The Number One Sales Mistake of the Conscious Business Owner
First, we don’t like the idea or the word. I know that you went into this business because you wanted to make a difference for people, not because you wanted to be a salesman. We don’t want to take people’s money for something they don’t need.
Secondly, because we don’t like the idea, usually we haven’t learned any effective sales techniques. Unfortunately, that’s a disservice to your potential clients, because they need to be able to say yes to the transformation that you offer them by feeling fully informed and inspired by the possibility.
Here is one of the biggest mistakes that I see heart-centered entrepreneurs make when they sell, and how to change that. This will also make your conversation with your prospective client much more honoring, respectful and thoughtful. When I first started as a coach and I would get into a conversation with someone about my coaching services, I was very eager to share with them what I could do and how it could help them, so the conversation went something like this:
“What are you struggling with?”
“I feel like I can’t move forward.”
“I can take care of that with my work, and you’ll feel much better. What else are you struggling with?’
“I don’t feel confident about speaking up at work.”
“I can take care of that, too. Anything else?”
“I can’t seem to achieve my goals.”
“No problem, I’ve got that handled.”
Do you see a pattern? You would think that this conversation would inspire confidence in the client, and they would leap at the opportunity. But instead, they leave the conversation with a vague. “I’ll think about it.” Here’s what was happening:
1) I wasn’t getting all the information, and wasn’t asking questions that would help the potential client feel heard.
2) I was knocking off each problem as it came up, so each time it seemed like I was devaluing its seriousness.
3) By the end of the list, the potential client feel like they didn’t have any serious problems, so they walked away. Most of all, they were more confused that when we met.
Selling in not about dishonestly putting one over on the customer; it is just the opposite.
1) Ask them what’s not working for them. 2) Repeat back what they say. 3) Ask them what else isn’t working for them. 4) Repeat back what they say. 5) Ask them again and again, until they say, “I think that’s everything.” 6) Repeat back the entire list of what’s not working (take notes if necessary) 7) Now you are equipped with enough information to say, “Based on everything you’ve said to me, I believe I have a resource for you.”
What you did was listen hard enough to learn what they needed to fix in order to find a solution that works for them. Just telling is not selling.
Warning: this method can be a challenge at first, because you so want to tell them that they don’t have to suffer and struggle anymore! But keep asking “what else?” and taking notes until they say, “I think that’s everything.” Those are the magic words that let you know you’re okay to move on to summarizing their issues.
The great thing about this method is that it enables the potential client to catalog their challenges and to see the scope and severity of the issue. It enables you to listen and reflect, which makes people feel heard and valued. Also, it’s much more likely that they will listen to you about your services and be interested in purchasing them once they know that you’ve heard and understood their issues. Try this approach in your next sales conversation or consultation!
As a Natural Awakenings reader, you can get a full scholarship to Pamela’s upcoming 3-day TRANSFORM. Every year hundreds of transformational entrepreneurs - people whose work transforms lives and the world - come from all over the world to experience TRANSFORM, and build their businesses so they can impact more people. Now you can attend, too - for FREE (a $997 value). Click HERE for more details! Pamela Bruner is a business coach, author, and speaker. After removing her own marketing and sales blocks, Pamela grew her business from $375/month to $1 million in less than three years. She specializes in working with conscious entrepreneurs to build six- and seven-figure businesses. Pamela is the co-author of Tapping Into Ultimate Success, a book and DVD with Jack Canfield, creator of Chicken Soup for the Soul.