I have something I need to say and it may come as a shock, but…
There is no ONE secret to sales!
There are several useful persuasive techniques out there, and many of them are highly effective but there’s no single secret.
Sales comes down to uncovering your client’s problems, and then offering your services as a way to help your clients fix those problems.
Being curious, asking open-ended questions and really listening to what your prospect has to say is the easiest way to learn how to sell to them. Remember, it is ALL about them and what’s important to them!
The best advice I can tell you is that practice makes perfect. So, take the following techniques and actually use them in your day to day sales conversations. This is what is going to make you successful. If you’re ready, let’s dive into the techniques that you can put into action to ensure you’re bringing in sale after sale!
Technique 1: Build Strong Relationships
Success in sales has a lot to do with hard work (which is probably pretty obvious). But beyond that, you need to have the ability to build strong rapport with your prospects and clients.
Additionally, we have to always be working towards making ourselves a better version of ourselves then we were the day before.
It doesn’t matter what you do. Whether you’re a virtual assistant or an accountant, you need to keep up with the new skills. No one will want to work with you if you’re not up to date on all of the new and current information that’s out there.
The other thing you want to remember is that building rapport or building relationships is what is going to make you more appealing to a prospect. If they’re about to invest $5,000 to work with you, they need to feel some sort of connection. They want to know that you value their work as much as they do.
There may not be ONE secret to sales, but being able to build strong relationships with your prospects is absolutely the foundation to sales success.
Technique 2: Sharing Your Services
Never EVER assume that your services sell themselves.
You may be the very best accountant for miles around, but if you don’t outwardly share what it is that you do and the successes that you’ve had for other clients, your prospects may never know.
For instance, if you’re an accountant that has saved some of your clients $20k to $30k on their tax bill, paying $5K for your services seems like no big deal. Share these results with your prospects! Social proof can have a huge influence on your new clients.
HOWEVER, people don’t often see the value right up front. We’ve all been conditioned to ask how much something costs and to determine value based on whether we can afford it or not.
Think about it. Often when you buy something it isn’t because of what it costs, it’s because you need it. There is typically some sort of emotion tied to the purchase. This is where the importance of building rapport and knowing your prospects well can actually help you share your services in a way that is appealing to them.
I have a student who is taking one of my online classes. We’ll call her Kate. She had 10 or so meetings set up with potential clients and each one of them asked her about her prices. Kate knows that her value isn’t in what she costs, but in what she knows. So when one of her prospects stated he was going to be moving to the UK from the US, she knew she could shine.
Kate is an expert at international tax law. This prospect hadn’t come across any other accounting professional that was an expert in this area. Kate was able to deliver her message effectively because she knew the prospect well by building great rapport. She also knew his problems and had the exact expertise to solve them!
She shared her message and how she could help him over several different meetings and ended up providing the value and information that the prospect needed. Kate was able to help a new client, enjoy what she loves to do, and close a new sale!
Technique 3: Share a Familiar Story
I’m sure you’ve experienced in your day to day life that the best way to connect with people is to share a story that they can relate to. Well, the same is 100% true for sales success!
With my example from above with Kate, she was able to show her client how she’s helped previous individuals with international tax law and how they’ve benefited from her expertise.
Kate was able to connect further with this individual because she already knew the intricacies of working with international tax laws from other countries. Her prospect was able to relate to what she was saying and knew he could trust her because of her experience and the stories she shared.
This technique can be really important and useful! Don’t be afraid to share a story of success that you’ve had with another client, IF it is relatable to the work you’d be doing with this new prospect.
Technique 4: Be Curious and Confident!
Mel Robbins says that confidence is built with taking small actions. It’s all about taking one step at a time, as long as you’re going in the right direction.
You have to take action, because otherwise how can you build your confidence?
As for curiosity, you have to WANT to learn what other people need on a physical and emotional level and then learn why they want it in order to truly succeed. I say curiosity is like a deep sense of caring.
One of THE BEST ways to show your curiosity is by asking open-ended questions as we mentioned earlier. They’re so important!
The key to follow the 80/20 rule here. You want to listen to your prospects 80% of the time and talk only 20% of the time. You want it to be all about them, and I’ve found the best way to do this is by listening!
When it comes to confidence, it doesn’t matter who you’re speaking with. Whether it is a current client, a prospect, or maybe even a colleague, it’s imperative that you show that you believe in what you do and the ideas that you’re presenting.
Let’s return to our example student, Kate. Kate is hugely confident and curious, but she kept getting questions about price, so she had to steer the conversation away from that. She did that by asking open-ended questions, being extremely curious, and by taking time to understand her prospects on an emotional level.
In her situation, Kate asked, “What is your biggest concern with your business when you make the move to the UK?” Then, she took the time to address those concerns and show the prospect how she could help him.
It becomes much easier to ask for the sale when you truly know your clients and know how you can help them. The way to do that is by listening to what’s really important to them.
Technique 5: Address Client Concerns
No matter what you do, you should never try to change someone’s beliefs. Instead, work to get the prospect to understand yours.
You can do this by honing in on what really matters to your prospects. When you hone in on what matters to them and stop talking about yourself it makes a huge difference. People like to talk about themselves and listen to how you can help them, so focus on that versus trying to change their way of thinking!
If you are still struggling to get past your prospect’s concerns, you can start presenting credible evidence that your services have helped others. This is that social proof I mentioned earlier on. People may not trust you until they see that you’ve had success with someone like them.
Another student of mine, we’ll call him Matt, stated that he would only work with businesses that were making over $500,000 in revenue. But a prospect was only at about $400,000 in revenue.
Matt assumed that this client would be a waste of his time since he wasn’t at the revenue level that Matt desired, but Matt was making a huge mistake!
Matt wasn’t looking at the prospects concerns, he was only worried about his own. What Matt needed to do was focus on what matters to the prospect, which was how he could help them get to that $500k in revenue. Overall, this client actually turned out to be an ideal client Matt was able to help after he had dug deeper into the client’s real issues.
Take yourself out of the equation and focus on how you can help and serve your future clients!
Technique 6: Understand the Prospect’s Pain Points
Understanding your prospect’s pain points and problems might just be the key to everything.
Wondering how you do this?
This can be a tough one because we’re all so busy. We have to keep up with social media, multiple inboxes, and maybe clients showing up at your office. All of this eats up your time, leaving little room to be empathetic to your clients, but it’s important!
Showing empathy can really help you not only increase your revenues, but also help more people. And when you help more people you’re going to increase your revenues.
Try putting yourself in the other person’s shoes. You can do this by sharing a similar experience if you have one, or just expressing understanding for the concerns of your prospect.
Empathy fosters connections, so it’s truly important!
With Kate, she showed empathy for her client’s problems and fears of moving to the UK. She shared examples of how working with her would help ease the transition from US to UK by sharing other clients’ experiences. Do whatever it takes for the client to know you have their best interests at heart!
Technique 7: Ask for the Sale!
I know this may seem like a no brainer, but I see it SO often…People never formally ask for the sale!
They ask great questions. They share how they can help solve the problems of their prospects. They show empathy and understanding. But when it comes time to ask, they just don’t. They leave it, waiting for the prospect to just offer up all of their money or beg to work with them. It just doesn’t work that way.
Trust me, you MUST ask for that sale!
For me, when FITzee Foods was still open, I had to ask buyers to purchase my products and put them on their shelves. It didn’t just magically happen.
The Vitamin Shoppe didn’t just call me one day and ask if they could put my prepared meals in their refrigerated section. Heck NO! I worked my butt off talking with the buyers, building relationships, showing them how I could help them differentiate from other big vitamin stores and supplement companies.
It was hard work, but it was so so worth it in the end!
Bottom line: Ask for the sale!
There really is NO magic word or phrase that will lead to a successful sale or create a new client enrollment. You just have to come from a really genuine and authentic place and be willing to serve your clients in the best way possible.
I would absolutely love to hear from you. Have you used any of these techniques? What other persuasive techniques have you used in your sales calls or in your meetings that have worked and led to a sale? Comment below!