Do you find yourself talking to a lot of potential clients, but not making any sales? What information are you giving away and is it the right information? Knowing what to say, when to say it and how to say it can make and break many a sale.
Sometimes we are so passionate about our services and helping people our information continues to just spout out. Other times, we simply lack client service protocol and just fly by the seat of our pants. Everything you do in your business needs to be purposeful; including your conversations.
Ask open-ended questions – asking open-ended questions, provides an opportunity for you to discover core issues and concerns. It prevents you from centering the conversation around you. Potential clients make contact to get help with their problems; how will you know what those problems are if you are rambling on about your credentials, sales records, etc. Be patient, there will be a time and place for that. Take some time to “talk with” your potential clients first.
Discuss benefits, not features – When the time comes to discuss your product or services, talk about the benefits. How will your product or service specifically help your potential clients? Solve the problem first and toot your horn later. When you need a cell phone for emergencies, the most important thing is that it makes calls, not plays MP3’s. Focus on the issues at hand first.
Transition the conversation – Know how and where to look for the flags (sense of urgency, pending projects, deadlines, financial goals, etc.) that provide a transition from discussing benefits of your product or services to “asking for the sale.” Make sure potential clients understand how their circumstances may or may not change by utilizing your product or service. The selling conversation should be natural, re-state the potential client’s pain points and re-enforce how your product or service will remedy those concerns.
BONUS: Get in the habit of offering “helpful tips” and information outside of consultations and as follow-ups. The more natural this becomes, the more clients appreciate your efforts and time. When they do need your services or know someone who does, they will remember you and call you or make the referral.
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For over 18 years, Simplicity Mastered™ founder and CEO A. Michelle Blakeley has owned or managed small businesses and nonprofit organizations. Expert in her field, Blakeley personally guides her clients out of their Business Brain Freeze™ to streamline operations, increase return on investment, and attain quantifiable results. Forbes.com and FinancialPost.com each recommended her as one of 30 Women Entrepreneurs to Follow on Twitter, joining the experts who know that Blakeley is a master at growing small businesses … and doing it with “Simplicity.”