Today’s topic is all about sales. Plainly, if you aren’t making sales, you don’t have a business. Sales is my all-time favorite thing to coach others on. I wasn’t always a sales rockstar, but I’ve learned to love it! My team has actually given me the nickname “THE CLOSER” because I’ve closed some crazy sales that seemed impossible, and I thrive in that environment! It’s like a game to me and I want to WIN!
The reason I’m successful at sales is I honestly think I can change a person’s business if they become a client, and I transfer that energy to them in my pitch! If you can give your prospect a belief in themselves and their business, YOU WILL WIN!
Sales is typically the SCARIEST thing for an entrepreneur! But for me, there’s no better adrenaline rush than closing a sale. I love talking to new people about their business goals and dreams and being the one that can make those goals and dreams come true!
I was always motivated by commission, but when I could make a sale and instantly have cash in my hand, the sale was much sweeter and my motivation went through the roof! Do you want to go on that vacation or buy an expensive handbag? Go sell something! What’s more satisfying than instant gratification via cash in your pocket, especially if you are an entrepreneur?!
The beautiful thing about becoming a sales rockstar is you can work in any industry! If you can sell one thing, you can sell anything! I’ve never met a business owner who regretted hiring a sales team. It’s what drives the business! Entrepreneurs who have sales skills starting out always get to the cash the quickest! Typically, when you own a start-up you’re the one doing the sales. Don’t get me wrong, you have to be good at delivering your product or service on the backend to retain customers, but 90% of the time, if you can sell, you will WIN in business!
Because I’ve been in sales for so many years, I have lots of experience and have had lots of practice. And because I love coaching on sales, I’m going to share my proven sales process with you here. So, let’s dive into my Top 10 Ways to WIN at Sales.
#1 EXUDE CONFIDENCE
If you’re not confident in yourself no one else will be confident in you! Everyone wants to be around people who exude confidence (don’t mistake arrogance for confidence, it’s not at all the same thing), and everyone will want to be on your team! Build your confidence by practicing sales and making calls. Once confidence is there, selling will become like clockwork.
#2 QUICKLY ESTABLISH RAPPORT
An easy trick to quickly establish rapport with a prospective client on a sales call is to look at his/her social media profile before your call or meeting. I visit the person’s Facebook or LinkedIn page, and in about five minutes I can tell what the person is like…if they have kids, who their favorite sports team is, what they are doing in business, etc. Basically I learn what’s important to them.
I start calls with something THEY want to talk about! Everyone loves to talk about their own interests, their kids and their last vacation! Suddenly you’re no longer on a sales call. Now your prospect feels like they’re talking to a friend, someone who cares, which I do! We’ve all walked onto a car lot and had a sales guy come up and put the high pressure sales pitch on, and it’s an immediate turnoff. But, when you get to know someone, build trust, and get them to like you, asking for the sale is much more natural. You wouldn’t ask someone to marry you before getting to know them, right? This is the same thing.
A couple years ago an intern was listening in on me making cold calls. She stopped me and said, do you know these people? It sounds like you’re calling your friends. EXACTLY!!! You have to act like you’re calling your best friend! The last thing you want to do is sound like a salesperson when cold calling. If I’m calling the gatekeeper (front desk or assistant) to get to the person in charge, I never even say my last name or business. I’m super friendly and I just say, “Yes, tell him/her this is Deedra.” They automatically think I must be a long lost friend and put me through!
#3 LISTEN MORE, TALK LESS
This was hard for me to learn because I get so excited about selling, I used to dive right in. But I’ve learned along the way. You have to start by asking essential questions to get a prospect to understand how what you’re selling is something they need or want. The goal is to get to their biggest PAIN or PROBLEM quickly and then dig even deeper. What is the problem costing them? Is is Money? Time? Getting beat out by their competition? After getting to their biggest pain and the reason for it, THEN you can come in as the problem solver. Your pitch becomes an irresistible offer they can’t refuse to buy. If you can solve the #1 problem they are having they will always buy!
Since I sell marketing and business coaching services, I always ask people what they are currently doing to get leads or sales. They usually start complaining about some sort of marketing program they’re doing that they’re not happy with…and they’re locked into a contract. Or sometimes they have NO IDEA how their marketing is going but they feel like they have to keep it up or their business will perish. That’s when I say, “What kind of return on investment are you getting with “X” program?” That’s the #1 way to get an entrepreneur FIRED UP! They have no idea how many leads/customers they’re getting as a result of their current marketing program. How is this possible?! You’re shelling out money every month with no idea of your return? Maybe they didn’t even know this was a problem but now I’ve planted the seed to get them thinking about it, an I let them know there’s a better way!
#4 TAKE THEM FROM PAIN TO PLEASURE
Before you go into a sale, remember this: people buy for two reasons PAIN OR PLEASURE. You’ve got to get prospects out of the pain they are currently in and take them to their heaven, or their PLEASURE!
I’m coaching several entrepreneurs right now with weight loss/fitness programs. This is one of the easiest niches to coach regarding how to have them get to their own clients’ “pain” quickly. In the fitness world, it’s not just weight they want to lose…the “pain” is usually something much deeper (low self-worth, feelings of inadequacy, weight is affecting other areas of their life, weight is holding them back from living out their dreams, etc.). So for these clients, the sales goal is figuring out their WHY. Why do they want to lose weight? What would their life look like if they lost weight? How does it make them feel not having control over this area of their life? Once you dig deep and take them to their deepest PAIN, you show them how YOU will get them to their HEAVEN!
The same thing goes for marketing. I often talk to people who want to take their business to the next level but they haven’t figured out the marketing part yet. If you don’t market, how will you get new LEADS, yielding SALES? I paint the picture of what their business would look like if they got “X” amount of sales per month. How would that change their business? How much money would they take home if their sales increased by 30%? What would their life look like then? I take them to their heaven, and then I ask them what they’re going to do to get there if they stay where they are currently. This makes THEM come to the conclusion that THIS is the only thing that will get them there! Because how will they do it alone?
#5 SELL THE “VACATION”
Think about a travel agent. They sell you the beautiful trip to Hawaii, the amazing sunsets and how you will make lifetime memories with your family. They don’t say anything about the hot, stuffy, crowded plane ride where you now have to wear a mask and can barely breath, and oh, by the way, there’s no food or beverage service because of COVID, and you may just have to sit on the runway for an hour or two if there are maintenance problems on the plane. If they did, you’d never book the trip with them! THEY SELL THE BEAUTIFUL VACATION, not the details about getting there! They get you to your heaven as quickly as possible. If they sold you on the entire process, you may never go…
#6 NEVER LET MONEY BE A FACTOR
I don’t even discuss cost until the very end of a call. I find out a prospect’s biggest need or problem, find out why this is a problem and dig really deep. Then I show them how I can solve their problem for them and have done it hundreds of times with other businesses. Money becomes irrelevant because they are focused on their HEAVEN, the pleasure they have to have!
#7 ASK YES QUESTIONS
The next step in the sales process is right before you go for the close. You want to get a prospect to be conditioned to saying yes by asking them yes questions. For example, Do you want to double the amount of leads you are getting next month? Do you want to take home 30% more pay so you can finally take your wife on that dream vacation? Use YES questions taking them to their heaven and agreeing that is what THEY want to do.
#8 GO FOR THE CLOSE
Now is the time to ASK! It’s time to go for the CLOSE! So many people sell their hearts out, and when it comes to the CLOSE, they crumble. IF YOU DON’T ASK, YOU DON’T GET! The selling style that’s worked for me over the years is to ASSUME THE CLOSE! I think: why WOULDN’T they take advantage of my offer? I just took them from their deepest pain to their most amazing pleasure and gave them the formula to do it! I give them my price, do some quick math on the ROI (for example, it will only take you closing “X” people per month to pay for this program), and then say something like, “If we can’t do that, we all need to get new jobs!”
#9 UPFRONT PAYMENT, NO CONTRACTS
My biggest piece of advice for you is to take payment upfront with a credit card on file, whenever possible (as in any service-based company). I never have to chase down checks or have clients with outstanding balances. Sure, I have to pay credit card processing fees, but I factor that into my rates and it makes accounting MUCH EASIER when it’s automated and billed in advance. If their credit card doesn’t go through, we don’t do the work!
I also don’t do contracts. I let them know we take payment on a month-to-month basis with a 30 day cancellation notice. I don’t do contracts because we’re confident in our work. NO risk! They’re not committing to a year-long contract, just month-to-month, and bam! Barrier removed. I move directly from this step to sharing our process because if I pause to ask them what they think or how they feel about costs I give them time to think about all the negative things or reasons they may not want to commit to moving forward. I don’t open any cans of worms that can remain closed.
#10 MOVE TO THE PROCESS
So, I start right in with our process. I might say something like “We can have your digital campaign up and running in 2 weeks. This gives our team time to do extensive research on the audience we are going after and create your ad.” Then I say, “Let’s set up a time tomorrow for your on-boarding call with my digital team so we can get the ball rolling and get you to X (whatever their pleasure was). I just need whatever credit card you want on file to hold your spot.” Most of the time, I get a credit card on file right then. Sure sometimes prospects have additional questions and there are objections to overcome, but I keep reminding them of their PAIN and take them to their PLEASURE! And I ask again, “What are you going to do if you don’t do this? It’s month-to-month with no risk!” At that point, I’m confident in my team to deliver a great result creating a client for life.
Assuming the close may not be your style, but if you are confident in yourself and your product or service you’re selling, it WORKS!
If the above isn’t your style, another great closing question is, “Is there any reason you wouldn’t do this today?” That way you get all of their objections out front and can overcome them one by one. I prefer to not even go there, but this tactic does work well. That way when you overcome each objection, there’s really no reason they shouldn’t sign up right then!
So here’s a quick recap of the 5 things you need to do during a sales call to get the CLOSE!
- WHAT: Find out what they want for their business or their life. Ask questions and LISTEN!
- WHY: Find out their WHY. Why do they want this?
- PROBLEM: What pain has this caused them. Dig deeper. If they don’t increase their sales, what will it do for their business? If they don’t lose this weight, how will this affect their life?
- SOLUTION: How will you solve their greatest problem and take them from their PAIN to their PLEASURE?
- CALL TO ACTION: Ask for the sale! Get their credit card! Quickly go to the next steps so they don’t have time to stop and think!
Sales is just like anything else you do in life. The key to getting good and becoming a closer is repetition. I didn’t start off as a good salesperson. When I left my television career and started my website for moms, I had no choice but to make cold calls. I was selling advertising on a website that was brand new and only had a few followers at launch. How did I get sales? I had to sell my IDEAS! I didn’t just sell an ad, I came up with a really cool, creative idea for their business and I helped implement this idea through ads on the website! There was no way I could compete with all of the radio, television and print media outlets at the time with no numbers, so I had to be different.
People will buy ideas all day long over buying ads. Bring out the emotion, sell the sizzle! My first advertiser on the site was paying me $500/month. I made a cold call, walked in, sold an idea, and just made up a number of what it would cost! I didn’t have much of an audience yet, but I had a great idea so I thought, well it’s not really worth my time if it’s less than $500 a month so I’ll just start there! This same advertiser ended up paying me $10,000 a month a year later as the site grew! Talk about ascending the client up the ladder! As he saw success, I kept coming up with bigger ideas and upping the price!
You have to sell over and over to get great at it! I coach entrepreneurs every day on the Dream 100 Sales System. You have to go after 100 prospects to get 10 yeses. That’s 90 no’s! Remember that. Don’t take it personally, do your thing and if it’s a no, move on. I’ve had many prospects come back six months or even years later after I originally pitched them to become clients. The timing may not be right for them at the moment, but it will some day. Take the emotion out of it. Repetition is the name of the sales game.