a human there willing to help.
-Be passionate about my product/service: If I feel excited about how awesome the products I sell are, customers will be excited about them too. However, I think that to show passion, it's not necessary to be dramatic or talk with a different voice than I usually use. That often makes salespeople sound too "salesy" and insincere. Instead, it's better to use examples of how these products/services have helped other companies or people.
-Be transparent about what I'm doing: Honesty is essential for building trust with customers. Nobody wants to buy things from people they don't trust. For this reason, I always need to explain what I'm doing and what the next steps in the sales process are. In that way, customers will feel peaceful about their buying decisions.
This Conversational Sales course helped me to understand how to serve my clients better, how to care more about them, to be genuine in conversations, and creating value for them selflessly along the way. I can use Driftbots as allies in my job. Using technology + my skills and personality will help me to improve my results and increase the number of sales I close.
If you're interested in taking this course, you can find it here. I took the lessons, the test, and got certified by Drift in less than 3 hours.
If you want to continue a conversation with me about Conversational Sales, text me on LinkedIn. I'd be happy to connect with you!