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Are you a coach or consultant with an amazing super-power? You know you make a difference for your clients, yet, you are the only real tangible part of what you sell when you are selling a service.
Pitfalls of Selling the Invisible
One of the biggest pitfalls I see coaches and consultants fall into is explaining what they do and how they do it, before they even know what the potential clients is struggling with or challenged by.
The problem with that is that most customers don’t really care about how you do it until they know that you will solve the problem or challenge that they are dealing with. Potential clients want to know that you get what they are dealing with before they can really listen to what you have to say.
Have you ever been in a sales conversation, and I use conversation lightly, as that eludes to two people talking back and forth. But the conversation I am pointing to is talking with your potential customer and you are talking about the great things you will do together, how you will do it, how great they will feel, what they will get, etc. However, what you receive back is a lot of uh huhs, and nodding of the head, and sometimes even a glazed look.
You can clearly see that you can really help them.
But at the end of the “conversation” you get, “OK, well I have to think about it.” or “I don’t have the money.” or other versions of “no”.
Get Inside Your Potential Customers Head
Getting into the mind and thoughts of your prospect and out of your own mind is one of the most important places to start.
Spending the time to ask questions, to get and really understand what they are struggling with allows the potential client to begin to trust you and that whatever you are going to offer them is in service of what THEY want and are dealing with.
You need to develop the qualities of an investigator and an artist. Asking quality questions to discover what is actually happening like an investigator and come up with creative solutions like an artist.
Listen More Than You Talk
You have heard the saying “You have two ears and one mouth.” I would even say that it is even more than that. Spending 80% of your time listening and just 20% is the very minimum.
To really understand the potential client and to build a strong relationship. What is one thing people love? Yes, talk about themselves and have an attentive audience while doing it.
In all parts of life let people talk about themselves and fight the urge to jump in and talk about you.
Bringing the Invisible to Life
Just like an artist brings a canvas to life with each stroke of her brush, you can bring to life the challenges by asking quality questions.
I relate to sales conversations as a journey I take with the potential customer.
Like any journey, there are peaks and valleys, twists, and turns. When you understand that all those help you to come to the end with a whole new understanding and appreciation for what is actually needed and wanted.
You are the Sherpa
The questions you ask on this journey lead your potential client to understand that you not only understand them but that you are the answer to them solving their problem.
Many times, without even saying anything about how you can help them, they will start asking how to get started or how to work with you, because they understand that you understand.
My Challenge for You
Write 25 or more questions to ask your potential clients that are pertinent for you to understand them and also takes them on their own journey of discovery of what they will need to know to move through their challenge.
These questions should span from, where they want to go, to where they are, and what has kept them from getting to where they want to go.
Having these questions thought out helps you to stay focused on listening without feeling like you have to jump in.
Have fun exploring the twists and turns of the journey.