Six behavioral attributes your prospects demand from you

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These go for more than just prospects. Customers, partners and colleagues want these too. They’re universal, and can be the difference between winning and losing the business – short-term and long-term.

Transparency
You don’t always have good news. But even the bad news is easier to swallow when you know someone’s being straight with you. If the prospect or customer feels like they’re getting the real story, they’re more likely to work with you on the solution or next step. Transparency and trust go hand in hand.

Expediency
If they ask for something, you get back to them quickly. You can’t always deliver the request or solution right away, but you can always respond quickly with an answer or timeline for resolution. Speed of service means a lot, especially with prospects and customers who want their information in real-time.

Advocacy
Do you stand up for your customers? Do you advocate for their needs internally and externally? Are you a champion for their objectives? Do you treat their priorities as your own? Think about some of your own vendors. There’s a difference between those who are mere vendors and those who are advocates.

Honesty
Say what you mean, mean what you say. Be honest about whether that requested feature is coming soon, or not yet on the near-term product timeline. If you screwed up, admit it, make it right, and move forward. It’s amazing to me how many companies are literally afraid to be honest. But if your relationship isn’t based in honesty and trust to begin with, there’s no amount of spin or messaging strategy or tap-dancing that will save the relationship long-term.

Availability
This doesn’t mean responding to requests at 5:00 a.m. on a Sunday morning. Depending on what you do, that might be acceptable. But for most of us, it’s still OK to set some boundaries. That said, your availability – to answer simple questions, attend to a service request, or simply to discuss or brainstorm something – makes a big difference. Two of our clients, for example, don’t have a voicemail system in the entire organization. Your phone call is always answered by a live person, who can either track down the person you need, get you to someone else, or take a message and get you a response ASAP. There’s a big difference, of course, between leaving a voicemail somewhere and reaching a live body every time. And there’s really very little price difference in those solutions too if you think about it.

Creativity
Your customers are smart, but they also stare at the same four walls every day. They want you to help them think outside of the box, bring new ideas, identify new solutions to their problems. Doesn’t mean that every idea is a winner. Sometimes bad ideas are just the spark you (or they) need to come up with the next innovation. But proactive creativity (meaning you’re doing it without the customer having to explicitly ask for it) shows that you care, shows that you’re striving to get better, and shows that you’re not OK with the status quo if your customer isn’t getting the results they need.

What would you add to this list? What attribute does your organization focus on to differentiate with customers and prospects? As a buyer, which attributes do you most appreciate?

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Matt Heinz
Prolific author and nationally recognized, award-winning blogger, Matt Heinz is President and Founder of Heinz Marketing with 20 years of marketing, business development and sales experience from a variety of organizations and industries. He is a dynamic speaker, memorable not only for his keen insight and humor, but his actionable and motivating takeaways.Matt’s career focuses on consistently delivering measurable results with greater sales, revenue growth, product success and customer loyalty.

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