A little while ago I was sitting in on a sales workshop for PT’s and during the workshop I asked the attendees what they hated most about selling or marketing.
Whenever I have asked this question before I usually receive the following answers…
“feeling pushy”, “cold contacts”, “not being respected” or “closing”.
This time around the first answer I got was:
“The Whole Damn Lot”
At the time I laughed, but I explained to the individual that I was laughing because I hate being “sold” to myself so I understood his aversion to sales.
Perhaps at times, you feel the same?
If you do then here are a couple of tips that might help you.
Get Your Mindset Right
When most business owners go into a sales meetings or make calls to prospects, their primary goal is to sell. To emerge from that meeting or call with a new client.
That’s not the best mindset to have. In fact, I believe that it can often backfire as your potential client will pick up on the fact that your goal is to sell them and their trust in you will drop.
When you recommend something a little voice at the back of their head will be asking “is he/she recommending this because they think it’s best for me – or because they want to sell me something?”
A better approach might be to enter the meeting with the goal of seeing if there is genuinely a good fit and whether it’s right for you both to work together.
In other words: make “no” an OK option.
Once you do this, you take off the pressure. Your potential client will trust what you say more and you will come across less needy.
Paradoxically, by making “no” an OK option – you will get more “yeses”.
Follow a Formula
Once you’ve got your mindset right, you can help overcome your nerves and discomfort by following a simple formula for your sales consultation.
Forget you’re in a sales consult for a moment. Act as if you’re an independent advisor helping the prospect come to the right decision about what to do.
What sort of questions would you ask them?
You’d probably start off by asking questions to diagnose their problem, or figure out their goals or aspirations.
Then you’d probably discuss the impact of the problem or the gap between the goal and the current situation to see if it was worth addressing.
Then you’d look at what the action plan should be to address the issue – maybe talking about some of the potential barriers too.
You’re going to do the same thing in this sales consultation.
Then I suggest you ask them one question (one borrowed author Michael Port – Book Yourself Solid).
When you’ve completed the consultation and they’ve agreed what the action plan should be, you simply close by asking them:
“Would you like some help with that?”
Now, this is not a world class sales technique. There are lots you could do to better it.
But it’s simple. It doesn’t feel uncomfortable or pushy and it’s something pretty much anyone can do.
Chances are if you’ve asked smart questions during your Consult and built trust and empathy through the discussion, then they’ll say yes.
All without being pushy, manipulative or “salesy”.
So if you have any issues with selling, then give this technique a go and let us know how you get on in the comments box below.