When we start out in business, we do so because we love what we do. We’re not thinking about sales, getting the word out or survival. These little surprises show up later, once the rose-coloured glasses come off.
This is the point where dismay usually sets in: when we realise we have to embrace things we don’t necessarily want to.
Things like selling.
Sales is the heartbeat of your business. Without it, you don’t actually have a business. But given you probably don’t like being sold to, I suspect you don’t want to drop ‘sales speak’ on your customers either.
Here are five easy Do’s and Don’ts that will keep the ‘salesy’ stuff out of your conversation and help you score the soulful sales your business needs to stay in the game.
1. Get clear on your value.
Identify the benefits and understand the value you deliver to your clients and customers. It’s essential you’re completely confident in your offering before you start trying to convince others.
2. Identify the right target market.
The wrong type of customer can end up costing you time, money and your sanity. Spend some time getting to know your customer so that when you’ve crafted your message, you can deliver it to this person like they’re an old friend.
3. Be You.
The minute we enter sales territory we tend to adopt a high-pitched voice and sweaty palms. Don’t do it! Changing your personality just makes the situation awkward. Refer back to point two above and remember, it should be like you’re just chatting with an old friend.
Listen to your customer. And then listen some more. When you connect with the right customer and offer the right solution, selling becomes a natural exchange of value. Your customer has a problem they need help with and you’re offering a great solution.
5. Manage your mindset.
Yes sales can be scary but feel the fear and do it anyway. You have control over your thoughts. Recognise them (politely!) and focus on the positive. Affirmations are great for this.
1. Be afraid of the word NO.
When the barista asks you if you want a muffin with your coffee you don’t gasp and recoil in horror do you? You say “no thanks” (or “yes” if you skipped breakfast) and move on.
A “no” to your offer does not mean no to you as a person. Also, a no today can often lead to a yes further down the road. Getting someone to know, like and trust you, like anything worthwhile, takes time.
Sales is much more than just reading a script, rushing to close the deal and then moving on. Selling your services should be a natural process of nurturing and relationship building.
3. Stay in the sales stereotype trap.
Traditional sales is seen as icky, sleazy and pushy. These limiting beliefs can hold you back.
Reframe it. Selling is helping people; it’s an exchange of value. Holding back your work and not sharing it with those who need it most is doing not just you, but the world, a disservice.
4. Sell from a place of fear.
If you’re not comfortable having conversations about your products or services your customers will sense it a mile off. Selling from a place of fear creates feelings of desperation and discomfort.
Would you buy from someone with this kind of karma? Knock your fear on the head by getting clear on your value offering and communicating the benefits of your work.
5. Forget to follow up.
On average it takes a customer seven or eight exposures to your product before they buy. This is why follow up should be a big part of your sales process.
I’m not talking about stalking someone who has already said no. Or spamming and sending unwanted emails. What you can do is continue to share your expertise, add value and be top of mind in your subject area with your prospect.
So there you have it, 10 great sales tips to help you get comfortable with selling and allow you to make more money doing the work you love.
Which of the sales tips above do you find the most challenging?