Most businesses have some sort of cold boilerplate message that talks about how much they care about their customers, yet few do anything more than pay lip service to the idea. If you want to improve your sales process, you have to show prospects you genuinely care.

4 Ways to Show You Care

What does it mean to show a customer that you care?

It means different things to different people, but it’s ultimately about proving their needs matter to you. It’s about communicating (and backing up) the idea that they are valuable to you.

How you do this is completely up to you, but here are a few suggestions that will help you stop being selfish and actually start showing prospects you care:

1. Strategic Website Optimization

Your website is your virtual real estate. It doesn’t matter if you’re in the ecommerce business and you sell products directly from your site, or you’re in a field like consulting and your domain is just a branding play, strategically optimizing your website to show prospects you care is an absolute must.

For one, you need to simplify your message down into a single value statement. These accident lawyers provide a great example of what this looks like in practice. Their statement, which is front and center at the top of the site, reads: “We put lives back together.” It doesn’t get any clearer than that. All it takes is five words and they show their website visitors what they’re all about.

Too many brands use their websites to paint themselves as the heroes, when the goal is to show customers that you understand them and are willing to serve them. Use the example above as inspiration.

What’s your value statement? Is it obvious to customers when they visit your page? By optimizing with this in mind, you get to control the message and show your customers you care.

2. Listen Before You Speak

People don’t care what you know until they’re certain you care. If you try to lead with knowledge, you’ll fail most of the time.

“Showing your prospects and customers that you care is not just about being all mushy and emotional,” entrepreneur Jonathan Herrick writes. “It’s more about being genuine and authentic at every step of the communication process and being a great listener.”

Social media is such a great platform for listening. You can do this passively and actively. Passive listening is a lot like Facebook stalking. You study what your audience is saying, posting, and sharing – which tells you what they care about. Active listening involves running polls, asking questions, and directly soliciting feedback.

Based on the insights you gain from listening in sales, you can present a more cohesive and selfless message.

3. Do Your Research Ahead of Time

Before going into an initial meeting with a prospect (or picking up the phone to call), do your research. Research who they are, what needs they have, and what their current relationship is with your brand (if there is any).

This research does a couple of things for you. First off, it helps you prepare your messaging so that you’re able to make an informed pitch. But most importantly, it shows the prospect that you care enough to meet them at their level.

4. Tailor Products and Services

One of the best ways to show prospects you care is to listen to their feedback and then tailor your products and services to their needs and wants.

Personalized products with features that matter will always outsell generic products that appeal to everyone. (At least in terms of profitability.) Be smart and strategic with how you groom your product lines and service offerings.

Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

Businesses love to talk about how much they care about customers. They’ll put it on billboards, paste it into sales advertisements, and splash it all over websites. It’s a favorite talking point when there doesn’t seem to be anything else to discuss. But it’s usually nothing more than a talking point.

In the words of country music singer Toby Keith, we could all use a little less talk and a lot more action. Stop talking about how much you care about your clients and start doing things that show them you actually do care. That’s where the real change happens.

Jenna Cyprus is a freelance writer from Renton, WA who is particularly interested in travel, nature, and parenting. Follow her on Twitter.

Listening in sales stock photo by fizkes/Shutterstock