I realize Jason Kanigan and a few others are the resident expert phone sales guys.
However, some of you may want to actually sell in person locally first before you attempt to scale things up.
I'm going to attempt to squeeze as much no frills but actionable and useable content into this post as I possibly can.
I'm not going to pretend that any of this is "novel" or "ground breaking."
What I am trying to provide to you is an easily accessible source for helping you to get your nose bloody in the sales arena.
Lastly, don't worry, there is no upcoming WSO from me. That isn't my intention at all. I'm just trying to pass on some knowledge to people who want to go forward but just don't know how.
Despite What Some Would Have You Believe There is a Science Behind Selling:
No matter what product is being sold, there is a science and a process behind selling it.
Specific products have specific processes. For example, someone trying to sell a vacuum cleaner will go through different steps than someone selling a car.
While the processes may be slightly different the IDEAS behind the process are all the same.
Mindset is everything:
If you don't truly believe your products or services can help a client, it will show through.
In fact, because you don't fully believe in the products or services, you can actually prevent yourself from doing the best job for your client.
That little bit of nagging doubt in the back of your mind that your SEO, mobile site, or Facebook fan page really won't help the potential client, will cost you sales.
If you want to get into this business, you better believe, with all your heart, that everything you can offer your client will truly help them. Otherwise, you're doing yourself and them a disservice.
This will also help prevent you from pushing products and services to your client that could make you money, but you really don't know whether it will help them or not.
If you don't 100% with all your heart believe the product or service will help them, don't even think about pushing it, just for the potential money.
If you are confident in what you have to offer can help the client, it will translate to you being more confident in your pitch or presentation. When you're confident, it will put the client at ease and your confidence will help them be more confident in you and your services.
Telling isn't selling.
When you go in to pitch your client, of course make sure you're prepared. Have all the necessary handouts, charts, reports, etc...However don't be so caught up in what you want to sell and tell them that you lose the sale.
Listening to what the prospect's needs and wants and then focusing on how your product or service fills those needs is selling.
Instead of going in with a set presentation, write up some thought provoking questions you can pose to your potential clients.
A question such as: "What aspects of your marketing do you feel you're currently getting right, in other words, what advertising do you feel is working for you?"
THEN SHUT THE HELL UP AND LISTEN. WRITE IT DOWN.
Make a good solid list of 5-10 questions you can ask them about their business.
Use the same expressions and words they used as much as you can back to them.
Make sure when you're done asking all of your questions you use their exact words back to them.
For example, if they answered the question above with something like: "Well, we run a coupon in the monthly mailer, and we seem to get a good return on that investment, that seems to be working for us right now."
You would say to them (doing this for every question)
"So let me make sure I have this right (then go through your questions and this would be what you would say to the question asked above): In regard to what advertising you currently feel is working for you: The coupon in the monthly mailer is getting you a good return on that investment and seems to be working for you right now."
When you do this, people will believe that you're actually paying attention and listening to what they're saying. This will make you more likable in their mind.
Tailor your presentation to the answers to the questions you asked them.
After you go through all your questions and their answers with them, now is when you begin to actually start selling to them.
Sticking with the above example:
"Well, Mr. Business Owner, you know that when you run a coupon in the monthly mailer gets you a good return on your investment and is working for you right now (notice you yet again used almost exactly what they said to you) I have something that can take that to a whole new level. Just imagine, for a moment if we can figure out when a slow time for you is, then we can text out a coupon to all your customers who signed up to receive special offers from you and you can get immediate results from that digital coupon?"
The above actually is a nice bridge to the next tip:
Let them "touch" and "take ownership" of your product or service as much as you can. In the above example, it would be great if you had a mockup on your phone of the coupon for their business you could show them.
Let them take your phone and look at it.
I can't cover every single service that you offer, so you're just going to have to get creative. for example, if you run a SEO service, print out the first page of Google results for a keyword they should rank for but don't. Show them that, then go ahead and show them a Photoshopped version with their site within the first 5 results.
During your prep, before your presentation it's in your best interest to have as many things that represent your products or services that they can physically handle as possible.
In fact, make sure you don't just lay things out for them to look at, take them from your folders and physically hand them to your prospective client. As they're looking over the "mock up" let them look at it a few moments, then point out different things to them while they're still holding it.
Don't overwhelm your potential client.
Listen, becoming an expert on this stuff can make it seem like what you know is common knowledge to everyone else. I assure you, most people you are going to interact with will know very little about the services you offer. They won't have the in depth experience you do.
You should not tell them how you're going to do the service you're offering. Only tell them what you're going to do.
I covered this topic more in depth in a separate post, but I'll just copy and paste it:
This gem was learned from Matt Furey. Love or hate the man, he's built a multi-million information product empire.
What he said rings true no matter whether you're trying to sell to offline clients or even if you're trying to sell an information product online.
Tell them what to do [in the case of offline clients what you're going to do for them] but not how to do it [in the case of offline clients how you're going to do it for them.]
If you're talking to a prospective offline client the chances of giving them information overload are tremendous.
If you're an expert in the subject, it's easy for this to happen. The problem is, the client is most likely not on the same level as you are.
For example, if you're talking to them about building backlinks, all you have to do is tell them the what, not the how.
"You see Mr. Business owner, I'm going to have some backlinks built to your website. Backlinks are important in order to help people find your site when they're looking to buy [whatever your potential client sells.] I'm going to make sure you have high quality and relevant backlinks to your site to try and drive more eyes to your website and make more sales for you putting more money in your pocket."
They don't need to hear that you're going to get links on PR 4+ domains.
They don't need to hear that you're going to be using a linkwheel.
They don't need to hear that you're going to be using social signals such as Twitter, FB, Google+ etc...
They only need to hear that you're going to provide them backlinks, get them more traffic to their website, and put more money in their pocket as a result.
This was just an example for someone offering SEO services.
It doesn't matter what service you're offering. Stop losing sales and making clients eyes glaze over because you're telling them what you're going to do AND how you're going to do it.
It benefits neither one of you if you go into specifics of exactly how you're going to do it.
Don't overwhelm them with choices
Just as you don't want to overwhelm the prospective client with information, you don't want to overwhelm them with choices. The brain starts to shut down because it's offered too many choices.
You may think having a lot of packages for them to choose from is great for them and you, and will result in more sales. However, the opposite is actually true. If you want to read more about this:
Too Many Choices Are Bad For Business - Business Insider
I can't find the damn study now, but I heard that the optimum number of choices for people is 3.
You should have only 3 packages available for your prospective client.
This will bring me to my next tip:
99.95% of the time, price is not the real objection.
If they object on price alone, you did something wrong.
If after you present your best package to them, they rejected that, you presented your medium package to them, and they rejected that, and you presented your budget package and they rejected that on price, you have a problem.
It RARELY is price.
The rookie mistake is to go right to price slashing, don't even go there!
Honest to God, if you follow this tip, you will be miles ahead of so many other "salespeople."
You need to back them up, and get them off the price objection.
Pull out your pad that you had written down all their answers on at this point.
Say to them: "Let's just forget price for a moment. Okay, Mr. Business Owner, I know we went through this, but you said: (then re-read all the statements they had made to you in their words) then go on and reiterate how everything you are offering them will solve or enhance what they want to accomplish.
Then you have to ask them something like: "If money were no object, if the amount of money I'm asking you for, would magically just appear in front of you right here and now, would you buy my services?"
If they say yes:
Here is where you're going to have to give them a gentle nudge. After you go through all the above, pull out a pen and your agreement that you have for your services.
Hand the agreement to them, and put the pen out in front of them and say, "Let's get this done so you can achieve everything you told me you want to achieve and enhance what's working for you now. The sooner you sign this, the quicker I can deliver you your results."
If they say No:
Then just ask: "What about my services is making you uncomfortable about buying, if money were no object?"
Then you need to hear what they say, and address their concerns.
Even the best salespeople are told no.
If the above scenarios don't play out well and you can't get them to buy, you have two choices.
Instead of slashing price (something I would never suggest you do) take away some services from your value package and give them a better price.
You can say: "Okay, I understand times are tight, I understand you're on a budget, so why don't you let me prove to you what I can do for you? I'll tell you what I'll do, I think this service will still provide a major positive ROI on your business, so we'll cut these other services out and we'll just focus on this one. (Reiterate to them which one of the things they mentioned from your questions that this service will help to enhance or achieve the goal they wanted to reach) When this service gives you a good ROI, you can use some of those profits to invest into my other services is that fair?" As you hold out the pen for them to sign.
You can thank them for their time and their hospitality shake their hand and do what's in the 11th tip.
Ask for at least 5 referrals.
Whether you made a sale or not, as long as you followed the above steps, they should have a relatively good view of you as a person.
Pull out a sheet of paper titled: Referrals Have enough room for 5 referrals.
Name of business:
Relation: (you'll probably get asked about this, this is just how the current prospect knows the owner of that business. Friend, relative, neighbor, etc...)
Politely ask them if they could possibly give you some other business owners they may know which could benefit from your services?
Make detailed notes of every interaction whether a sale was made or not.
Go somewhere you can sit and park for a few minutes. Immediately write down what went well and where you think you could have improved. Even if you got the sale, there's always room for improvement.
Treat the notes you take during the presentations like the gold they are.
You now have in depth knowledge and "pain points" as well as successful marketing these businesses are currently doing for a particular industry.
This will help you immensely if you sell your services down the line to someone in the same industry. You will have a good idea of what to expect when they answer your questions. However, this doesn't mean you stop listening and taking notes on every client call.
Follow up with the referrals you are given.
It is so much easier to say "Hello, Mr. Edwards, my name is [your name] I just spoke with Mr. Critz at [the business name] he said that you may be interested in my services, what day would be better for us to meet, Monday or Tuesday? (Whatever upcoming 2 days you want to use.)
Don't get discouraged.
Once you get this system down, you should be able to convert 2/10 prospects. Once you get really good at it, you can convert even more.
Just remember that starting out, you're statistically likely to encounter 4 no thank you's before you get to 1 yes.
As I said earlier, your nose is going to get bloody. Just remember with every no, you're getting closer to that yes.
Don't be emotionally attached to the outcome of these meetings. Follow the steps and control the things you can control. However, understand there will always in selling be things outside of your control.
Never take a rejection personally.
Good luck, and happy selling.
I hope you found this post helpful and informative.
If so, let me know by hitting the thanks button.