In B2B marketing, there will be many times where you’ll have to explain the more technical aspects of your products and services. It ensures customer satisfaction and keeps you from being accused of pulling the wool over people’s eyes.
However, sometimes it feels like explaining things can be as much a difficult art form as marketing itself. What are the rules exactly?
- Rule #1 – Put yourself in the other’s shoes. Ever wonder why a picture’s worth a thousand words? It’s because the same picture can invoke different ideas in different people. Keep this idea in mind when explaining a concept. What might be perfectly understandable for one isn’t the same for someone else. Even with the internet, there are many who still like their information presented to them in different ways.
- Rule #2 – Always listen first. Always. A person who’s always asking questions can be annoying. Still, better that than somebody who takes no interest and doesn’t bother to ask. A good technique is to summarize the stream of questions and compress them into fewer ones to answer. This step is particularly important if you’re in a group setting, and you’ve just taken a question from someone in the audience. Saying your answer will apply for other similar sounding questions helps everyone understand it better and also encourage them to ask different ones.
- Rule #3 – Don’t be a smartass. And here we discuss the most prevalent problem with explanations. Symptoms such as boredom and lack of focus are usually paired with your use of jargon and acronyms as if they elevate you. Remember, there is always a chance that prospect may not fully understand as well as they say they do. That doesn’t mean you should scoff at what they know but rather try and complete it.
- Rule #4 – Keep all eyes on the benefits. There’s a huge difference between showing how you can accomplish something and why it would actually do any good. A bad explanation focuses too much on the former and not the latter. This isn’t good when explaining to someone higher up the corporate hierarchy. A CEO doesn’t really care about how your tools work as much as how much money they can save with it.
- Rule #5 – Use industry analogies. Analogies help because they equate an unfamiliar concept with terms/situations that are familiar to prospects. When making one, simply figure out the basic idea of what you’re trying to see and choose something that’s closer to your prospect’s daily life.
- Rule #6 – Ask if they really got it. It’s almost a habit to ask if they understood an explanation after giving it. Don’t start breaking that habit any time soon. Sometimes prospects would hesitate to say no for fear of looking stupid. Make them feel like they’re smarter or they’re within their right to not feel that way.
Explaining their products and services is often where companies either win their prospects over or get stuck because they just haven’t gotten through. It’s not so much a natural talent but something you can master if you know the rules well enough.