Imagine that you’ve gone and done all the hard work of marketing yourself, posting on social, and blogging everyday – and you finally get an inquiry.
Uh oh. Now what? What do you do?
Do you send your prospect a PDF and pray to the Sales & Marketing gods to make the sale happen while you hide under the covers?
Or do you play it cool & casual, and try to schedule a time to chat over coffee (maaaybe?).
If you’re new to sales, this kinda anxiety is normal. Regardless of what others might tell you about sales, it’s just as much a science, as it is an art form. By that definition, this means that sales is something also that can be studied, measured, and learned. And if you play your cards right, sales doesn’t necessarily have to be an icky 5 letter word (that has prospects running for the hills every time they see you).
To make the entire experience as least awkward as possible, for both you and your prospects, here are 9 quick tips that will help you not only make the sale, but serve your prospects in a meaningful, efficient, non-salesy way.
- Prequalify your prospects
- Ensure your selling environment is free from distractions
- Engage in small talk
- Do a thorough Fact-Finder
- Agitate the problem and pain points
- Present your solution
- Soft close throughout your presentation
- Ask to buy
- Remember to follow-up
Prequalify your prospects
Make sure your prospects have a problem that you can solve, and that they can afford your solution. To save everyone a whole lot of grief, list your prices and make sure your prospects can get a taste of what you have to offer. An uncertain buyer is a non-buyer. If they don’t know what they’re walking into, you’re going to have a hard time closing them.
Ensure your selling environment is free from distractions
Listen – we all know the coffee and sandwiches are pretty decent at Panera, but that soccer mom next to you is struggling with her kids in the next booth over. Or maybe you’re trying to keep regular office hours, but your prospect can only give you 15 minutes while she’s on her lunch break. If you want your prospect’s undivided attention, you’ll ideally want to meet in a quiet place, at a convenient time, where they can tune out of work and give you all the attention you need. WeWork, mom-and-pop coffee shops, and Zoom calls in the evenings are all great options for this.
Engage in small talk
We know you don’t want to waste any time, and you simply want to get straight to the point. But here’s the thing: a little small talk can go a long way. Ask about their work, ask about their holiday plans – it can literally be about anything. The key thing here is that you’re getting them to talk; you’re priming them for what you’re about to do next.
Do a thorough fact-finder
This is going to be the meat & potatoes of your consultation. Ask questions. Lots of them. Look for pain points, desires, and problems to solve. Look for objections and why they wouldn’t want to do business with you. The more thorough you can be during this fact-finding part, the easier the rest of the consultation will be.
Agitate the problem(s) and pain points
Once you’ve discovered your prospect’s problem, now is the time to agitate it. Make it bigger. Make it badder. Most importantly – make it real. As their trusted guide, do some future-pacing with them, and help them envision a future where these pain points and problems become a reality.
“So it sounds like you have a ton of family visiting from out of town, folks you probably haven’t seen for many years. It’d probably be pretty terrible if you didn’t get a photo with most of them, right?”
Present your solution(s)
Now that you’ve got your prospect all hot & bothered, it’s time for you to present your solution(s) – and provide relief from everything that’s bothering them (which was sorta-kinda your doing in the first place. But you can relax, your secret is safe with me!). The more solutions you can provide, the better. The more objections you can overcome during this part, the better.
You’re not asking them to buy. You’re simply asking if they agree with you, if they agree to an idea/concept, or that you’re understanding them correctly. In fact, you can ask anything you want. This entire exercise is simply just a way for you to collect a whole bunch of little “yes” responses, so that you can get the big “yes” at the end.
Ask to buy
You won’t get anything in life (or in business, for that matter), unless you ask for it. Somebody has to make that final move, and whether you’d like to hear this or not: 99% of the time it’s gonna be you. At the end of your presentation, if you’ve answered all their objections, your solution is what they need, and you’re within budget – you’re well within your right to ask if they’d like to move forward. What’s the worst they could say? No?
Remember to follow-up
Very few customers will agree to commit when you first ask them to buy. In fact, they may not decide for several hours, days, or even weeks. For what it’s worth, most of our sales across 3 wedding photography brands happen on the 1st or 2nd followups. Your only job is to stay on top of this, with a good CRM and a follow-up series of emails. And in the event they don’t buy, it’s all good: your availability just opened up for another prospect who loves everything that you do.
- You don’t have to be salesy in order to be good at sales.
- A good sales script/consultation strategy will help keep you on track.
- If you can help your prospect solve their problem, you’ll (likely) get the sale.
If you’re still feeling stuck with your sales & marketing, please visit: https://benlau.com/education to learn more about how I can help you find your dream clients, set your business on auto-pilot, and book like crazy.