Are wishy-washy sales conversations dragging down your success?
Contributed by Idea Collective Member:
When it comes down to it, this is a “make or break” moment for most of us!
I don’t know about you, but when I look over my calendar and see a Discovery Call (aka: sales consult) in the daily line up, I get excited. Then I get a little nervous.
Face it, we all have a passion to help people. We have specific talents and a deep confidence that we can make a difference that will transform the lives of our ideal clients. But…without getting a “yes” at the end of sales consults, we’ve got no one to help! Right?
Are you leaving the outcome of this important moment up to chance?
Do you have a concise way to move through these high-stakes conversations so you are equipped to make a confident offer at the end?
Here’s the problem my friend. There is an epidemic of wishy-washy sales conversations going on right now and it’s high time we fixed it once and for all.
I want to share the secret to becoming the guide your clients need and are looking for.
Someone who holds THEIR dreams in your hand and boldly, confidently guides them towards making them become their reality.
To make this a fun journey for you, I’d like to use my favorite analogy for sales…dating! Even though it’s been a while for most of us since dating was on our minds, we can still remember the thrill of the experience and the phases of how the relationship progressed forward. And, just like sales, sometimes the relationship ends in marriage (the sale) and sometimes you are friend-zoned.
Let’s use this analogy to move through the three stages of a sales conversation so you have a repeatable process that, if followed, will help you get to yes faster and more frequently.
Stop Wasting the Opening Moments
Ace Ventura is one of my family’s favorite movies. Jim Carey has a line that goes something like this, “Gee Chuck, the date started out great, but somewhere along the way she tensed up.”
This is a great description of what it may feel like to be in a sales conversation with you. Ouch!
We all make the mistake thinking that the point of the conversation opener is to build rapport and put a client at ease.
While that is partially true, it is important to acknowledge that the initial moments of a conversation hold great value. To make the most of these moments, you should steer the conversation towards a specific “getting to know you” topic that encourages the other person to open up and describe their problem in depth. This approach will allow you to truly connect with them and understand their situation on a deeper level.
The way I like to accomplish this is, after just a couple of minutes of opening banter, I ask this question, “So, <their name>, what motivated you to reach out to me?”
What ensues is a veritable brain dump of what’s on their mind. The potential client will usually go on for about 5 minutes or so, telling me everything that has been top of mind for them about a problem they are experiencing that is making their life miserable.
This is PERFECT! I now have everything I need to guide the conversation to the next level. Let’s go there together.
Bite your lip and keep them talking
Your chances of closing a new client during your sales consult call rises and falls on how much self-constraint you have! To really understand what I mean by this statement, let’s go back to the dating analogy.
What if you were on a first date and the person you were sharing a lovely meal with asked you what you did for a living.
You give them a little bit of info and they seem interested and ask whether or not you like it.
This was a perfect follow-up question!
You launch into a tirade about how you feel unfulfilled, hate your boss and are looking for another opportunity in the near future.
Your date says, “Amazing! If we were to get married, I could help you find a new job and you wouldn’t have to worry about finances as much while you found the best option…”
Creepy, right? Too soon! Too fast!
This is exactly what happens when you are in the discovery phase of your sales consults. You ask a really good question. The person you are conversing with opens up a little bit, and like a shark circling around sniffing for blood in the water, BOOM, you pounce on it.
You are doing a great job listening for the pain point that your solution can solve. That’s true!
But, offering relief to that pain point before exploring every nook and cranny is what leads to a wishy-washy sales consult.
Here is where the constraint comes into play.
When you hear something that you know you can “fix,” STOP YOURSELF from describing how this would work.
Ask More Questions
Find out more about the problem, how it happens, what happens next, and what impact that has on them personally or professionally. Oh yes! Go at least 4-6 layers deeper than you normally would.
The sales principle that this tip is founded on is that people buy on emotion and justify with logic.
The first questions you ask should help them talk about the problem from a logical aspect. But, it’s the last couple of questions that uncover the meaning and feeling underlying the challenge they are facing. This process will increase the emotional urgency needed in order to have your potential client make a buying decision.
Make an invitation not an offer
Ok. The magic moment is here. You’ve had a wonderful conversation (date), learned a whole lot of important things about this person that indicates you two would be a great fit to work together.
It’s time to put all your cards on the table and make an offer.
If you’ve ever taken my free masterclass, Getting to Yes Faster, the next tip will make complete sense.
Please don’t start this part of the conversation with something that sounds like this:
“Wow! Sounds like you would be a perfect fit for my super fantastic 7-week program called How to Wrangle All Your Demons. We meet once a week for an hour with a group of 8 people to…”
I think you are catching my drift here, right? You are at the bottom of the value pyramid and they really will not relate.
Even though it is time to talk about your solution, you will still want to frame it from their perspective. You will go back to the problem/challenge and tie ONE ASPECT of your solution to each problem you heard.
What you are doing here is inviting them to visualize what it will look like when their problem is solved.
You are making an invitation for them to solve their problem. Your solution is just the evidence of how it will get done!
I know, mind-bendy stuff here!!
The moral to this story is that sales consults are never ever about you and selling your program or product. The consults that are powerful and impactful experiences for your buyer are always all about them!
You, my friend, are the guide. They are the heroes of the story.
The more you remember this critical fact, the more people will be drawn to you and your sales conversation rates will soar!
Go forth, have fun and let me know how I can support your efforts.
Author, Podcaster & Business Coach
Susan Trumpler, the founder of Unstoppable Women in Business, is an international speaker, coach, podcaster and author of the Amazon Best Seller: OH SH*T! I’m in Sales?, An Entrepreneur’s Guide to Making Sales Your BFF. She dedicates her time and efforts to eradicating the phrase “I hate sales” from the vocabulary of all small business owners.