Yes, ‘tis the season to crack open delicious, brightly wrapped and irresistible Easter eggs (do watch those calories though!). But there’s another type of cracking that you should be focusing on all year round…
What I’m referring to is the need for you to have a “cracking” sales process. A step- by-step process which is easy-to follow and which confidently takes you from “cold” to “sold”, without you feeling “salesy” or your prospect feeling pressurised. Here is the secret recipe.
When you meet your would-be client, offer them a free hour of your expertise to brainstorm their current business situation. This will immediately position you as a vendor who is willing to provide upfront value and lays the foundation for a solid business relationship.
Prior to the session, to build your authority and credibility, e-mail them an article you’ve written.
This approach can be used in any industry, from executive coaching to manufacturing.
Do some fact finding about your prospect and their business by accessing their profile on LinkedIn and visiting their website. Your would-be client will sense that you’ve done your homework and will automatically warm to you.
(I had personal experience of the benefits of doing this when I landed a 20 month consulting contract with a corporate information security client. What apparently swung the deal in my favour was that they were impressed that I’d, prior to meeting them, accessed Google to understand some of their terminology, such as Phishing and Smishing.)
At the start of your session, ask your prospect to describe their current business situation. Be a good listener and once you’ve posed a question, don’t interrupt them. If there’s a pause in their conversation, wait for them to speak again, as this invites your would-be client to provide more information. Probe the detail by using phrases such as, “Tell me more”.
Your approach immediately positions the session as “non-salesy”. You are perceived as someone who is genuinely interested and there to help.
Once you have an understanding of their business, ask them, “In a perfect scenario, what would your business ideally look like in 12 or 18 months time?”
When you have a picture of where they want to take their business to, explore with them any challenges that they face in attaining their vision.
Take note of the language they are using to describe their challenges and needs. You will use similar phrases when you detail your offering to them, showing how your product is a fitting solution to address these and result in their fulfilling their vision.
Advise your prospect that you have a solution to their challenges and ask if they would like you to present it. Once you have that permission, you can then detail the benefits of your product, without coming across as “salesy”.
Make sure you fully present the value that you are offering, before you reveal your product pricing. Your ideal is that your prospect psychologically buys into your product and its benefits, prior to your even revealing your price.
To encourage your prospect to take an immediate buying decision, offer a bonus (could be a discount or a free product) but put a limiter on it i.e. your client has to purchase on the spot or within 24 hours to claim the bonus.
(My finding in my business is that fast action takers are the decisive kind of clients with whom I ideally want to work.)
The more you practise this easy 6 step process, the more you’ll increase your hit rate from “cold” to “sold”.
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