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How to Guide an Effective Conversation with Buyers: Video

By Michael Zipursky
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I was recently at an event with a bunch of clients, and we were talking about the importance of having control, guiding a conversation when you’re speaking with a buyer.

This is an area that a lot of consultants have a challenge with. They are concerned about being too direct or coming across as rude or pushy or sales-y.

And yet, an example that one of our clients, Mike G., gave which really resonated and so I thought I would share it with you and just kind of talk about this a little bit because I know it can affect so many people.

The example that Mike gave was imagine that you are hiring someone for your company. So you are going to conduct the interview. Now, when you’re conducting that interview, do you let the employee just run wild and guide the conversation or prospective employee?

Or, are you the one that asks certain questions that are important to get answers to? And are you guiding that conversation? Well of course you are. And why are you doing that? Because you’re coming from a place of authority. You are the expert deciding on whether or not this person, this prospective employee would be a good fit for your organization.

Don’t be shy to guide the conversation to take the lead, to come in there with your authority and expertise at the front because that’s what you’re doing. You’re an expert.

Well having a conversation with a buyer or prospective buyer isn’t that different, right? You are a peer to them. You are an expert and an authority, and so your role in that conversation is to ask a lot of questions to better understand what they’re going through to identify what they value, what their challenges are, what the potential opportunity is for a solution and what that would mean for their business.

And so you’re going to have a whole bunch of different questions that are important for you to ask so that you can then determine and qualify, “Is this an actual [inaudible 00:01:58] client? Is this somebody that I can really serve and help and make a meaningful change or impact for?”

So, if you’re not asking those questions, if you’re being too hesitant and you’re letting the buyer really kind of run the interview or the conversation, you’re not going to get the information that you need. You’re going to leave that meeting wondering, “Okay. I have a sense here, but it actually … .” Like as you think about it, there’ll be a whole bunch of other questions and information that you still will lack because you didn’t go in there and guide and run the conversation, asking the questions that are important for you to ask.

So I want to share that as a reminder to you that when you’re speaking with a prospective buyer and client, that you know … that you should know … what questions are important to get answers to. Don’t be shy to ask those questions.

Don’t be shy to guide the conversation to take the lead, to come in there with your authority and expertise at the front because that’s what you’re doing. You’re an expert.

If you’re not an expert, if you’re not an authority, if you don’t really have value that you can deliver, if you can’t help the person to achieve the outcome that they’re looking for, then there’s no point in having that conversation. You can end that conversation quite quickly.

But if you really can add value, then it’s important. It’s imperative that you do ask those questions and don’t be afraid of being sales-y. Buyers will appreciate that you are guiding the conversation, that you are leading them, because that’s what they need. Right?

They’re looking for help. They’re looking to have a change, to solve a problem or to reach a specific result that is important for them. And so if you can help them to achieve that, they’re going to appreciate you taking the lead and guiding the conversation. So don’t be shy. It can really benefit you.

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