I recently ran a survey among coaches and one of the top issues they suffer from, and I’m sure a lot of other business owners suffer from, is not being able to convert prospects to clients.
It’s all very well having a wonderful looking website, free offers, free coaching calls, great online and offline marketing campaigns, lots of followers on social media but if underlying all of that is the fear or the confusion or not knowing how to turn all those leads, all those prospects into paying clients, ….then you have a very expensive hobby rather than a business.
Sales skills is probably THE most important skill to invest in when setting up your own business. Even learning how to create a website or writing regular emails are not going to bring in more business unless they have a compelling call to action and a conversion tool.
And that conversion tool is usually your mouth! Actually talking to clients about what their issues are and finding out if they are a fit for you is THE best way to convert prospects to clients.
So what’s stopping you converting prospects to clients?
As well as
• fear of rejection
• Not knowing how to answer objections
• Being too shy
• Your own belief that you are not good enough
• Getting it all wrong and being judged
• Having to do something you hate
• Not being clear in your conversation about how you can help
fear of being seen as pushy, sleazy, a “typical annoying salesperson” and ruining the relationship you have with the prospect comes up as one of the top reasons.
Which of these reasons are yours?
A lot of us have images of salespeople as those that don’t take no for an answer, that don’t listen to what we are saying, that treat us as a number, that have their own agenda and are not interested in what we really want, that the sale is everything. And that’s what puts us off doing what we perceive as “sales” activities or “sales” conversations.
But actually the opposite behaviour is equally damaging to the relationship!
Let’s look at “not taking no for an answer”
It implies that that an Annoying salesperson has at least asked for the sale. It may not be appropriate or interesting a proposition so refusing to listen to the prospects refusal and continuing to badger them to buy, is going to be annoying and counter-productive.
But NOT asking for the sale could mean that the prospect feels that person doesn’t want to work with them, doesn’t want to help them, that they are avoiding them because they do not see them as a worthy client. And that could be equally damaging to the relationship. If you have a product or service that you KNOW could help a friend, a contact, a prospect and you don’t offer it to them, you are abdicating from your duty to solve their problems and allowing them to go to someone else who might not be as scrupulous or ethical or as talented as you are.
An Annoyer Salesperson won’t listen. An Avoider Salesperson won’t ask to help those that need it for fear of being perceived as pushy. So what should you do?
An Attractor Salesperson asks powerful questions to find out what the prospect’s problems are and to see if their solution is a fit for them, if working together would be mutually beneficial. It’s a grown up , mutually beneficial, 2-way conversation to see if there is a benefit to working together.
How about “Having their own agenda – sell, sell, sell”?
When we get those annoying cold calls where the caller is obviously following a script to see if you qualify for their “special offer”, you can tell you are one of hundreds of people they will call, that they are not specifically interested in you and your circumstances and that their top priority is to make as many sales as quickly as possible. It doesn’t make you feel special and you are unlikely to want to invest in someone that treats you like this. This is the old way of selling that just doesn’t work any more.
But at the other end of the pendulum swing, the Avoider Salesperson also has their own agenda that they put before that of the prospect – their own fear of rejection, their own fear of being judged, wanting to be liked and not being hurt or upset. The self- obsession stops them putting the needs of their prospects first and even picking up the phone in the first place. For example if they know someone needs their services or products (as the result of a survey, or because someone has downloaded their free solution document or they have told them at a networking meeting) and then NOT to follow it up is (a) rude as that person is probably waiting for the next step (b) selfish as putting their own comfort above resolving the problems of others and (c) not valuing that relationship where they could actually help that prospect.
The Attractor Salesperson puts their clients’ needs first and foremost, not themselves. So once they have discovered a prospect has an urgent or important problem they could help them with, they will genuinely want to help others and to demonstrate to them and discuss with them how they can do it. That may be phoning to discuss further with them the next steps to doing so, or to ascertain that this is a priority for them, or meeting them to discuss this.
What is most important?
For the Annoyer Salesperson, the sale is everything, not the relationship and whether they will get repeat sales or referrals or recommendations.
For the Avoider Salesperson, their own comfort, their own piece of mind, being liked, not being judged is paramount. Both of these are unlikely to have strong client relationships and strong bank balances.
For the Attractor Salesperson, helping their prospects solve their problems is paramount. The focus is NOT on the sale but how can they help the prospect. It might be they can’t help them but they could refer them to someone who can. You can imagine that prospect will trust them when they DO have a problem the Attractor Salesperson can help them with. But if they can help them it is their duty to explain to them how, and what the next steps are for working together.
Which kind of salesperson are you – an Annoyer, an Avoider or an Attractor? Find out in this quick quiz
Other reasons I’ve heard recently are
“I’m worried the police are going to arrest me for harassing people”
“Every time I pick up the phone, I’m crippled with fear and want to throw up”
I’m working with these people individually!
Are there any other reasons that are stopping you converting your eager prospects into paying clients? Please let me know by emailing me or posting on my Facebook page
Or you can book a Bust your Limiting Sales Beliefs free session with me where I guarantee I will help you find at least 3 ways to improve your sales confidence, your conversion rate and how you follow up your marketing to get great results. Click here to book a mutually convenient time for our call.