One of my favorite clients (OK, they’re all my favorites, but I love this guy!) scheduled a ‘get acquainted call’ after reading my Sales Techniques for People Who Hate Selling post for Freelancer’s Union. He realized that if he was going to create the business he wanted, he needed to refine his message and sales process. But sales made him really uncomfortable. That’s music to my ears. I love sales! And do you know what I love more than sales? Helping people who hate sales learn to love them.
My first foray into the sales industry was when I got a “Saturday job” (as they’re called in England) in a shoe shop. I soon learned that the scripts and techniques weren’t the answer to meeting my sales quota, but success really boiled down to two things: connection and integrity. If I hard-sold a person i.e. acted out of integrity, they would just return the shoes later. But if I helped them find the perfect shoes (or sent them somewhere elsewhere if I couldn’t), everyone was happy.
The first step to being better at sales is know why you don’t like sales. Is it because you hate feeling pushy? Or you have a deep-seated belief that if the work is good enough, it’ll speak for itself? Perhaps it makes you even feel a little tacky?
If one, or all, of the above resonate with you, I’m going to share the ONE thing that will transform sales from a necessary evil to an experience both you and your prospects enjoy. Ready?
Could it possibly be that simple? YES! When you keep it real you allow potential clients to get to know, like and trust the ‘real’ you. No strategies, tricks or jargon. Just honest communication of what you can (and can’t do) for a person.
So how do you let your clients get to know, like and trust you (and as a result, buy from you)? Here are 5 ways:
1) Create a compelling story instead of a bio
Bio’s are boring. When we write bios we tend to fall back on facts that tell the reader nothing. Why not try writing a ‘compelling story’ instead? (if you’re not sure what a compelling story is, you can read mine here). The goal of your story is to communicate why and how you got into doing what you do (this can be a defining moment in your life or career, a personality trait or experience), communicate your credibility factors and state your commitment to serving the clients that you do. I had one client tell me that it was my story that made her want to work with me. She related to a certain element and, as a result, felt understood.
2) Speak in the first person
When we speak in the 3rd person, we give ourselves license to speak in clichés such as “and she has been delighting her clients ever since”. The result is something that doesn’t feel genuine. When you speak as you would person-to-person, you’ll find it much easier to connect with your ideal clients.
3) Be clear about whom you’re talking to
It’s tempting to try and communicate every possible thing we could do for every possible person we could do it for. The result: muddy messaging that doesn’t resonate with anyone in particular. You have seconds to capture someone’s attention and inspire that person to take action. Know who your ideal client is, speak to their specific challenges or aspirations and edit yourself ruthlessly. Not sure who your ideal client is? This exercise will help you get crystal clear.
4) Work on your writing
No matter what your discipline, good writing skills are essential to effectively communicating what you have to offer. I love to write, but it wasn’t always that way. In fact, a common complaint I heard from my college professors was they understood the point I was trying to make in my essays, but they had to mark me down because the final presentation was all over the place. Being in business forced me to work on my writing skills daily – whether that meant writing a proposal, a new business email or a blog. The result: my writing is a billion times better and it’s something I love to do. If it doesn’t come easily at first, keep at it. A well-crafted message WILL resonate with people and inspire them to take action.
5) Tell people what you want them to do next
Your audience expects you to sell to them, so tell them what you’d like them to do next. Should they book a ‘get acquainted call’, sign up for your newsletter, or go to your facebook page?
When people are clear about what you have to offer, why you are right for them and how they can hire you, your sales will increase. No hard-sales, no slimy feelings, just you making your services available to people who genuinely need them.
Now, doesn’t that feel better?
If you need help creating a message that turns strangers into prospective clients, book a free introductory call with me and share your business challenges, ask questions and talk about solutions.