How can I help? It’s a simple question containing only four words, but it’s a powerful question. Asking potential clients how you can help lets them know you are on their side, are ready to listen, and want to provide them with a solution.
When you think about why this person has contacted you, they are coming to you because they need help. Something is broken or causing friction. Their roadblock might be inadequate equipment, software that doesn’t meet their needs, a gap in the supply chain, a lack of clear communication and brand awareness, problems with their current vendor, or any other number of things. The point is they need additional support and have come to you for a solution.
Instead of spending precious time explaining the history of the company and all that you offer, start by finding out what this potential customer needs and what they are hoping you can do. This question also lets the customer know three important facts about you.
1. You are on their side.
Letting the client know you are on their side plants seeds of trust. They are looking for an ally to aid them in overcoming their obstacles. Asking how you can help also takes the focus off of you. It establishes that the customer and their needs are your top priorities in this meeting. You are letting them know you aren’t going to pressure them into buying something but genuinely want them to succeed.
2. You are ready to listen.
Clients will not care about what you have to say, the number of awards you have won, or the people you have helped until you have listened to what they have to say. Asking how you can help tells them you understand they came to you for a very specific reason, and you value their time. You are not going to waste their time talking about things they do not care about or need.
3. You want to provide a solution.
Prospective clients come to you, hoping you can provide a solution for them. When you ask how you can help, you are letting this person know you are confident in what you have to offer and want to find a solution that works best for them. You are taking the time to hear what they really need. You are also earning the right to present what you have to offer to help them.
Every potential customer is looking to work with someone they trust, someone who listens, and someone who can help them. Asking the right question is a great way to show them you are just that person.
If you want to look at other important questions to ask, check out: Can you tell me about you? and What Questions Do You Have?