Taking the Baby Steps to Yes
If you’re like many other heart-centred business owners you probably know that your sales conversations could be better – you’re just a little unsure how to improve them.
Having a structure to your conversations is that thing that makes the difference between having a lovely, friendly, chatty conversation where you feel it’s gone well, they seem to like you – but you don’t send up with a paying client. Compared to a more focused conversation that guides the client comfortably to making a decision to work with you and – hopefully – committing there and then.
At the core of what I teach is the “7 Steps to Yes” structured sales conversation. However, this can be quite a lot to get to grips with in one go if you are not used to guiding conversations in this way. I was putting together a bit of pre-course groundwork yesterday for the lovely people on my “Get More Clients Saying Yes!” course and I suggested that as a way to get comfortable having conversations with structure they can hone their ‘sales-muscles’ by starting to get comfortable with a simpler 3 step process.
This doesn’t have quite the impact of the full 7 step process but is a great place to start if the whole concept of a structured conversation feels a bit new to you.
Try this Simple 3 Step Process
As your first steps en route to the “7 Steps to Yes” experiment by following this 3 step system with any potential clients. This simple structure works equally well in a casual conversation where you have just met someone for the first time and they are expressing an interest in hearing more, or in a more formal, scheduled consultation to discuss your services.
Step one is all about asking questions and listening. It is where you put the client and their wants, needs, frustrations, hopes and dreams at the centre of the conversation. When you get into conversation with a potential client bite your tongue and don’t talk too much about what you do – even if it’s quickly obvious to you that you can help. Instead put some time into asking them questions so that you get a really good understanding of where they are at and what problems they may be struggling with in relation to the service you offer. This also helps develop rapport and makes them feel heard so that when you DO start talking about what you do it doesn’t feel pushy.
If you’ve asked the right questions and listened carefully, after a while you will sense that two things have happened. The first is that the client and you will have developed a sense of rapport and connection. The second is that you understand enough about their problem or situation to know for certain if what you can offer as a solution is a good match to their needs or not. If it is a good match this is where you explain how you can help them by explaining how you could work with them to help support them in getting to where they want to be. Explain what you do, the benefits that this will give them, how your programme or service works and include an example of someone else like them you have helped. Also tell them how much you would love to work with them and why.
3. Next Step
At the end of your conversation, whether it lasts 5 minutes or 50 minutes, if you feel the connection with the client is still there, and they have responded positively when you’ve told them how you can help, always – and I mean always – ask them if they’d like to take the next step with you. This next step will vary but it might be to book a free consultation , to join your newsletter list, to agree to receive a phone call from you, or to join you for one of your packages or programmes, depending how long the conversation was and whether it was a casual meeting or a formal consultation/sales conversation.
This simple 3 step process will help you get used to having conversations about your services that have a structure and a purpose. Try it a few times and this will give you the foundation on which to add the remaining steps in the “7 Steps to Yes” and will also help remove any awkwardness you may feel if you were to implement the whole process in one go.
Go ahead, give it a try and let me know how you get on!