Speaking Your Customer's Language
Donald C Kelly, Shaheem Alam

TSE 1490: Speaking Your Customer’s Language

A fundamental aspect of sales is communication (that much is obvious.) But no matter how good at communicating you are, if you’re speaking a different language than the prospect, your chance of landing the sale is slim. As we continue our series stressing the importance of differentiation, Donald is joined by the co-founder of FiveRings Marketing, Shaheem Alam, to learn how to speak like the prospect to make a lasting (and positive) impression. 

What does that mean to speak your customer language?

  • It’s basic psychology: people buy from people they like, and people like people similar to themselves.
  • There are tons of resources on mirroring body language, tonality, and matching behavior. But one of those key points is just speaking their language.
  • Think of it like a teacher; everyone has different learning styles. By speaking your customer’s language, you’re helping them understand and educate themselves in the best way possible.

Shaheem learned this strategy by going straight to the source: his customers.

  • When a customer is buying a product, they’re buying it to do a job for them.
  • For example, you might buy pizza at Domino’s or a fancy pizza place. But both restaurants serve different jobs. 
  • Domino’s is for fast pizza to feed your kids for dinner. The fancier place might be for a date or the experience rather than just the food.
  • So when Shaheem interacted with his past customers, he asked what jobs were they ultimately trying to accomplish.
  • The answer, obviously, is to get more sales. But why? To attract investors and raise funds? To demonstrate product-market fit? 

The job is seldom just to generate more sales. 

  • Figure out why your client wants to do that to understand your value and contributions.
  • When speaking to a customer, Shaheem doesn’t tell them he’ll get leads or meetings or sales – he tells them he helps with customer discovery and product-market fit.
  • Don’t sell yourself the way everyone else is; sell yourself in a way that demonstrates unique value and an ability to discover a prospect’s underlying needs.
  • If a company tries to put you in a typical mold, say no and emphasize the unique value you bring to the table.

Shaheem’s major takeaway? Do everything you can to understand your customers. Learn how they behave, think, and speak, because that’s who buys and pays for your product.

Visit his company website to get in contact with Shaheem or connect with him on LinkedIn. You can also visit his company’s LinkedIn page for more information. Join Donald’s Facebook group, The Sales Evangelizers, to find a community of people to share, reflect, and grow with on your sales journey.

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Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound. Other songs used in the episodes are as follows: The Organ Grinder written by Bradley Jay Hill, performed by Bright Seed, and Produced by Brightseed and Hill.

About the Author Nancy Paul