Congratulations! You’ve been consistently and diligently marketing your business and the long awaited moment finally arrives: the phone rings!
Someone is calling to make a connection with you and to inquire about your services and how you might work together.
This is not the time to be unprepared but so many Soul Proprietors are. They do all the work to get that phone to ring and then forget to plan for when it does.
So, before that phone rings, you want to have planned out your sales process. If you’ve done this in advance and know what you are offering because you?ve really put some thought into it, you?ll come across as confident, competent and that you are the expert you have been claiming to be.
Write out a sales script that you can refer to when someone is on the phone. In addition to anticipating as many questions as you can that you think the prospect might have and having answers at the ready, you’ll also want to create a list of questions that you’ll want to ask the prospect.
In fact, you should take immediate control of the direction the interaction will take right at the get go by asking good questions. Many prospects are curious about whether they can afford your services or not, and most — not all — will invariably start out the conversation by asking what you charge.
At this stage of the interaction you have no idea whether this prospect could be your ideal client or not and you know nothing of their situation yet so you won?t know whether you could help them or not.
So before answering that dollars and cents question, ask questions of your own to find out as much as you can about the needs of this prospect. Then, as you ask and get answers and engage the conversation, you can then determine if this is a client you might like to work with and again, before revealing your prices, tell the prospect, with confidence, that you can help them and why.
Let them know how you will work with them and what you expect from them and what they can expect from you. Your last question should be something like this: “Does that sound like something that would work for you?”
SIDE NOTE: If you’re familiar with NLP and different learning styles, you may pick up on the learning style of the prospect from the way they phrase their questions and in their responses to yours. So you could phrase your last question in a way that would appeal to their particular learning style.
For a VISUAL learner you might say “Can you see how this might be something that would benefit you?”
For an AUDIO learner you might say, “Does this sound like something that would work for you?”
For a KINESTHETIC learner you might ask: “Does this feel like something that would benefit you?”
You might even just ask sometime during your conversation how they like to learn, giving them the cues of visual, auditory, or kinesthetic. The kinesthetic folks are the ones that say “I feel” a lot. (Like me.)
Then — and this is important — let them bring up the issue of the cost again. When they do, and they always do, be prepared with at least three options for them. I call this the YES-YES-YES strategy.
You want the client to be able to say “yes” to at least one of your offers, so create a different set of options or services for one price at the lower end, one in the middle and one at the high end.
You can at first mention the high end explaining that this is your most comprehensive plan and the best value, and then tell them about the low end before telling them about the middle option which generally is the option that most people go for.
When explaining the middle option you can tell the prospect that this is the option that most of your clients take. Be sure that there is enough difference in your various options so the prospect can readily understand what she is getting at each price point.
Then you can ask which option would work best for them. They may still tell you they want to think about it, but chances are, if you?ve clearly established with them the value you are offering and painted a clear picture of how much better their life can be after working with you, then many prospects will accept one of your offers.
This is a sales technique that works in any business. You don’t feel like you’re selling them something they don’t want and they are selling themselves on you. It’s a win-win for everyone and everyone can feel good about it.
Doing this kind of preparation will also help you to create a very clear sales process on your website as well, since many prospective clients won’t call you, but will seek out the information they want on your website.
Remember, whether on the phone or on your website or in an email, you must always have a compelling call to action. Know what you want the outcome to be from your visitors or your phone conversation and structure your offer to get that result.
So tell me, what’s your call to action?
© Copyright 2009 Marty Marsh