Top tips for starting conversations which will lead to sales
I don’t know about you, but even the word “sales” makes me a bit nervous. But, it’s something we all have to do. Having listened to Rachael Howourth of My Sales Mentor talk about how to approach selling a few times, I decided I’d really like her to share her sales tips with you. So, dear reader, I asked her if she would write a guest post for me. Grab a cuppa because this post has some incredibly useful nuggets!
Are you struggling to convert your leads into sales?
Do any of these feel like you now?…
- You’re doing too much of the talking?
- You don’t feel prepared to the highest level?
- You could be listening and empathising more?
Sales is a conversation between two people.
I can’t stress enough how important it is to create relationships of understanding, trust and good communication.
Which is why I want to share my results-proven ‘C.U.P.I.D’ framework with you. This framework has seen my clients achieve over a 60% conversion rate (and sometimes even as high as 80%) when implemented correctly.
So here goes…
Connecting – It’s all about building rapport and empathy and really connecting with your ideal client.
Rapport is the thing that will get you in the GAME.
It’s commonly mistaken for talking about the weather, or that little bit of small talk at the beginning of a meeting…
Rapport is when people recognise there is common ground and mutual understanding. Once you build mutuality and a shared understanding, your sales relationship will move more quickly and have a MUCH better chance of converting.
Understanding – ask questions to understand where they are in their business journey, not where they want to be. Why are they struggling? What’s getting in their way?
Presenting – present your solution, your product, your service and match what you’re presenting to their needs. Align the understanding and presenting.
Isolate – Isolate the reason why things don’t move forward. So it could be an objection or a blocker getting in their way. Often it’s related to money, mindset, trust, or suitability of the product.
Think about buying a car, you wouldn’t buy a car with a great big boot if you didn’t need that space.
Diarising – One of the most common pitfalls I come across is people leaving a meeting without establishing the next steps. So whether or not the sale goes ahead, irrelevant to that, we always need to diarize a follow-up.Do you think of CUPID when it comes to sales? Rachael Howourth does. Find out what it means in this post! Click To Tweet
When to treat a marketing lead as a sales lead
The point at which you should be treating a marketing lead as a sales lead is at the point of enquiry. Whether that be someone raising their hand, arriving in your DMs or replying to an email that you’ve sent out. It becomes a sales lead when you’ve built enough trust during the conversation, that the prospect feels ready to move forward.
I will often say that somebody becomes a good sales lead when they have appreciated the value.
So, they’ve considered the value, and they have moved into that stage of “yeah I can now appreciate that, I’ve seen it, I’ve understood it, I can relate it to what I need. Now I can truly appreciate that that is going to add value to me.”
Preparing for sales conversations is all about thinking about how you’re going to put the person at ease at the beginning.Preparing for sales conversations is all about thinking about how you're going to put the person at ease at the beginning. Read more sales tips from Rachael Howourth. Click To Tweet
Recognise that they’ve taken a big step. Booking a discovery call is intentional, they’ve put themselves there on purpose, knowing that there’s probably going to be a money conversation. And that can be uncomfortable for people because, at that point, they don’t know if they’re going to say ‘yes’ or ‘no’.
What should you focus on in that call?
In the very first part of that call, you should focus on putting them at ease, building that rapport, building that connection.
Some of the things that you could ask at the start of a call are:
“I’ve been really excited to speak to you, what made you book a call?”
“I’ve been really excited to have this conversation. I’ve been reading the answers that you gave me to the pre-call questions, so I understand, ‘x’ about you, I understand ‘y’ about you, but tell me a little bit more about who you are and what you do?”
Do your homework, know something about them, look at their social media and look at recent posts.
You wouldn’t want to go into a sales conversation without doing that preparation because not preparing is the same as not caring.
Setting potential client expectations is talking about what you’ve got to offer at the beginning. So, in terms of time together, if it’s a half an hour call, set the expectation that you’ve got half an hour together to get to know each other, to understand what they need and why they need it, and to figure out if you’re the best person to help them with that.
You might then ask them,
“Is there anything else that you would like to get from the call? Anything else that you would like to understand?”
So, expectation setting is not just about telling somebody, “This call is for X, Y, Z, and you’re not going to get to contribute.”
Setting good expectations is about saying, “This is what I expect us to cover, is there anything that you would like to add to that list? Is there anything that you would specifically like to know?”
The way that they are going to answer that question, tells you what it is that they’ve got on their mind.
If they reply saying, “I just want to know how much it is”, well then they’re kind of telling you that they’ve done their homework, they’ve done their research and that they like the product, they like the service, and now they just want to know how much it is.
Or they might say “well I want to know what day is the group coaching program?”
Or, they might ask you specific questions that tell you what it is that they’ve got on their mind.Setting potential client expectations is talking about what you've got to offer at the beginning. Top sales tip from Rachael Howorth. Click To Tweet
Tips and techniques to help close the sale
One of the best ways to close a sale that feels comfortable for both the buyer and the seller, is to say, “What would you like to happen next?”
It’s not the same as saying, “shall we sign the contract? Shall we go ahead?”
It’s more inclusive.
The one thing I always advise people to do at the end of a sales meeting before you attempt to close is to summarise. Provide a really good summary, back to the client, of what you’ve learned about them.
It could sound something like this:
“So from what you’ve told me today, you want to achieve the goal of ‘X’, and you want to achieve that goal by ‘X’, date.”
“You’ve tried to achieve that by yourself before and what happened was ‘X’. And the reason that now is a good time for you is ‘X’.”
“You’ve considered different suppliers and providers of coaching and you’ve considered different people that you could work with. You said that you really wanted somebody that could provide ‘X’. The real value and return on investment for you, the result that you’re really looking to achieve, is ‘X’.“
“Have I understood that correctly? Is there anything else that I’ve missed that feels really important?”
And at that point, you want them to say “yes you’ve covered it perfectly,” or “no, actually there’s a bit more that you need to understand.”
Assuming that they say “yes, you’ve totally understood what I want and why I want it.”
Then follow with,
“How would you like to move forward? Would you like me to explain to you how I can help you to achieve all those things?“
Hopefully, they’ll say “yes, I’d love to hear how you can help me achieve those things,” and you can present your product solution.
You can then invite them to move forward with the sale.
“Now that you know what my program looks like…Now that you know the investment…Now that you know the details about it… What would you like to happen next? Would you like to enrol?”