In the past year I’ve been to three HR conferences, which means I’ve spent plenty of time walking and observing the trade show booths at each conference. When you’re walking through an exposition hall the size of a football field, it feels like there are thousands of vendors there to hawk their wares. While that may sound negative, it’s not intended that way – the products and services these vendors have to offer are amazing.
But given the size and intensity of the situation, it can be overwhelming for HR buyers.
So how do you make your product or service stand out amid all the bells and whistles?
You have a few minutes – maybe even just a few seconds – to engage with a potential client. You have to make those moments all about the HUR buyer and all about the connection.
Show them that you value their time by asking these three questions and then responding appropriately:
1. What’s the biggest challenge your HR team is currently facing?
I can guarantee anyone in that expo hall will be able to provide you with at least one answer to this question. It’s a simple way to start a conversation, build a connection, and demonstrate that you’re interested in the buyer. Important distinction to keep in mind: this conversation and connection is all about the buyer at this point. It’s not about you, yet.
2. How have you been addressing that challenge?
Here’s where you can get some clues about what is or isn’t working in terms of solutions for this HR buyer. You’ll also be able to identify how far the organization is in addressing this issue. Are they just starting to look for a solution, do they have a legacy system or process that is causing them grief? Or is this person on a solo mission to solve their organization’s problems?
3. How can our product/service help you?
Caution: don’t ask your prospective HR buyer this question. This is the question YOU get to answer. After asking the first two questions – and listening to the answers! – you’ll be able to provide an answer for the HR buyer about how your product or service can help their organization.
This approach is golden. It may be that your product or service can’t help this buyer with their current problem. Don’t freak out, that’s actually okay. Here’s why: those first two questions allowed you to establish a genuine rapport. You created a customer-focused connection. So in the future, when this buyer needs your product or service, there’s a much greater chance that he or she will remember you and your conversation because of the connection you created.
Let me know how you use these questions, and how they help you create a meaningful connection with potential customers.