Don’t Try to Sell!
One important piece of advice I like to give to anyone wanting to improve their sales conversations – and so increase the number of clients saying “Yes Please!” to working with you – is this: Don’t Try to Sell.
“What?” I can almost hear you asking me with that puzzled tone “I’m reading your blog because I want to learn how to get more clients by improving my sales conversations and the first thing you do is tell me not to sell? What’s going on??”
Despite your confusion, I’m sticking to my guns because it’s my belief is that it’s feeling like you have to ‘sell’ to your clients that creates so many problems in your sales process.
The problem with ‘Trying’ to Sell
For example, you probably don’t like salespeople much do you? And I’m guessing that the very idea of having to be ‘salesy’ makes you feel pretty uncomfortable. Am I right? And on top of that you fear that the client will see straight through you and think you are just using trying to sell to them and are out for your own gain, rather than having their best interests at heart. And that is the last way you want to come across.
Then added to that blend of emotional resistance to selling you may be adding another layer of complexity by putting yourself under too much pressure to get a client and then, either from nerves or from not feeling in control of the conversation, end up “talking at” the client rather than forming the sort of true heartfelt connection that is needed if you’re too achieve a mutually beneficial outcome.
And of course, the effect of all this on the client? Well at best, they sense your uncomfortable energy. They may be unable to put their finger on what it is but something feels weird so they decide not to work with you. Or at worst they they feel as though you are just trying to push your services on them and so they resist and back off from the conversation.
Focus on Matching
So that is why my first tip is to forget all about trying to sell and instead focus on ‘Matching’. A small distinction maybe – a change of just one word – but you’ll find that the conversation feels very different.
Of course I’m taking it as a given that you have skills, talents or knowledge that can make a huge difference to your potential clients life, if only they would actually decide to become your client. And your client is someone who has a problem, something in their life that is bothering them and that they would like to change, if only they knew how. So during your initial conversation focus on getting to know them. Be curious, ask questions and listen attentively. Learn as much as you can about their specific problem and how this is affecting them. And once you understand their problem you will be able to decide, with absolute integrity, whether your service is a good match for them.
And that way, when you make the recommendation that the client works with you it is going to feel so much more congruent, and so much more like “service” rather than “selling”. Energetically this feels totally different to the client and makes it so much more likely that they will decide to say a resounding “Yes Please! When can we get started?” rather than the dreaded “I’m not sure, I need to think about it”.