In my previous blog post, I shared the importance of listening HARD when it comes to making more sales an improving how you negotiate. If you want to supercharge the results you’re seeing, then please take note of this phrase…
If you wing-it, you won’t win it
A quick aside for my international readers so you know what I mean with this ‘Australian-ism’. To “wing-it”, means to make it up as you go.
Most people enter a sales conversation or a negotiation with little or no preparation. As one of my clients once called it “chat and hope”. And as I often say, hope is a terrible business strategy.
Following a process allows you to apply the right techniques, in the right place at the right time. And when done correctly, it should feel to your partner like the two of you are just chatting, even though you’re being purposeful with what you are saying. In the sales arena, following a process that is centered on humanised principles is a sure-fire way to optimise the quality of clients you work with, as well as the quantity.
With many people engaging prospects and having ‘accidental’ conversations, it’s no wonder that overall conversion ratios are low. Consider how much a new customer is worth to you. Are you prepared to risk that amount of money Julia by leaving that conversation up to chance?
Does a champion swimmer just dive in and see how they go?
Of course not. They have a process and a strategy for swimming the race, allowing them to execute particular skills and techniques at particular times and depending on the circumstances. Without this, they are leaving the race up to chance.
The activity of engaging with potential new clients is no different. Having a sales process (based on humanised principles) will allow you to purposefully collaborate with your prospect and supercharge the trust between you.
So, if you don’t have a sales process, I’m curious about how you plan to convert the next prospect you engage with, or are you planning to ‘chat and hope’?
I’d like to share a cool story with you. Around 18 months ago I set myself a goal to semi-retire my husband, Brad, by 2025 in his role as a geologist, which sees him away from home 26 weeks per year. With two young kids and no family here to help + running a company, it can be tricky at times.
I achieved that 5 year goal in 18 months, which is something I am incredibly proud of, and both Brad and I are thrilled about.
People have since been asking how I’ve done this, and the answer is that I followed my own 8 Step Sales Process, which is part of my Infinite Sales System™.
I’m aware of the irony that I happen to sell sales, and I don’t intend for this story to be a sneaky way to sell my program to you, it’s just the cold-hard reality of how I achieved this audacious goal.
So let me share with you some elements that are essential in a sales process so you can start applying these right away:
- Capture all your leads, ideally in a CRM if you’re serious about optimising your sales. Capturing them somewhere is better than nowhere
- Qualify your leads before you meet with them – find out their reason for wanting to meet with you, where they are at in their decision making, how much they are budgeting and what they are actually trying to solve
- Meet face to face or over Zoom. This helps build the trust between you
- Ask around 13-15 high-quality, open-ended questions to supercharge the trust between you
- Don’t end the meeting without agreement for another conversation. They want their problem solved, right? So politely let them know that you’re keen to see how things are sitting with them next week or later this week and book a short meeting
- Have another meeting and talk through their questions and concerns
- Make a plan to follow up with them if they decide not to proceed right away. When should you next meet? Can you connect with them on LinkedIn in the meantime? Are they open to staying in touch about other matters you may have talked about?
- Don’t disappear. The research tells us that 80% of new business takes between 5 and 12 value-added phone calls before it converts and only 44% of people follow up more than once. Manage your own expectations by knowing that following up is essential to winning more business
PRO TIP: If you’re serious about your sales process and want to explore or change your CRM, reply to this email and I’ll happily introduce you to the company I engaged who recommended and set up my CRM.
Whether you’re selling or negotiating, it’s imperative that you prepare and follow a process, well, unless you don’t want a great outcome, then you my friend, can continue to wing-it.
For more tools and techniques to help you convert more sales and improve your negotiation skills, please connect with me on LinkedIn.