One of the most important skills for wealth creation is the ability to sell and persuade. Whether you are a salesperson, a manager, or an entrepreneur, you need the ability to convince other people to take action.
I learned my sales skills from Tom Hopkins, Dan Kennedy, and Mark Ford. Modern-day influences include Grant Cardone, Brendon Burchard, and my friend and sales coach, Bedros Keuilian.
Most of these experts were once like me (and maybe you, too). They were not naturally gifted or comfortable with sales. Fortunately, it’s a skill—one you can improve no matter what your starting point is. Bedros and I both began as “order takers.” But that’s not enough to build real wealth.
“Don’t be an order taker. Learn to be a closer,” Bedros says. “Marketing can teach you a thousand ways to get leads, but if you don’t know selling, you can’t close. If you can’t convert a prospect into a customer, if you don’t have a selling script/system that is proven and predictable, then you are going to struggle no matter how good your lead generation marketing is and how many people you get in front of you.”
Fortunately, the process of selling is simple. It’s a learnable skill and the process follows a proven path from point A (the connection) to point B (the sale).
Over time, I’ve built a phone sales process for my workshops that goes something like this:
Step #1 – “Hi! [Insert small talk].”
This is where you connect with your client based on something they mentioned in an email or on social media.
Step #2 – “Tell me more about your business.”
Collect vital information.
Step #3 – “Congratulations on launching a successful business! I’m wondering, though: What elements of running your business are still giving you pain? In what way are you still overwhelmed?”
Discover pain points you can solve.
Step #4 – “What would things look like in your business if you didn’t have to deal with these weaknesses?”
Encourage the client to see the concrete benefits to a solution.
Step #5 – “I think I have something that can help.”
A perfect-for-them solution is often too good to be true, but the manager/rep will often be open to hearing what you have in store.
Step #6 – “Great, let me tell you about the XXXXX we offer …”
Explain the benefits of your product or service and what you actually deliver. Create an enormous amount of value to justify the customer’s investment.
Still, the customer may balk …
Step #7 – “Sure, I know there are objections. But tell me, what is this pain costing you in money, time, and energy?”
Deal with objections. Make it clear that your solution will make their life—and business—measurably better.
Step #8 – “I even have a special deal lined up for you!”
Offer an exclusive discount or deal that is hard to pass up. Close the deal in a way that leaves the relationship open for future business.
Do you see how simple this script is? That’s because 90% of sales is listening. I let my prospects talk themselves into a sale while making sure I don’t talk myself out of one!
One of my business partners, Daniel Woodrum, takes a similar approach. Daniel and I used to co-own two Fit Body Boot Camp locations in South Carolina (Mount Pleasant and Greenville). Daniel has done thousands of sales consultations and summarizes the best sales principles in 8 points:
- Start the consultation by finding common ground. This builds rapport and trust. Once you are comfortable with each other, then move into the actual consultation/sale.
- Let the prospect do most of the talking. Too often, the salesperson takes over the conversation and talks all about them (or their service). But at the end of the day, your prospect cares only about getting a solution for THEIR problem. They just need to know that you care about them and that you are able to help.
- Create a set of questions and use them to steer the conversation. Ask follow-up questions to dig deep and elicit emotion. Most the time, prospective customers are just looking for someone to share their problems with. If you show genuine concern, YOU become the person they feel comfortable opening up to.
- Don’t be too rigid with your script. Just be casual. If the client gets a little off topic, gently steer them back onto the “straight line to success,” as Jordan “The Wolf of Wall Street” Belfort says.
- The most important part is listening. Listen to the prospect so you can figure out their main problem(s). Then, show them how you can provide the best solution. Examples work well here, too. Describe how you’ve helped a client in a similar situation by giving them the tools to overcome their obstacles. Finish with a clear visual of how this client is now happy and successful. This will give your prospect confidence that you can help them with their problems, too.
- Give them an incentive to act now. It could be a discount on the first payment, a gift if they sign up today, or a gift certificate to another service you offer. People LOVE getting a deal, and it will help them say YES.
- Answer objections clearly and concisely. Waffling only makes it seem like you don’t have a reasonable response. So be direct (and diplomatic), then guide them back to saying YES—and stop talking. The awkward silence is actually a good thing, so embrace it. Let the prospect make the next move (which will either be saying YES or asking another question).
- Let the customer know their YES doesn’t mean the end of the relationship. Make it clear you’re there to support them—not just through payment and deliverables, but in an ongoing relationship that shows you can be trusted to offer solutions to their problems in the future.
As you can see, selling is actually quite simple. Understand your prospect’s problem by being a great listener. Then, show them a clear solution. Be friendly, but pointed and concise.
In short: Take your prospect by the hand and guide them down the path to saying YES!