All the activities of the entrepreneur have lead up to this one finite point. Creating, promoting... and finally, selling!
The sell. Oh how sweet it is. I love to sell.
There's an immense satisfaction that takes place deep inside me when I sell. When that client signs the contract and hands over the check, it's completely exhilarating!
Let me tell you how I sell.
Meeting the Prospect
The first thing I do when I walk into a meeting with a prospective client, is to positively take charge.
I'm on time. (Don't ever be late to appointments.)
I'm dressed. Dressed for business. I didn't come from a picnic, I didn't come from a softball game, I didn't come from the lake. My hair's done, my makeup's done, my nails are polished, and I always wear heels. Always. Also, I like to add a little bling, but not too much. Enough to say, yeah- I'm doing pretty good.
I smile and I ask, "So, how's your day going?"
Then I listen. Then I empathise if their day is not going too well, if they say they're very busy... I'm learning clues that will help me later on.
I might say, further into my presentation, "Now I understand you're very busy, and what's so great about my service is we do all that extra work for you, all you have to do is sign up!"
The whole time, from the beginning, to asking questions, and gathering information, to my pitch- I'm accessing where my client is in the buying process. Where is their head?
Do they need more information? What kind of trouble are they having? What's your slowest times? What's your peak times?
I'm always asking questions as I'm selling.
Occasionally, my prospect will tell me a disaster story about one of my competitors and I'll say, "I'm terribly sorry that happened to you. I hear that a lot. What did you do to handle the situation? Yeah? Good for you!" Don't skip over this kind of information. You can use it to your advantage. (But I do not ever down my competitor. That only makes you look weak and small. I am neither.)
When you ask a question, write down their answer! You are then communicating to that client, wow- what I have to say is so important to them, they're writing it down! Although they will not ever tell you this. Don't worry. That's what they're thinking.
I can pretty much guarantee you that your competitor does not do this. I also can pretty much guarantee you that your competitor was not dressed properly either.
Why are you dressed? Why are you writing things down? Why are you asking questions? Because you're a pro, that's why.
Throughout the entire buying process, you are communicating with your client- I'm a professional. You can trust me. I will do what I tell you I will do. My company will deliver.
Listen to the Prospect Needs First and Shut the **@* Up!
One of the most seriously off-putting problems of salespeople is that they are only about them. "Blah, blah, bah- me, me, me, my company, my product, my company this, my company that..."
If you think are guilty of this, THEN STOP IT and STOP IT NOW. You are self centered. And what does being self centered cost you? Sales. That's what it costs you.
We've all had the unpleasant experience of some Doofus ranting on and on and on- makes me think of this t-shirt. Picture a 1950's guy, cartoon sketch, hair slicked back, charming smile, and holding up a cup and saucer, hands rather extended, and he asks, "How would you like a nice cup of... SHUT THE FUCK UP?"
If you think you really need to, wear that t-shirt under your business suit.
Marketing Materials and Information
Because I've put so much into my presentation materials- I don't just slide them across the table and mumble something like, "When you get a chance, take a look at this." Oh, no.
I say, "Certainly not to insult your intelligence, but this is a very good overview of what my company will do- let's go over the material together so we are on the same page."
The prospect and I then read an explanatory letter, that I read out loud, with much enthusiasm. It's only a page and a half. The letter is short and to the point, and packed with benefits that my prospect will enjoy.
I am intentionally tipping the scales in favor of what I'm selling the whole time.
First, I've sold you on the fact I'm a pro. Now I'm selling you on the fact that I have a bang up company that's perfect for your needs.
After the letter, after my examples, my client is ready to buy.
I got a big kick out of meeting with Doug two weeks ago. Doug only kept our meeting, I think, out of a sense of politeness and frankly told me which of my services he did not want.
After I was done with my presentation, I asked, with my pen poised to write and contract ready to go- "When would you like to start?"
"This week. And I also want that thing I said I didn't want."
BADA BING, BADA BOOM!
I pretty much floated out of that meeting. Not because of how much money I just made, but because I can convince you to believe in me. I'm not conning you. I'm not a con artist. Prospects see a proven tract record- after all, look what I've done in the past, look what I've done from my existing clients, I can do it for you too!
Quit Selling When it's Already Sold
A good deal of the time, prospects will come to me from a referral through a satisfied customer. I don't have to sell them. They are usually already sold.
Well, if my friend so-and-so says you do a good job; I bet you do a good job.
I don't go through any selling cartwheels. I simply say, "Great. What do you need?" And write the sale.
When you see buying readiness- let your prospect buy.
Writing the Check, Signing the Contract
Your prospect needs a moment of silence to focus. They're reading terms and conditions, they're looking at dates and times (in my case) and then they're writing a check.
Now is not the time to speak with them about their vacation plans. In fact, do not speak to them at all.
It might feel awkward for you to have a block of silence, but understand your prospect is engaged. Quite please.
After the Check is Signed
Always, always, and did I mention always, say these words just like this:
"Congratulations, you made an excellent decision."
Why are you going to say that? Because people need immediate validation after buying. You've heard of buyer's remorse? We are heading that off at the pass.
Prospect: "They said I just made an excellent decision. I must have made an excellent decision."
In one of my company's case, after the client signs a contract, that contract can represent literally thousands of dollars. If you fork over thousands of dollars, wouldn't you want to feel good about it? Help them feel good about it.
You've heard people say, "Oh, I don't like to sell. I can't sell. It makes me nervous to sell."
Listen, figure it out and stop saying you don't like it. Read all the books you can find about selling and get on it! If you are an entrepreneur, and not a pretend entrepreneur, you're going to be unapologetically invested in being one first class salesman.