If you are in business, then you are in sales, there are no two ways about it. The only way you can be in business is by making sales which means your potential clients have to say yes to whatever your offer is. This is the plain truth. Without the yes, there is no sale, and without the sale there is no money and no money means no business, just a hobby.
Yes's are the difference between being in business and not.
There are many factors involved when having a sales conversation with a potential client, and of course, it depends on the medium. However, the three keys that I am sharing with you can be applied to all other sales processes.
This is crucial and often overlooked when it comes to sales. Listening can easily make the difference between a great experience for the potential client, and not. I am sure you have had the experience of the salesperson who talks, and talks, and talks... obviously has no interest in what you want or need and is just out to hit his sales target- yuk!
When you give a potential client your undivided attention, and really give him that space to voice what it is that he wants and what his problems are, with no pre-conceived notions or judgement, he is going to feel your presence and your understanding, even though you are saying nothing. The key is to listen with no pre-conceived notions or judgement. You see, most of us think we are listening, but what we are doing most of the time is listening for agreement with what we already know or the opposite which means we are really listening to our own internal dialogue. This means that we could easily be missing important information that the other person is sharing.
Speak About the Benefits and Results
You love what you do, that's why you do it, but to be brutally honest, your potential client doesn't really care about what you do. All he cares about is what is in it for him. That's the thing you must talk about. Talk about all the benefits, solutions and results your services and products will provide.
If you don't, it's a bit like trying to sell someone a holiday to the Bahamas by telling them about what color the airline ticket is, how big the bed is in the hotel room, what type of sauce they will have with their meal on the plane....you get the picture! These are the features, just like your services and products are your feature.
Sell the destination which means the end result, solutions and benefits. Additionally, if you have been listening to your client, you will know whether you can provide the destination they are looking for.
This might sound obvious, but I can't tell you how many heart centred solo-preneurs I have spoken to who don't do this. They have the conversation with a prospective client, may get the first two keys just right and then... nothing.
You might as well have been telling a friend all about an amazing party you are going to be having next week, letting him know that all your best friends are coming, you have organized the best food, the best drink, the best entertainment, you are going to make sure everyone has a whale of a time and then... nothing! You leave him standing, you don't invite that person to the party so that they can have a whale of a time. Kind of selfish, don't you think?
If you don't ask someone to come in and work with you to achieve the great results and benefits you know you can help them with, then it's pretty hard to get a yes. It is your job as the service provider to invite your prospect to the party.
Although these golden rules may seem very obvious to you as you read them, I highly encourage you to reflect on whether you are really listening and being present. Practice it with friends and family and see how the experience changes as you really engage in listening without looking for agreement.
Also, make yourself a list of the benefits and results your clients get when working with you. Get really clear on them, and you if you are struggling with this, ask past clients for their input.
Finally, practice asking. Get really comfortable with asking for business.
I know it's not always fun, but practice is the mother of all skill, and the great thing about skills is that they can be learned.
By Sheela Masand
Photography by Nejron
Sheela Masand was a co-founder and working partner of a multi million Euro business for over 12 years. Having worked through the struggle of how to find clients and make money in her own business, she now specializes in helping other heart-centred service professionals to do just that, all in a very authentic, non sales-y way. Sheela can help you to attract more clients and make more money in a fun and authentic way. Visit http://www.sheelamasand.com to pick up a special free gift "Top 3 Secrets to Attracting Clients without Spending a Cent".