Monday April 10, 2017
Are you worried that what you have to say is not valid?
Are you afraid of coming off as self-serving?
Do you want to avoid appearing too strong or loud?
Do you have fear around putting yourself out there?
There are a variety of different problems or obstacles we run into in our businesses that require us to examine the root of our issues. One of those issues we hear about often is sales. Entrepreneurs tend to be uncomfortable with the concept of selling their product or service. Unfortunately, with all the noise out in the marketplace, the assumption that you, your brand and your offering will stand out in the crowd is risky business. Not to be a bearer of bad news, but you need to have a sales strategy.
What is the problem keeping you from driving results through strategic communication? Getting to the core issue is the only real way to address what is holding you back. Here are some ideas to consider when developing your sales approach.
There is a negative connotation associated with sales people. No one wants to come off as sales-y. However, you can avoid the used-car-salesman-persona and still approach your sales with confident swagger. Confidence and arrogance are two different traits. In order to be authentic and communicate your message effectively, you need to be confident about the value of what you offer. You also need to allow yourself to be vulnerable. People who struggle with being the genuine article will consistently find it difficult to make real connections with others. Remember that not everyone is going to fit your ideal client persona. Those who do will be drawn to you and what you do, as long as you are acting from a place of authenticity.
At networking events, you are expected to deliver your sales pitch. The key to being successful with this is learning when and how to start that conversation. When it is time to present your pitch or ask, be precise. Tell people exactly what you are looking for. This is not being selfish or self-centered. You have to be able to tell people what you are looking for and what you need in order to be successful. Be very specific and detailed with your ask. Avoid broad generalizations and get down to the meat of exactly what works for you and your business. Also, learn to be a better listener. People are reciprocal in nature, which means once they’ve had a chance to share their own pitch, they will feel obligated to ask you for yours.
Service vs Sales
You can’t get new clients if you don’t tell them how you can serve them. Change the way you think about sales. You provide a service that people need and you need to learn how to communicate the value of that need to others. Lead with the intention that you offer a solution to a problem.
Truly own your own value. This inner self-confidence will convince people, those that need what you are selling, that you know what you are doing and that you can get the job done. Have a purpose and approach sales from the standpoint of providing a needed service to other people.
Your business serves a purpose. You have something powerful and impactful to share with the world. But if you fail to spread your message, you are doing a disservice to the world instead.
Don’t Give Away the Farm
When you first begin communicating your message (your sales conversation), give them just a bite-sized version of what you do. That way if they like your offer or service, they will want to discover more about you and your business. Don’t lead with offering your largest package right from the start. You want to build up to this. Lead with what the problem is, and then provide the client with solutions. Once they have experienced the value of what you do, then it’s time to show them all that you are capable of. Remember that people like options, but they need clear direction. Clarity in your message and in your process will lead your clients down the path you want them to go. This process eliminates the need to give away a bunch of free product or service in order to convince them of your value.
Often when people get together for the first time it can be tempting to jump straight to closing the sale. I encourage you to make a separate meeting to handle that with a new client or project. The first one-to-one meeting you have with a lead should be about getting to know one another. If it feels like a great fit for both parties, THEN you set up a meeting to discuss the particulars, close the sale and get the contracts signed.
Sales is just a conversation. It’s not scary. You cannot help other people if you are afraid to tell them what you have to offer. Don’t let your audience walk away unserved.