I’ve been thinking a lot about sales lately.
So many coaches, consultants and service professionals get all twisted up in a knot when it comes to selling their stuff. Even if they’ve been in business for years; even if they’ve already got a successful business and a product that gets great results.
But I can safely say that once I learned what sales was really about, and how everything I thought I knew about sales was wrong …
It was like a whole different world opened up to me.
Now, I don’t claim to be a sales expert.
But I have learned a thing or two about how to sell in a way that feels good and gets really good results …
… and a few mistakes that can make any sales process much harder than it needs to be.
1. Selling Your Product
The first mistake is potentially the most counter-intuitive and the most important all at once.
When we enter into a sales conversation, it’s natural to think that the purpose is to sell our product.
Or if not to sell it, then at least to determine whether the other person is a fit so we can invite them to buy our product or not.
But the truth is, selling has nothing to do with our stuff at all.
It has everything to do with selling what they’re actually buying: the ultimate result they hope to achieve.
2. Selling Too Quickly AND Too Slowly
Finding the right rhythm for a sales conversation is key.
Too fast, and you’ll come across (and feel) pushy.
Too slow, and you’ll miss the opportunity to really impact someone.
The most effective pacing I’ve found is to be quick to ask questions, and slow to provide answers.
Whether that’s in marketing copy, in emails or on the phone … get curious as early in the process as you can, and delay talking about your “stuff” as long as possible.
3. One-Sided Selling
Most people think of selling as the culmination of the marketing process.
When we think of sales this way, we mentally frame it as a one-sided conversation in which we receive value (money), but don’t give a whole lot until much later.
However, when we frame it as the start of the client engagement, sales becomes an opportunity to both give and receive value.
For many of our clients, this immediately removes the “ick” factor around sales, because it makes it a fair exchange of value, rather than a one-sided conversation.
4. Following, Not Leading
No one wants to be annoying. And yet, what’s the advice we’re given by hordes of so-called sales experts?
Follow-up, follow-up, follow-up!
Here’s a radical shift that’s been worth hundreds of thousands in our business:
Let your clients chase you.
You’ll increase your sales, eliminate a huge majority of problem clients, and those who do commit will get even better results.
So the question is: which of these four mistakes is costing you the most? And, more importantly, what are you going to do about it :-)