How do you feel about using the phone in your business? You probably hate it. You probably hate it even more when you have to use it to sell.
Every one of my clients hated using the phone in their business when they started working with me. The thought of using it to sell their services was tantamount to me putting a tarantula on their hand and telling them to stroke it. Pure horror.
You hate being sold to. I get it. Everyone hates being sold to. The perception of being sold anything instills a fear of high pressure tactics and being manipulated into something you don’t want or need. It turns people off.
Ever been in a store and been approached by a sales advisor and said “no I don’t need any help I’m just looking” even though you needed help? I’m not going to mention the perceived sleazy aspect of it all, because you know what I am talking about.
Chances are you carry this fear around with you, and you don’t want to be perceived as being pushy or desperate or worse still; unscrupulous and devious.
“Sales is all about connection; it is simply a conversation. Nothing more”
Many of you know how much I love sales and what I do. Selling is like breathing to me. I have built a business around doing something that I love very much and I get to coach business owners on how wonderful the art of selling is. I am obsessed with helping clients to understand that sales is all about connection; it is simply having a conversation nothing more.
Every aspect of our lives involves selling of some description; you will spend a good proportion of your time in what I call non-sales selling; persuading, convincing and influencing others. How many times have you highlighted the benefits of eating out to someone when you don’t want to cook for example?
I still maintain that children are the best sales professionals in the world. They are utterly relentless in the pursuit of what they want, however much time it takes and however many people they need to talk to get it. Ever fallen prey to “Mum can I have a sandwich or a cookie?” They know that offering a choice enable’s a faster decision and still gets a desirable outcome. Hard to refuse isn’t?
“No-one hates the act of selling”
No-one hates the act of selling, as it’s just a way of helping someone get what he or she needs. Sales is the lifeblood of any business and you need to sell. It’s as simple as that. If you don’t sell, you won’t have a business.
What people get caught up in is the negative connotations of selling; the slick pushiness that manipulates people into buying things that they don’t need. That ‘yuck’ feeling hearing someone mention PPI when you accidentally picked up the phone at 7 in the evening, desperate for wine or dinner or both.
Get clear in your mind that the two are entirely different. That method of selling is woefully outdated and has been replaced by the ethos of service and integrity. Value is the currency and the sale is the outcome.
The act of selling is simply a conversation. Nothing more. Yes I know I have already said this, but you need to hear it again. The prospective clients that you are connecting with are real human beings with real desires and real problems. They are just like you.
So how do you learn to love selling?
You get to enjoy it… Oh and change your beliefs around sales. Attitude is everything. So you need to change your beliefs around sales.
It’s as simple as that.
To help you here is the seven-step process I use with my clients to get them to overcome the fear of using the phone to sell.
1. Get in touch with your why. Why you do what you do? Understand why you sell your product/service, and how it will genuinely help your prospective clients. This will result in a natural sales process and experience. When you are in complete alignment with what you do and who you are, everything flows.
2. Understanding the difference you make to your clients is key and will result in a natural sales process and experience. Get into the frame of mind that you are helping not selling. Ask yourself how your product/service can genuinely help your customers by focusing the benefits and value it provides.
3. Set a clear intention that you are always going to come from a place of service and integrity. Prospective clients can feel when they are being sold to and whether you are just in it for the money. I know we all have bills to pay but once they suspect that you are only in it for the money and don’t have their best interests at heart, trust goes out the door and you will lose the sale.
4. Focus on what you can control. You only have control over yourself and no-one else. Your attitude and your effort is what you can control. It is likely that not everyone you speak to will buy from you and that’s ok. Don’t let the fear of rejection or failure stop you and don’t let it have an impact on the effort that you make. Just keep working at it and don’t be afraid of refining what you are doing. Even a small change in the way that you do something can have a massive difference, it could be as simple as asking a question in a different way. Just keep taking action.
5. Listen more than you talk. I can’t stress this enough. Think of yourself as a Doctor and come from a place of authority. You are a Doctor, diagnosing their needs in order to prescribe a solution; which is you. You can’t help someone without understanding his or her intrinsic needs first. In many cases prospective clients aren’t always willing or prepared to explain their needs on their own. You need to take a listeners mindset at the very start and ask great questions and then sit back and listen. Then listen some more. Then listen to what they aren’t saying by paying attention to their body language or if you are on the phone, the tone, pace and inflection in their voice. Let them tell you how you can serve them.
6. Explore your beliefs around sales, how do you like to engage with people? What turns you off? What negative connotations do you hold around sales? What stops you picking up the phone? By diffusing the tension and pressure in the sales process, you bring you and your prospective clients closer to an honest and truthful conversation.
7. Have fun. No I mean it. Have fun. Enjoy speaking to people and connecting with them. Even if they don’t buy from you straight away, leave them with such a powerful impression of you that they can’t fail to come back in the future. I’ve had clients come back three, six and 12 months later because I always left the door open for them to return. It is never a “no” it’s just a “no” right now.
It’s the connection that you make with that person that will bring you the sale and get them on board.
Be committed to being of service, come from a place of integrity, connect deeply with your prospective clients by asking insightful questions and listening carefully to the answers and offer value beyond their expectations.
That’s how you learn to love selling and make a sale.