Making more sales while retaining your integrity — is it possible to do both?
For most of us, the most vivid picture we have of salespeople is the used-car salesman, the guy who will tell you anything in order to sell you a car. But what if this is only one way to look at the sales process? What if you can maintain your sense of integrity while selling? Would that help you make more sales?
Here are 7 principles to get you started on this new way of looking at selling:
1. Focus on the getting to the “truth”.
Keep your focus on discovering the “truth” of your client’s unique situation. As you listen, look for ways that you can be of service beyond what you normally sell. Offering tips, insights, resources, and suggestions without asking for monetary compensation will help build trust. This trust will make the potential client more likely to buy from you in the future, or recommend you to a friend.
2. Eliminate rejection once and for all.
When you’re not trying to sell, you can’t be rejected. Instead of thinking about selling at all, think about it as a conversation to see if this person can benefit from your services. Then, let go of your attachment to their decision. Learn to be as happy with the NOs as with the YES’.
3. Stop chasing potential clients.
Not every potential client you speak with will be a good fit for you. Also, many will simply not be ready to buy, and some are simply not the right fit. So instead of chasing after these folks who probably are just a waste of your time, learn to ‘attract’ your ideal clients — the people who you love to work with and who easily say “yes” to what you offer — to you.
4. Avoid calling people prospects.
People are people, and when you label them as “prospects” in your language or your thoughts, you dehumanize them. Train yourself to think of these people as “potential clients” instead: using the term “clients” in your language will help you to see them as individuals and help you to remember the rich details and information that they share with you.
5. Take the cold out of your cold calling.
Don’t start with “Hi, my name is… I’m with… We do…”. When you begin a conversation by making it about you, instead of about the other person, you immediately cut off the possibility of opening a dialogue. Instead, start by simply stating your name and the problem that you can help them solve. Everyone has time for someone who can solve their most pressing problems.
6. Don’t try to overcome objections.
Most of the time, the objection “I don’t have the money” is their way of saying they simply aren’t interested. But sometimes, money really is the reason they are saying NO. In order for you to know for sure, get curious with your potential client and ask a series of questions to get them to tell you more. Keep listening for their truth and stop asking questions when they have spoken it.
7. Its not about you.
Keep your communications with your potential clients focused on them and their problems. Avoid using a lot of “I” or ‘We” in your communication as these words indicate that the focus of your communication is on satisfying your own needs. When you include a personal story about you or your business in your communication, keep it brief and focused on serving your clients needs. For great examples, check out the Letter from the Editor section of your favorite magazine.
When you engage in selling from a place of personal interegity, you create a strong foundation based on trust and respect to support the relationship that you will have with your client. Every signed client started as a “potential client” so remember to treat them just as you would your very best client ~ because you never know when you will meet her!