LIVING BEYOND EXPECTATIONS
From the Desk of Sarah Nadler Troutdale, Oregon
I've always given my help freely.
For more than a decade, I worked as a volunteer - clocking in sometimes more than a hundred hours a week of coaching others...at no cost to them!
Being a very spiritual person, I felt it was right to do this - be selfless in my help. So I can understand if that is your frame of mind, and the subject of "sales" seems like a dirty word.
But then, two years ago I realized how many MORE people I could be helping, if I had the means to do so.
And as I began to learn more about the sales process, I discovered a secret. And in this blog, I'm going to share with you what it is.
The Biggest Secret I Discovered About Sales is that giving incredible value day after day, year after year, for nothing, or for something vastly inferior to the value you're giving...actually HARMS the person you do it to.
Pride, morale, self-worth - all of these things come from exchanging value for value.
For those who are new to the blog, Sarah Nadler is a Life Coach & inspirational speaker with twelve years of experience helping clients reach relationship, career and Big Hairy Audacious life goals. Her work has been featured on Enterprise Podcast Network, The Sierra Leone Times, and her latest book Walking Past Expectations was rated #6 on Lifney's list of Best Books to Read On The Beach This Summer 2019.
Do you feel "pushy" when you present an offer to your clients? When you get an objection such as, "That price is pretty steep!" or, "I didn't expect it to be..." does it fluster you and put an end your presentation? If you're not in control of the conversation, it's likely your client is controlling you! What if I told you that control = income? And when you can learn to guide the conversation naturally, without strain, or pushy "salesy" tactics, you will get a lot more "yes" answers and hear less objections! (And when you do hear objections, you'll know confidently what to do with them)
The biggest barrier to buying anything is lack of trust.
In a world of telephone scams, government graft and empty promises, the general public have become ever more jaded with each passing year. To overcome that, you need to understand two things:
How do you prove that you are worthy of trust, and therefore convince them to choose YOU as their coach, real estate agent, handyman, etc., or go ahead with a proposal?
Your client is here, in front of you, because they have a problem. Your marketing system has at least gotten you that far! Understanding what that problem is, in their own words not yours, is the first step toward demonstrating that you are the right person to help them solve it.
You have to speak their language, not yours.
This is the biggest mistake most business owners make. Because the terminology of your profession has become your FIRST language, you forget what it was like before you knew business, programming or marketing jargon!
But just "dumbing down" the lingo is not enough.
Ask yourself this question:
"What do I have to do to earn the trust/confidence of my clients?"
The answer is: you have to LISTEN.
A study done by HIREBOX, an internationally-acclaimed hiring firm who train sales teams, showed that the average salesperson starts with only 3 questions before they "jump" to the presentation of their product or service.
Comparatively, surveys show that the top salespeople in the world will ask 15 or more questions before getting into their presentation!
Asking not only helps you gain an understanding of the client's true problem in their own words, it also positions you as someone who truly cares about them, their lives, and the painful effect this problem has had on them.
Put your attention on the person in front of you, not yourself, your business or even the project you want to propose. You do NOT jump into presentation before you have accumulated good information.
That is the first step to building trust.
Once you have asked numerous questions and truly built a genuine rapport with the client, the next step is pairing them with a product or service that fits their needs.
Honesty and integrity play a large part in this.
Remember, I said before that trust is the key to sales. Be worthy of it by listening, and then only presenting what you know will be a proper fit for this person.
A note of caution: Do not diagnose the "pocket book" of the client. What you think they can afford based on your opinion, their general appearance, or other prejudicial factors, is irrelevant.
Gaining your clients' trust includes only presenting a coaching plan, house for sale, or other service that you know with integrity will be the most beneficial to their lives, their health, etc.
Sticking to the ethical sales approach, as described above, will also enormously assist your own confidence in presentation and closing, because you have the frame of mind that you are helping this person by insisting they accept your proposal.
There is a law of energy that you need two poles, the positive and the negative, in order to generate power. Missing either one means you can't have movement or energy.
There is a reason why "push" selling is so unpopular. People like to make up their own mind about things.
Avoid "pushing" the benefits of your product or service, and instead start putting your attention on the client, and leading them toward that "yes" answer you want.
In conversation with them, listen for these two things:
(a) problems, symptoms or circumstances that mean they are a good match for your product or service (ways it will benefit them),
(b) consequences to their lives, health, family, career or happiness if they do not accept your proposal (what they will miss out on).
You have to use the benefits AND fear of missing out, to gain their agreement without seeming pushy or salesy.
Identify through your questions what the biggest roadblock is that holds your client back from where THEY want to be.
STYLIST: Is your client getting the makeup or hair product that will cause a transformation in their appearance and confidence? If not, ask questions to discover how confident, attractive, professional, etc., your client WANTS to be, and match them to the perfect product to meet those needs.
BUSINESS CONSULTANT: Your client is concerned because their business isn't growing at a fast enough rate to meet their goals. What effect is this having on the client's state of mind? Find out, and you will then be able to show them in their own words, how that coaching program is the right option.
DENTIST: Perhaps your patient is embarrassed about their yellow teeth. How is this affecting their relationships? Do they smile less - causing anxiety, stress and other health issues? Asking personal questions will help you isolate what the person might be missing out on in life, that a simple whitening treatment could solve.
The first thing to know about handling objections is that 80% of sales happen after the third attempt to close!
So when you hear the first, "I just don't have the money..." or "Isn't there a different option?" the WRONG thing to do is to give up, or decide the person isn't ever going to agree with you.
Like any other talent, sales presentation is a skill that must be learned and drilled to perfection. And the first error you can make is to not have multiple ways to ask for a decision.
Stop and think about it. How many different ways can you ask a client to make the decision to act now?
If you only have one set patter or way of asking for a final decision, you will not be able to deal with objections.
Instead, you 'deal' with them by shutting down, getting nervous or embarrassed, stuttering, failing to meet the person's eyes, etc. These reactions can sometimes destroy the trust you worked so hard to build, resulting in a "no" that could have been a "yes".
The next thing to know is that price is never the real problem. This objection simply means the client cannot recognize or perceive the value attached to the service. If they truly felt that the value you are offering was vastly important and superior to the cost, they would at least attempt to find the means to pay for it.
Rather than being stopped dead in your tracks by a price objection, simply acknowledge it honestly, "Yes, I understand it seems expensive."
And then go right back to demonstrating the value of it to that client. Remind them of their own desire for the benefits, and touch on further consequences or ways in which they will miss out on life if they do not solve this problem.
By using their own words, and painting a picture with the client of what their lives could be like; what pain they could avoid or problem they could solve by saying yes, you can gain far more "yes" answers, and help a lot more people.
A PASSION FOR ABLE PEOPLE
I'm Sarah Nadler and I help "able" people take back control of their lives, so you can live a life beyond your own expectations.
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