Having been in sales roles for over 20 years and supported many others in the selling their products and services, I have a wealth of experience to share with those I work with and if you have known me for a while you will know that I am (generally) delighted to share my experience.
One of the most common questions I am asked is along the lines of ‘how do you make any money when you give it away?’. Simple. REAL Coaching and Development is (like all businesses) like an iceberg…. As someone on the outside looking in you are only see the top 30% the part above the waterline. The bit non clients don’t see is the part under the water - its where all the support sits and where as I coach I can get specific with YOUR business. It’s where people learn how to have the best and be the best along with how to develop a sales muscle without being a dick.
Many of the professional sales people I have worked with over the years have been in sales for ‘a while’ and they are great and building rapport with their prospects and maintaining it with their customers – this is often dismissed by both them and by their bosses but this is EXACTLY where the magic is. Before stepping into the world of running my own business appraisal feedback included:
“You remember everything”
"pend too much time on calls"
“You never forget anything”
“How do you know all this stuff?”
“You know everyone”
“Why are you using business time to talk to people about personal stuff?”#
Not all this feedback is positive and that’s OK... I was often challenged by bosses to spend less time on each call… “time is money Amanda”. My bosses just couldn’t understand how me knowing about my client’s daughter’s wedding was an advantage for me over the other recruiters that were hitting them up - selling and running. Some of those people I was speaking with 20 years ago I am still in contact with now; and that for me is the difference that makes the difference.
“You remember everything” sounds like a compliment but really wasn’t. I would respond in the same way every time ‘ah, it’s because I am the oracle you know!’. Because you know what the truth is a bit more boring and can be a lot more challenging.
If you want to become the oracle in your field then follow these simple rules… it will make a difference to your conversion rate, it will create your reputation in your market and it will mean that more prospects start coming to you without you having to chase them… who wouldn’t want that?
Please remember that like everything in life it is simple; BUT simple isn’t easy. What I am about to share with you is secret and will take effort and discipline, the results are not instant, but they are sustainable.
1. WRITE IT DOWN
Every conversation you have, note down the little things that have held the importance for the other person (not you). Their wedding anniversary, their child’s birthday, where they are going on holiday – all the things. A simple text or message on the appropriate day will be the difference between you getting the sale or not because you listen. You remember and you give a shit.
2. ASK FOR HELP
“Who do you know who…”is one of the best questions ever, I love it! This could be for anything/ for anyone as long as it has nothing to do with what you are selling; you are asking for help. People love to help and will come to you for help when they know someone who needs it.
3. OFFER HELP
If they have a child that has just started school send them an article on dealing with the first few weeks (there’s loads like this) if they have a dog, then send them something around that. Random example from years ago; I spoke to someone at a networking event who has a dog in a city centre apartment and hated doing concrete dog walks on her own; I did quick google search was able to come up with a list of ‘things to do with your dog in Bath’ and emailed some of the best bits of information across. It took 10 minutes to do, this person now goes group dog walking all over the area and still sends me the odd picture of her on a dog walk. Vitally she also refers me at every opportunity.
Listen to what the person you are talking to is saying. Really listen. More sales are lost because the salesperson ‘missed’ something than for any other reason, you only have yourself to blame if this is the case for you. Learning to listen properly is a real skill and it takes time. Becoming an active listener can feel counter intuitive for many salespeople as so many of us have been trained to ask questions rather than listen to answers.
Having been a coach for over a decade I now know that this is THE most offensive word in the English language. Work out what you actually do to take someone from prospect to customer and map out the process, create the templates and create the consistency… Biggest complaint about sales people is that the person is ‘winging it’ and no one wants anyone to think that of them… this is how sales fear starts and develops within you – be the difference that makes the difference in your business and create the process that works for you and your business. A process is going to bring clarity and consistency to your prospects which in turn will increase the number of customers you have. So, Have a go. Create a process based on what you actually do; follow it and then develop it - your prospects will thank you for this as you will know what you are doing!
If you are ready to see the other 70% of the Iceberg then book a complimentary 30 minute call to see if we are right for each other. Pop an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or give me a call on 07796 697100