I often hear the comment “I didn’t come here to be a salesman”.
Generally, this is code for ‘I am not confident at selling and building relationships’. For most people the script running inside their head is saying:
• I won’t be good at this.
• My boss is the visionary. She can sell the ideas – not me.
• I don’t like talking about money.
• What if the client says no
• You can’t be a “trusted adviser” and a “sales person” at the same time.
• I don’t have the personality for it.
The key is to psych yourself in, not out, with these 4 facts:
1. What makes a good adviser makes a good sales person. Think about how you deliver your services to your clients – you ask questions; you provide opinions; you are accessible when the client needs you; you bring creative solutions to tough problems to the table and you deliver what you say you are going to deliver. This is exactly what you need to do to become successful in sales.
2. Your clients actually want you to sell to them. Clients and prospects want to solve problems they’re currently not solving, and they want to achieve success they’re currently not achieving. If you can show them how they can do that, and how you’re essential to getting them where they want to go, they’ll be grateful.
3. You’re most successful when you aren’t ‘salesy’. The best rainmakers don’t use cheap tricks to win deals and they don’t sound contrived when they ask questions or give advice. To be successful at sales you have to be yourself and be sincere.
4. Selling is rewarding. Bringing in a new client or extending the relationship with a client is a thrill and brings career success and rewards.
If you believe you can’t sell and won’t like it, you’re right. If you believe you can sell and might just like it, you’re also right.
One of the three great lies you hear people say in sales and relationship building is “I called but the client hasn’t called me back.” What this is usually code for is “I’ve been meaning to call but I haven’t worked up the courage.”
In the odd case where you have called and the client hasn’t returned the call, what went wrong?
- You didn’t leave a message – and with today’s technology it doesn’t make sense not to as caller ID on their system is likely to have notified the client that you have called
- Your message was not outcome focused and hasn’t given them a compelling reason to call back.
Assuming you did leave a message, maybe it’s time to rethink the message you are leaving.
The major problem with vmail messages that people leave is that they are usually all about the caller and the caller’s services or agenda and don’t have a hook for the recipient. Next time you are about to leave a message, ask yourself the question “what is it that will make this person give up time to speak to me or agree to have a meeting?” Make sure you let the recipient know what benefit they will get by calling you back or agreeing to meet.
Everyone tells you that you must ask the client what their needs are and then carefully listen. This is important (and infinitely better than not asking them and not listening); but the problem is that in a sale situation the client can tell that you are in ‘transactional’ listening mode – listening to enable you to get information as you want to sell them something.
The best way to sell is in the context of a relationship and the best way to build a relationship is to genuinely listen and engage with the client. When a client knows that you are listening to them because you are genuinely interested in them, their issues and their business, the client engages with you differently. You will find out a lot more information and the client will become far more disposed to buy from you. So next time you are with a client, check yourself and decide which of 3 potential behaviours are you exhibiting:
- talking (selling) rather than listening
- transactional listening
- active listening due to a genuine interest in them