Ordering a meal – in Asheville – is exhausting.
As a cultural hub for all things alternative, the restaurants there are particularly creative, and getting through the ordering process is an experience.
Would you prefer soy or almond milk? Gluten free? Vegan or vegetarian? You want beef? Of course. We serve local, grass-fed beef, with organic veggies on the side. How about a craft beer with that?
Oh my gosh, I think. Maybe I should just grab a granola bar….
And that experience is exactly why you need a clear sales process.
Without it, things get off track. Your customers get overwhelmed and confused. You’ll stumble through your offer, or worse – avoid making any offer at all.
And when that happens, you’re not making any money, and you’re not serving your peeps.
I get why this is hard. My students want to help, not sell. And yet, selling is what fuels your business – and pays your mortgage. :)
As uncomfortable as it may be, learning how to sell is one of your most important skills as a business owner.
It helps if you map out the process in advance. I teach my clients to create a specific sales flow that they can follow every time, so they’ll know exactly what to do from the first contact with a prospect, through the moment that person decides to buy (or not – but more about that in a moment.)
Don’t get me wrong. This is not a simple thing. Learning to sell is a complex skill that requires the right mindset, and the right strategy, to connect with the right prospects.
But with time, experience, and a little messy trial and error, it is something you can learn.
These steps will get you started.
1. Lead with structure.
Your people are looking to you for guidance. When you lead the conversation with a clear structure, you ease their overwhelm.
“I’m happy to talk to you about this, of course. Let me tell you how this works. We’ll start with a brief call, then I’ll send you some our next steps. I can talk at noon on Friday – will that work for you?”
2. Engage early.
Get them excited before your first conversation. Design a simple prep exercise to get them thinking about the results they could get if they work with you. Be sure to include materials that position you as the expert you are.
3. Follow a script.
Write out what you want to say, and lead them through a conversation that helps them identify the problem, imagine what is possible, and includes your offer.
I know – the thought of following a script feels impersonal. But in fact, writing it out does just the opposite.
I teach my clients a really simple 5-step process that is easy to remember, and easy to implement. And it ensures a clear, predictable process that helps them serve their peeps at the highest level.
4. Speak to their hearts.
Many sales courses tell you to work with emotion, but that feels like manipulation or coercion. And that’s totally the wrong energy for someone who sells out of service.
Instead, I want you to touch their hearts because that is where their vision lies. That’s also where they’re more than likely getting in their own way. It is only by helping them see what could be that you can call them forward to something better.
5. Make an offer.
And keep it simple! Don’t give them more than 2 choices, 3 at at the most. There’s a reason fast food outlets began offering combos. It cut down on the number of decisions we had to make, and eased our overwhelm.
And be specific. For heaven’s sake, don’t waffle out of it with a casual “if you need anything, just give me a call!” Ask instead: ”Which of these would work best for you?”
6. Guide them to a decision.
Allowing them to disappear with a “maybe” leaves an open loop of energy that doesn’t help them, or you. Instead, lead them towards a decision – even if it’s a ‘no’.
“This is a big decision, I know, so I’d like to give you some time to think about it. I’ll call you in a couple of days to see what you’ve decided. Would Tuesday at 1 work?”
7. Expect a ‘yes’.
Oh – and when you do, expect a yes. When your energy is clear, you’re more likely to attract those who are just right for what you do. If your energy is wobbly, your offer will be too.
My clients find that learning to sell as a structured, practiced, skill with the energy of service feels much better than they expected.
And it works. :)
How about you? Do you have a sales process? If not, what’s getting in the way? Tell me about it in the comments below!