Strategy #5 of our 5 Simple Strategies to Build the Business and Lifestyle You Dream Of
We’ve all been there – in front of a potential new client but just not sure what to do or say next to “close” the sale. There can often be awkward silences and there can be times when we “give away the farm” to secure the client – only to find we don’t have the time or budget to do the job properly once we win it. These conversations can also bring out the worst of all of our internal demons and negative self-talk.
The fact is the conversation you have to convert your potential client into an actual client is the most critical of all conversations that you will have in business. The question is – how many of us have been taught how to do it properly?
Today’s post focuses on “How to Convert a Lead into a Client: Conversations that Sell”. It’s the fifth of five strategies in our series on Simple Strategies to Build the Business and Lifestyle You Dream Of. This step-by-step series will help you make a difference in the lives of others and build a great business that helps you achieve your goals for you and your family.
If you have been in business for some time, or you are new to business – these strategies will work for you. Please enjoy and, most importantly, take action!
Strategy #Five:”How to Convert a Lead into a Client: Conversations that Sell”
Step One: Tune into your mindset and subsconcious beliefs around sales
The first thing to consider is your mindset and any subconscious beliefs you might have about sales. There are so many negative beliefs and stereotypes to deal with in this space. From the “used car salesman” stereotype (no-one wants to be seen like that) to the belief that you are “bad at sales” or you dread talking about “money”.
I’d like to ask you to suspend your thoughts about those ideas for a second and consider a big mindset shift about selling your services. What if you came from the place of service – that what you are offering is something of such high value that it would be a shame for your potential customer to miss out. I’ve written about this before, and I’m saying it again here because this mindset shift is critical. If you do believe your product or service will change the lives of the people it’s intended for – then you are doing them a disservice by not making it available to them.
If the idea of service doesn’t work for you – then come from the mindset of problem-solving. I know when I started out having to “sell my services” I was able to turn around my whole mindset by seeing myself as a problem solver for my client.
Step Two: Know your offer intimately – before you go into the conversation
Well before you go into your sales conversation you must be crystal clear on your offer, the transformation you will give your client and the steps you will take them through to achieve that transformation. While this might sound like commonsense – it’s not to a lot of people. Many clients I have worked with, like accountants, health coaches, real estate buyers agents, professional service consultants and food specialists, have been outstanding at what they do but they have not been able to succinctly articulate their offer to their audience. I believe this is definitely a case of not being able to see the wood for the trees. When it comes to explaining and packaging what you do it can be very hard to speak about yourself and it’s doubly hard if you don’t know how.
If you aren’t properly prepared and able to properly explain the benefits of what you do – you are highly likely to fumble the answers to those questions that a potential client is most likely to ask like: “Exactly how will this benefit me?”, “Is what you are charging me really going to deliver me value?” or “What return on investment should I expect if I work with you?”
So my best advice is please do this thinking and preparation well before you enter your sales conversations. And if you don’t know how please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org so I help you.
Step Three: Plan and orchestrate your conversation
To have a conversation that converts your lead into a client it’s critical you plan and manage your conversation. One of the golden keys to having a successful conversation is to set the agenda upfront. Take the lead and guide the conversation – don’t leave it to the potential client or customer to run the conversation or you will lose the vital flow that will lead the customer to the logical conclusion that you are the best fit for them (if in fact you are).
So once you have set the agenda start to ask questions that will give you insights into the client. Do much more listening than talking. Really ask your client or customer where they are at. What their needs are and what is the big problem that they need solved? It’s also valuable to ask about experiences they might have had before with service providers like you. This listening really helps you to understand the previous failure points, gaps that you might be able to fill and the pitfalls you should avoid at all costs.
Once you have listened it’s time for you to start painting a picture of future possibilities for your customer or client, what their world might look like if they could achieve the outcome they are looking for. At this point you need to allude to the fact that you have the experience and the answer – but don’t give the farm away. Looking back at some of my experiences with these conversations I can see where I made the mistake of delivering the big ‘aha’ answers in a free consult session – which meant the client did not progress through a process that might have delivered them much more. (Mistakes like these are great teachers and this is one of the major reasons I”m writing this post).
If you feel your offer is the right fit for your lead then it’s time to start explaining your offer and how you can help them. People also love to hear you explain your system or step-by-step process that is proven to have worked with others. (Again this is where the homework on your offer is so crucial). You also need to think about what you might offer to encourage a sign up today.
Next it is time to address any concerns the client might have, Common concerns are time, money and if they have the skills to do what needs to be done. Anticipate these questions and have some prepared responses for them. Also be aware of left field concerns like other people who may need to approve the expense, I had a client recently who brought another decision-maker (his wife) into the mix right before we were about to sign off on their project. (Again another great learning for me!)
Finally you will come to the close. If you have done your homework and managed the conversation you’re ready to ask the client to commit. This process needs to be smooth and prepared beforehand. Depending on your business you might be asking your clients to fill in a form and make a credit card payment, or you might ask them to sign a letter of engagement and make a deposit on your service. Whatever your process is please make it clear and easy for the person to follow through – in that moment!
Ready to Transform Your Business?
If you feel it’s time to get the help you need to create your irresistible offer so you can put yourself out there to magnetically attract your perfect customer, create a vibrantly engaged list and have conversations that sell then apply for one of our free strategy diagnostic sessions. We offer a limited number of these sessions every month because we know first hand that working out ‘how to sell yourself’ can be very hard.
In these sessions, we take a look at your business, what your offer is and we make a plan to get yourself out there to the people who need to hear your message. It’s great to have an objective view and a mentor to hold your hand so you know what you are doing is going to work. We’re offering these strategy calls because we want you to avoid spending months struggling and still not have the right offer for your audience. Spots are limited so if you feel you are ready to take your business to the next level apply for a session here now.
Maybe you have a friend or colleague who might find these strategies the game-changer that they need in their business? If so, share the love!