Have you ever been to a presentation or in a one-on-one sales situation where the speaker or salesperson is providing valuable information, but then suddenly switches into his “sales mode”? He starts speaking rapidly, sounding slick and unnatural and pressuring you to buy—all of a sudden changing from someone who genuinely wanted to help you to someone who just wants your money. That’s salesy.
On the other end of the spectrum are business owners afraid of being perceived as salesy or pushy, so they shy away from making sales offers, thus leaving thousands of dollars on the table and depriving clients who want and need their products or services.
Early in my own sales career, I tried those hard-knuckle techniques that rely on pressure to make a sale, but they didn't work. In fact, they backfired. A client of mine had a similar outcome early-on: She says that after starting her business, she beat her head against the wall for a few years because she thought she had to be salesy to sell. She says she didn’t even start creating revenue until she realized all she needed to do was be herself. She’s now expecting her first six-figure year.
So how do you close the sale without being salesy? Start by embracing the following three principles and mindsets that I used to boost my own sales in just a couple of years from $130,000 to the multimillions.
1. Make an offer—it’s a disservice not to. Most people who shy away from making an offer of sale because they’re afraid of being salesy actually have the most to offer. They’re transforming people’s lives as service professionals. Keep in mind that clients aren’t actually investing in you; they’re investing in themselves through you. So when you don’t make an offer, you may actually be depriving them of something they want or need.
For example, a client of mine who works with clients one-on-one had never made an "irresistible offer." An irresistible offer is a reason to buy now. An offer of sale contains one or two valuable, related bonuses—something the customer would have paid for anyway. In my client's case, she offered a discount on a package of sessions.
She was very surprised when 75 percent of her clients bought her six-package offer—and thanked her for it. She realized she was taking care of her clients even better by encouraging and offering options for them to continue their work with her.
2. You’re looking for a “fit,” not a sale. Many businesspeople struggle to turn interested prospects into invested clients and customers. Prospects may say they love what you're doing, but they aren’t investing in your products or programs. One key to turning that around is to come at the sale from a place of service. Rather than trying to make a sale, look for a fit. Try to discern if you or your product are the right choice for this person. If you are, you both take it forward from there. If you’re not, you refer them on with your sincere good wishes.
3. Be committed but not attached. Committed but not attached goes hand-in-hand with looking for a fit. It means that you’re committed to helping prospects make a decision about whether to invest in your product or program, but you’re not attached to what that decision might be. This mindset gives you the drive to go to the wire for your prospects as well as the equanimity to accept what is truly best for them.
Here's an example. My client had a phone meeting with a prospective customer to discuss a sales opportunity that could be worth $42,000. In the past, she would have planned out her sales pitch and been attached and focused on the prospect saying yes. Instead, as she put it, “I tapped into my heart, was guided by my desire to serve, and was clear that this call was really about how I could best serve this person. I was not attached whatsoever to the outcome. Sure enough, he said yes.” That five-figure sale was just the beginning. Her income tripled, and will double again this year.
When prospects feel that you genuinely care for them, they respond. And when you combine that service orientation with an offer they can’t refuse, everybody wins. Your clients and customers are well served, and you are finally paid as handsomely as you deserve.
Looking for more sales tips and advice? Check out these sales articles.
OPEN Cardmember Lisa Sasevich, CEO of The Invisible Close, was ranked 169 on Inc. Magazine’s 2012 list of the 500 fastest growing American companies. She is the author of The Live Sassy Formula: Make Big Money and a Big Difference Doing what You Love and The Invisible Close.
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