I received a thoughtful email on the post Grasping at Straws (Why You Can’t Get In). In part, the sender wanted to know how you can find out what you dream client’s issues, challenges, and opportunities are so you can use that knowledge to create interest and get in.
First, there is no tool, like Google Alerts, that scrapes dissatisfaction (the real trigger event). Second, you will never really know how best to help your dream client without listening to them. But that said, you can guess.
A (Very) Educated Guess
You know quite a lot of useful information already.
First, you know how your company creates value for your clients. You have a deep understanding of what you do and how you do it. You know how to explain how you make a difference.
Second, you know all of the ways your existing clients were dissatisfied when you found them. They shared with you their problems, their challenges, and the opportunities of which they needed to take advantage. You know your client’s basic, fundamental dissatisfaction.
Finally, if you are really working on getting in with your dream clients, if you are working in your sweet spot, then there is probably a fairly narrow set of categories of problems you work on. All of your products, services, and solutions roll up under these broad categories.
Knowing what you know now, you can take a pretty good educated guess as to why your dream might be dissatisfied.
The last thing you want to do is to attempt a needs analysis over the telephone if your objective is a face-to-face appointment. But you can embed a leading statement in the language when you make your call (or send your email, or whatever).
You can say something to the effect of, “The reasons for my call is that I would like to learn a little about your business, and share with you a few ways we have helped our clients reduce sales cycle times, increasing win rates, and improve the number of salespeople reaching quota.”
If your dream client is a Vice President of Sales, then this is an educated guess that your dream client may be dissatisfied with the time it takes to close deals (what VP of Sales isn’t?), that they believe that they could have an improved win rate, or that they may be dissatisfied with the number of salespeople reaching quotas.
These statements make sense if these are the problems you solve. They bring your dream client’s attention to these issues, and they have to ask themselves the questions around these points. Are sales cycles too long? Should I be trying to discover how to shorten the time it takes to move an opportunity from target to close? Are win rates high enough? Can I help more reps make quota?
It is quite possible that none of these potential pain points will resonate with your dream client. But it isn’t likely. You know enough to guess.
What are the primary problems you help your clients solve?
Can you roll these problems up into a few basic categories?
Can you make a statement that rolls up a few problems in a way that makes it more likely than not that all of your dream clients will share a common concern around them?
Do you really need to know more to make an effective call, or does something else prevent you from calling?