Asking For Business Like You Don't Need It
Have you ever been on a date with someone who's desperate?
It's a big turn-off. Even when the person is really nice, well-dressed, and otherwise charming, if he or she seems needy, we lose interest.
The same goes for asking for business.
You can't beg your prospects for sales and expect to get anywhere. People will sense you need them, and want to run away. They'll become wary of you.
But it can be hard not to come across as desperate when you are feeling desperate. Perhaps you don't have a lot of money in your bank account, or don't have very many prospects; these concerns will creep into your every day interactions with others, and they'll know something is wrong.
So, today, I'm going to show you a few ways to put yourself in a position of strength in your business, so you can sell with confidence. Including…
How a true professional car salesman defies the stereotype (and makes lots more sales)…
How you can set yourself up to not need every sale…
And the best technique you can use to turn desperation on its head…
The Good Salesman
When you think of a car salesman, what comes to mind first?
For many, it's the slimy, snake-oil salesman that we've all come to loathe. Or perhaps the hyperactive, desperate guy who never lets you get a word in edgewise.
In either case, those aren't attractive qualities, and he probably scares off more people than he closes. But why do you think it's like that?
First of all, commission based work can be intimidating. When your income depends solely on the number of sales you make, you want to get as many sales as possible. And if you're not doing particularly well at any given time, you tend to come across as desperate.
This is referred to as “commission breath” among salespeople. Essentially, the customer can smell your need to make the sale and get the commission on your breath. Your need is obvious.
As you can imagine, this doesn't work well. And it exacerbates the problem.
Second, there is an awful stigma around sales. People believe it to be a shady and manipulative career.
So you have these poor souls trying to make a living, but they are buckling under the weight of believing their work is “less than” worthy of respect. And they may have even been trained by other salesmen who really don't like what they do.
You can imagine how this would affect their performance. They could either buy directly into the negative stereotype, because they believe that is how it should be done. Or, they feel defeated from the start, and get very few sales, creating a vicious spiral of desperation and failure.
This paints a pretty bleak picture for car salesmen, doesn't it? Well, all Expertpreneurs® (and all business owners) can suffer from it, as well.
But there are people who sell for their entire lives and make a great living, without the stress. They show none of those negative qualities, and are in fact quite the opposite: charming, calm, casual. They talk to you, taking a real interest in your life, past and present. And your desires and concerns.
They never nag you or play price games either. They just go about the conversation nonchalantly, working to understand you, and truly help you find a solution that's right for you.
It feels absolutely nothing like a “sale” as we sometime think about it. Yet, it's exactly what every sale should be like for the most success.
The less obsessive you feel over “closing the deal” the better you will be. If you always remember that it's about the prospect, and matching your services' or products' benefits to their problems and desires, you will do just fine. Pro salesmen know this better than anyone.
And ignore the stigma: it's based on a false image of selling. Remember, you are in this to help people transform their lives. Helping them make a buying decision is a good thing.
But all of that is easier said than done, if you feel the weight of your empty bank account, or have very few prospects.
Setting Yourself Up for Sales Success
The fact is, if you don't have many leads, you are going to feel stressed every time you try to get business.
There are two problems with this:
- Statistically speaking, you won't have a 100% close rate. No one does. Percentages change across industries, but if your industry standard is 15% and you only have 5 prospects… you're only likely to make one sale. That's probably not enough to meet your financial goals.
- That stress and desperation is going to come through each and every time you have a sales conversation. You're going to hope and pray that “this is the one.” And they will see it, and feel it, from a mile away.
So, what can you do?
Well, the first thing is to implement many of the marketing tips and techniques I have discussed throughout my Expertpreneur® Magazine issues, blog posts, and newsletters. The most important result of doing these is developing a large list of your target prospects to market to.
You see, not only is having a large list good for business, it also alleviates stress. You know some people will be interested, and some won't. Sales is a numbers game. Which means, by continually building your list of prospects through lead generation, and following up to make an offer, you'll meet your goals if you have a big enough list!
Good marketing – content plans, funnels, multi-channel marketing, social media, etc… will get you more leads.
Position yourself as an authority that people can rely on for useful, actionable information. Reach out to people over multiple channels and find out where your target audience hangs out. Spend time and do some serious marketing there – and they will come.
The next step is to set up your life and your business so you always have money in the bank. This is important, because flying by the seat of your pants, and not being sure of what is happening with your finances, creates stress. And, as I've expressed over and over, that stress will deeply affect your sales.
Whenever you make profits off of a sale, be sure to bank some. Try to get yourself into a situation where you have enough money to cover your expenses for the next three months, not just the current month.
It's a standard financial planning tactic, but once you've gotten away from dependence on the “paycheck-to-paycheck” lifestyle, you will feel infinitely better about your business. And you will approach everything you do with a new sense of confidence.
Earning you bigger profits in the long run.
How to Sound Confident In Your Pitch
You've got your prospect on the hook, they're interested in your product, and you're ready to close the deal. If the pitch you've been giving has been hitting them over the head with benefits, stories, and “future pacing”, it might be time to back off for a second.
And have I got the perfect technique for you…
A very effective way to close a sale that is often used in direct response marketing is the “takeaway.” You've built up everything and you're ready to go into your close, but before you do, you give a disclaimer.
Essentially, you say… “Before I go on, I have to get something off of my chest. I have a funny feeling about people who buy my products and do nothing with them. If you're not 100% serious about transforming your life, and aren't 100% committed; I'm asking you to not buy it today. You heard me right. If you have a tendency to buy products and sit on them, I'm asking you not to buy mine. Just close this webpage and carry on with your day. Otherwise, if you are serious and committed to solving your problems, and getting to where you want to be, I'm in your corner. I created this product for people just like you!” Then move on to the close.
Sounds pretty harsh right? And it probably also seems counterintuitive – you're telling people to go away! That's because it is.
However, this has an interesting effect on people's behavior – they take it as a challenge. You're saying to them, if they buy your product, they darn well better be serious and be a good client. Otherwise, don't waste your time.
By doing this, you position yourself as not needing the sale. And you also come across as caring about your clients' success, that it's not only about the money. This tactic also weeds out prospects who will buy it, sit on it, and then complain that it doesn't work.
You'll kill two birds with one stone, and dramatically improve your sales. But you must feel confident in your business and your marketing to be able to pull this off.
You have everything it takes to create and grow a lucrative “expert” business.
But, in order to be effective at sales, which is integral to your success, you have to be as confident as possible. As Dan Kennedy says, “if you seem needy, you won't get anywhere.”
An effective, multi-channel marketing plan, plus a healthy bank account, will take a lot of the pressure of making sales away from you. Allowing you to be cool, calm, and nonchalant like the best pros out there.
Take some time to analyze your business, and how you operate, and see where you can make adjustments to bolster your confidence. You'd be surprised how the simple act of creating content, or even banking a small percentage of sales will make you feel better.
Build up your strength, and you'll be selling like a confident pro in no time.