Like most people, you’ve built your brand because you have a great skill set and hopefully the passion to match it. Early into this journey somewhere it became blatantly apparent that you had to “sell” to keep your business profitable (Ewww). Think “sales” and the first things that probably come to mind err on the side of slime-ball. When it comes to actually doing the whole sales thing yourself, you may feel nervous or see it as the biggest drag in your business-related life. If this rings true, take a breath – you are not alone.
The truth is if you’re passionate your heart is in it (most of the time) and if your heart is in it, selling from a place that is wanting to serve your customers and address their problems and needs will come more naturally. If this isn’t you, let’s be honest, you’re selling from a place which is self-serving. Also while we’re being honest let’s get real and bring up the fact that even if you’re the most passionate person in the world, you’re going to have days when your heart just isn’t in it but you can mitigate when you’re having a down day.
We want to discuss selling from the heart, not the head…
Good storytelling beats good selling
When you listen to a more standardised presentation, the way you access this cognitively, mainly relates to language and logic. In contrast, when you hear an authentic story with relatable meaning, the creative side of your brain is stimulated and thus automatically makes you authentic and relatable. Connecting with a client on an intrinsically human level through storytelling is win-win. You automatically feel more comfortable and open up and so do they.
- Vision Stories – Paint a picture of your inventiveness, innovation and passion. Perhaps you have an example of how a previous job has inspired you in a way that can directly relate to this client’s problem.
- Who I am stories – Share your passion and demonstrate to your client to create a crucial connection. Your clients know the type of person they want to partner with when they see it. The type that goes beyond the brief to get the results they want.
- Brand stories – These always have a climax moment. A time when your business solved a problem for a client and the moments within that journey that have made sure that the client will never forget the way you solved it for them.
Be a sounding board
Let them talk and if they’re not talking, ask lots of questions because if you don’t, they won’t reveal their needs. If you start with something like – “Can you tell me a bit more about your house, business, pet, garden (whatever it is that the sale relates to). Then speak to them about the goals or outcomes they want to achieve, this will suggest areas to explore in greater depth.
People before product
Your capabilities and product features are important but don’t get too wrapped up in these off the mark. Who’s this person that’s interested in your ability to solve their problem? How will you be able to ease or eliminate their problem?
People love to buy but hate to be sold to – so identifying what their problem is and how you can potentially solve it and then getting the hell out of their way is the best thing to do most of the time. Something else you need to remember is that around 70% of people have already done the legwork before you even talk to them via consulting your product/service reviews online so let them take the lead.
Turtle beats the Hare
The whole urgency with this “Closing the Deal” thing needs to be forgotten. I know some hardcore salesmen will be reeling reading this and we’re sorry, but developing a trusting relationship with your clients is far more important than closing the deal. Slowing the process down is showing your client that you’re investing in their needs which addresses the anxiety and stress that are built into the whole experience.
At the end of the day, parting with your money is inherently an emotional experience and when you’re trying to convince someone of something as you do in sales – it’s not always a bad or pushy thing. When you have passion and truly believe in what you’re selling it’s simply a way we can take care of each other. No different than offering a friend advice or telling your kids to eat all their broccoli.
In a world of click funnels, chatbots, webinars and truly outrageous sales; mark our words, over the years to come sales will move away from all this noise into a much more authentic place where the successful businesses were built on selling from the heart.