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Welcome to the fourth video in our 8-part series about how to craft the perfect buying process for your clients. What we’re going to talk about here is the way to transition from talking about the client to talking about you. The magic that makes this transition possible is curiosity.
If you can create curiosity about how you can be helpful to the client, great things are going to happen.
The research is incredibly powerful here. Dr. Matthias Gruber and his team found that people are intrinsically motivated to do things if they’re curious about them.
Here’s a simple example:
Let’s say you’re out at the bar where you’re with some friends and somebody mentions that Bob Gibson’s ERA was unbelievable for the St. Louis Cardinals in 1968. He spills the beans and he says, “Gosh, I can’t believe it was 1.12.”
Somebody else says, “There’s no way it was that low. Nobody has an ERA that low.” What does everybody do? They grab their phones and they start googling it because they’re curious about what the real answer is. (By the way, 1.12 was correct.) The act of stopping everything to conduct this information search shows the power of curiosity.
What’s also interesting is other researchers have found that curiosity can also affect memory.
Diana Tamir studied this phenomenon and found that people’s recall for issues that they were incredibly curious about is far stronger and lasts much longer than for things that didn’t inspire curiosity. Curiosity drives our motivation and it helps us remember things after the event occurred.
How can you drive curiosity? The best way you can think about it is you want to unfold curiosity through the business development process over time.
A great mystery novel does not say who done it in the first page. It unfolds a little bit over time, and that delicate dance of solving problems and providing more clues is wonderfully enjoyable for people.
You want to unfold the business development process over time. You’re not going to make some big sale in the first meeting anyway, so business development is no different than the mystery novel. Let it unfold a little bit over time.
If you’ve got a client that starts to shine the light back on you, you might want to resist it for a little bit. You can say:
“Hey, I can answer that question you asked, but you know what, I’ve got these one or two other questions I’d love to cover with you. I’ve been dying to ask you what your perspective is on X, but I’d be happy to talk about how a client solved that problem in a moment.”
Let them know you’ve got the answer, but keep the focus on them for a little bit longer.
Then you can come back later in that meeting and give them your precise three-step process for solving the issue they’ve got.
Another way that you can use curiosity is to spread the business development process into the future meetings.
If the client asks a question, “Gosh, what have you heard about X?”, you might want to defer that to the next meeting.
You can say:
“Hey, I can give you a high-level overview, but we’ve only got 12 minutes left. Why don’t we set up another meeting and I’ll connect you via video conference with our expert in London. She just completed a research on that exact issue, and I’ll bet she’d be happy to share it with you. It’s really great stuff. I just saw a sneak peek of it.”
Words and phrases like “sneak peek”, “innovation”, “new” and “I’ll be glad to cover that with the expert” drive a lot of curiosity by incorporating the findings from both of the pieces of the research mentioned.
In summary, curiosity is powerful because:
- It motivates others to be a part of it in the journey with us.
- The client’s recall will be even better than it would’ve been otherwise.
What we’re going to do in the next segment of this video course is very counterintuitive for almost everybody. We’ll answer a tough client question: “How, contractually, would we work together?” We’re going to teach you how to get little incremental buy-in on every major piece of a 4-step process. We’ll touch on every piece of how to build the engagement together with the client so that they’ll be really excited after each incremental step. That way, they’ll be ready and excited to take the next one.
Building things together is incredibly powerful. It is a process that has high flow-through rates. In our next video, we’re going to teach you a little miniature 4-step process to execute with your clients, so you’ve got a very high chance of winning the engagement.