Category Archives: Sales

What’s Your ‘Selling Style’ and How’s That Working for You?

Guest blog post by Therese Skelly

When you work in a service-based business, one of the most important things you need to learn is the skill of getting folks to say “yes” to working with you.  And for some, the thought of having the dreaded SALES conversation can send them running for the hills!GuestBlogPost_02

In my work with loads of entrepreneurs, I have found that there are four ‘sales personalities.’

See if you can identify with any of these characters.  (And they aren’t gender specific!) Continue reading

Ask PW — What’s the best way to use cold calling?

Ricky Blunt submitted this question — he wants to call folks via a telemarketing firm because he believes the phone is one of the best ways to establish rapport but he’s also heard if you call people (versus having them call you) it doesn’t work as well.

Ask PWWell Ricky — first off, thanks for sending me a question about calling people. I rarely get questions about offline tactics, like cold calling, so this is fabulous.

And yes, you’re absolutely right — getting folks on the phone IS a great way to connect with people. And, in fact, if you need clients and cash flow RIGHT NOW, there is no better way to see that happen than by picking up the phone.

That said, cold calling is a whole different animal. It’s not easy to get strangers to stay on the phone and talk to you and you have to prepared for a lot of people to hang up on you.

I personally believe it’s better if you can combine a phone call with a larger direct response campaign. For instance, start with an email or a postcard with some sort of offer. Maybe you combine with some content as well.

And then when you call, you have a reason to call. You can ask them if they got the email/postcard, if they’re interested in the offer, if they have questions, etc.

Then you can send a second email asking if they got your voice mail (assuming you left a voice mail because you didn’t get them in person) if they have questions, and reminding them of any deadlines.

Then you can even call again, making sure they’re getting everything.

See how that works?

And if this is a warm list, where you have some sort of relationship with, make sure you remind them of that relationship right up front in the email or postcard and when you call them.

So what are your thoughts about calling folks? Have you ever done it in your biz? How did it work out for you if you did? Please share below in the comment section. Or if you have a question about marketing, business or writing copy, feel free to put in the comment section and I’ll answer those in a future Ask PW column.

In a nano-second…your prospect could be gone. (And it may be YOUR fault)

Guest post by Therese Skelly

This may shock you…

There’s a “Nano-Second” in Time When Your Prospect Decides Whether or Not to Work With You…And Their Answer…Is All In Your Head

It’s like you have them….and then they slip through your fingers.  Let me tell you why.

The sales cycle for service based entrepreneurs takes a certain route.

Phase 1 is creating awareness of your business via networking, social media, blogging, writing articles, speaking for free, and building referral partnerships.

Phase 2 is bringing prospects in a little closer for a more intimate interaction with you. This might happen in an interview call you do with a colleague, or on your own teleclass. For a few of you, it might happen in a small-group presentation to an organization. Or, phase 2 could include a free phone consultation with you–and it is this short, “sliver of time,” out of the entire sales trajectory, that carries within it your success or your failure.

Think about it. You’ve done all the prep work and you actually have an interested prospect on the phone with you.

As a heart-centered, conscious entrepreneur, you are going to ask all about them and their challenges.

And when they turn around and ask you how you work, what the process is like–you’re probably sailing along with that, too.

Then comes the death-knell. They ask you what your fees are.

And it is right in this precise moment that you can let that sale slip away.

And it won’t be because your fees are too high, or your credentials are lacking.

It will be because there is a part of you (the mindset piece) that may not fully be in alignment with the thing you are offering.  Sure…you can roll lower prices programs out all day, but trying quoting the higher fees?  Maybe you rock at this already, but if you are like most people…there is a little glitch!  (Heck, even people who make $20k a month still suffer from this, so it’s not just a ‘start-up’ issue.)

Here are 3 reasons why you may be ‘going weak’ and backing down just a bit. (And don’t feel bad if you relate to these…I have done them all!)

1.  You have not fully owned your value and understand just how much working with you will be life changing for them. It takes awhile to really land in a deep way just how valuable you are in the work you do.  Many people struggle with this because there is a tendency to have the ‘brilliance in the blind spot’ problem, so while others may see the rock star you are…it may not come as powerfully to you.  What to do?  Get someone to work with you to discover just how amazing you are, ask clients for testimonials, and stop minimizing the work you do!

2. You are taking responsibility for their financial position. This is easy to do.  You roll out your fees and your prospect launches into how they can’t afford it, or how things have been difficult because of the economy.  So instead of coaching them to solutions, the ‘break down’ here is to feel guilty that you want to charge them so much. We have all done this and it doesn’t serve.  People find money for things they value.  Period.  Feeling bad that your rates may make them uncomfortable does not serve them!  Work on boundaries around this because when there is ‘skin in the game’ there are often better results.

3.  You have to be willing to let them go if they are not a good fit.  The most powerful position to be in for the selling conversation is that of taking a stand for yourself, and NOT NEEDING them to become a client.  This is critical.  Back in the old days I made everything work for everyone!  I’d trade, lower my fees, roll out lower end programs, etc.; all just to make sure the clients got to work with me.  But today I understand that not everyone may be able to afford the programs I have, and I have to be willing to let them go. It’s hard at times because I do really want to serve, but in order to be in integrity with my best work, I have to stick to my guns and stick with my pricing structure.  (What helps with this is having kick butt coaching or mastermind partners who will give you some grief if you do back down.  I highly recommend it!)

Here’s what I know to be true…You can learn all the right techniques, from any famous sales guru–but if you don’t look at what’s transpiring between you and your prospect (and what’s happening in your head), none of that training will matter.

That’s why I’m offering a free call on Wednesday, April 4th at 3 pm Eastern / 12 noon Pacific.  It’s called “Secrets to Enrolling Clients Without Hype or Pitch So You Can Be Serving Without Selling” and you’ll learn more about what causes this break down as well as some solutions to it.  I’d love you to feel more confident and have a better track record closing more sales, so please join me on the call.  Click here to register.  This might be one of the most important calls you listen to all year if you want to grow your business (and yourself.)

Are You Making This Common Mistake That’s Costing You Sales? (Big Time)

Awhile ago, I was attending an event and I met someone who offered a service I needed. We exchanged cards and promised to be in touch when we returned home.

When I got home I turned over all those business cards to my team member as usual to enter into our database for follow up. It was about a month later when I realized this potential vendor had not contacted me or followed up with me. I no longer had the cards so I couldn’t look through them and I couldn’t remember her name or her business name and I didn’t have the time to comb through my database looking for her.

Needless to say, she didn’t get the project. And the sad part was I was ready to give it to her, that was why I thought of her a month later. But she hadn’t followed up so she never got a chance to get the business. I ended up finding someone else.

The morale of the story — you need to follow up with your prospects. Period.

Look, I know you’re spending a lot of time and money attracting leads into your business. You’re networking at live events, networking virtually using social networking, blogging, speaking, and probably a million other things.

So when those leads DO flow into your business, are you following up with them? Are you treating them like the gold they are?

I see this mistake happen over and over again. Entrepreneurs spend so much time and effort to bring leads home and then they never follow up. All those business cards get piled up on their desk never to get into a database. They have every intention of sending out a regular ezine for those online leads but somehow it never gets done. They rarely pick up the phone to connect with a warm (or even hot) prospect.

And then they wonder why their business isn’t growing and they struggle getting clients in the door.

There’s just no substitute for following up. (Have you heard the saying “the fortune is in the follow up?”) Giving someone your business card is NOT the same thing as following up with them. You’re relying on them to not lose your business card AND to remember the solution you offer when they’re ready for it. That just isn’t realistic.

You need to be the one to initiate, build and maintain the relationship. You need to be the one to remind the prospect about the solution you offer and how it will transform their life. Not the other way around.

Now I realize you’ve probably heard this before and you probably already know it. So if you’re not consistently following up, why not? What’s stopping you?

Most likely it’s 2 reasons — time and fear.

You’re busy and you don’t have the time to properly follow up. And you’re afraid you’re bugging your prospects if you do follow up.

I get it. I really do. I was there myself once. But here’s the thing — if you don’t get over those 2 issues, you’re never going to grow your business or enjoy consistent cash flow.

So here are 2 quick fixes to help you get started:

1. Who said YOU have to be the one to follow up? Get some help! Notice in my story I said I handed the business cards I collected to someone on my team to enter into my database. I did not say I was the one doing the entering. Have someone help you. (And the best part is you can probably justify the cost of this help because it directly impacts your bottom line).

2. Follow up doesn’t have to be calling people up and asking for work. Do things people will look forward to getting — send them articles, tips, or maybe something funny that entertains them. Think about ways you can stay in contact with your prospects that’s not about just making sales calls.

Remember, it typically takes 7 “touches” before a prospect turns into a client (and in the “new” economy it’s probably going to take a lot more). So don’t be discouraged if you’re first few attempts don’t turn into anything. Be persistent and consistent and eventually you’ll see your hard work paying off.

The Biggest Mistake Entrepreneurs Make that Impact Their Sales

Play

Awhile ago, I was attending an event and I met someone who offered a service I needed. We exchanged cards and promised to be in touch when we returned home.

When I got home I turned over all those business cards to my team member as usual to enter into our database for follow up. It was about a month later when I realized this potential vendor had not contacted me or followed up with me. I no longer had the cards so I couldn’t look through them and I couldn’t remember her name or her business name and I didn’t have the time to comb through my database looking for her.

Needless to say, she didn’t get the project. And the sad part was I was ready to give it to her, that was why I thought of her a month later. But she hadn’t followed up so she never got a chance to get the business. I ended up finding someone else.

The morale of the story — you need to follow up with your prospects. Period.

Look, I know you’re spending a lot of time and money attracting leads into your business. You’re networking at live events, networking virtually using social networking, blogging, speaking, and probably a million other things.

So when those leads DO flow into your business, are you following up with them? Are you treating them like the gold they are?

I see this mistake happen over and over again. Entrepreneurs spend so much time and effort to bring leads home and then they never follow up. All those business cards get piled up on their desk never to get into a database. They have every intention of sending out a regular ezine for those online leads but somehow it never gets done. They rarely pick up the phone to connect with a warm (or even hot) prospect.

And then they wonder why their business isn’t growing and they struggle getting clients in the door.

There’s just no substitute for following up. (Have you heard the saying “the fortune is in the follow up?”) Giving someone your business card is NOT the same thing as following up with them. You’re relying on them to not lose your business card AND to remember the solution you offer when they’re ready for it. That just isn’t realistic.

You need to be the one to initiate, build and maintain the relationship. You need to be the one to remind the prospect about the solution you offer and how it will transform their life. Not the other way around.

Now I realize you’ve probably heard this before and you probably already know it. So if you’re not consistently following up, why not? What’s stopping you?

Most likely it’s 2 reasons — time and fear.

You’re busy and you don’t have the time to properly follow up. And you’re afraid you’re bugging your prospects if you do follow up.

I get it. I really do. I was there myself once. But here’s the thing — if you don’t get over those 2 issues, you’re never going to grow your business or enjoy consistent cash flow.

So here are 2 quick fixes to help you get started:

1. Who said YOU have to be the one to follow up? Get some help! Notice in my story I said I handed the business cards I collected to someone on my team to enter into my database. I did not say I was the one doing the entering. Have someone help you. (And the best part is you can probably justify the cost of this help because it directly impacts your bottom line).

2. Follow up doesn’t have to be calling people up and asking for work. Do things people will look forward to getting — send them articles, tips, or maybe something funny that entertains them. Think about ways you can stay in contact with your prospects that’s not about just making sales calls.

Remember, it typically takes 7 “touches” before a prospect turns into a client (and in the “new” economy it’s probably going to take a lot more). So don’t be discouraged if you’re first few attempts don’t turn into anything. Be persistent and consistent and eventually you’ll see your hard work paying off.