So many small and solo business owners over the years have told me they feel held back by their fear of selling. If you’re in that position, let’s look at that fear as, it’s not so hard to overcome.
I’ve heard that selling often conjures up an image of a used car salesman—the type of person who uses every possible trick to get you to buy something you may not want and who is pushy. This type of selling is often referred to as a hard sell and no one is going to respond to it anymore. Perhaps you’ve even encountered this type of salesperson and it’s left you with a bad feeling about sales. Or perhaps you’re afraid that “tooting your own horn” and asking for the sale will be viewed as either egotistical or pushy and you’re afraid of someone saying no. I totally understand this because when I started my first business 21 years ago, I remember feeling the same way.
This way of thinking will lead you nowhere. First you need to change your belief and the way you think about selling. You should never, ever have to push someone to buy from you. Instead, if you approach selling as a natural conclusion to a conversation you’ve been having with your prospect over time, you’ll find closing a sale will become more effortless.
When someone goes directly to closing a sale without completing certain pre-sales steps, the process doesn’t work. Here is a simple step-by-step process that does work.
1) Marketing gets you leads; it rarely gets you sales. Once someone expresses interest in your business by signing up as a subscriber online, expresses interest when you meet them in person, or responds to other offline marketing, in most cases they are not yet ready to buy.
2) Once you’ve got a good lead, you need to begin building trust with that person. You can do that by educating them about how your product or process gets results and what benefits they can expect. You can also prove your level of expertise by answering important questions and sharing your knowledge. E-mail, videos and phone calls are effective ways to complete this step. If you are making phone calls, make sure you write a script before you call so you get all your basic points across quickly and you don’t skip anything important.
3) When someone is closer to making the buying decision, make sure you really listen to them. Ask them what their goals are, what’s not working and answer every question. If you are selling online you can do this through a series of e-mails, a submit-your-question form, a series of videos or a preview tele-class. It’s always a good idea to have a way for prospects to contact you or someone on your team directly if they have questions. This will leave a great impression that you really care about your clients.
4) Once you have proven through demonstration and testimonials that your product or service works, offer a no-risk guarantee. There is always a creative way to offer some kind of guarantee that communicates to your customer that there is no risk involved and that you believe so strongly in the results you get that you are willing to give them a guarantee.
5) At that point simply state the price and ask them to commit. If you are speaking to them directly and they say they’re not sure, then they must still have some unanswered questions, plus you can re-state your guarantee.
Using this simple process means you will never be pressuring anyone to buy from you. Instead many people will say “yes, let’s get started”! You cannot build a successful business without having enough confidence in the value of what you offer that you are willing to ask people to buy from you. Thing about this: if you truly believe what you offer can help that person, then why would you hesitate to ask them to buy something that will solve a problem or need that they are eager to solve and make there life better?
Try structuring your business using these five simple steps and I’ll bet you’ll be more confident about selling and you will be closing more sales.© Copyright 2010 Janis Pettit