There is a gia-normous gap between manipulating people to buy from you vs. presenting your product or service as a solution to a person’s problems. Both are forms of “selling”, but only the latter will allow you to sell like a boss (without making you feel sleezy or scammy).
I think it’s safe to say that most of us don’t like “selling”. Selling has a negative connotation. It makes us conjure up the vision of a used car salesman who weaves an intricate web of partially-true statements in order to send you home with the over-priced previously totaled car that you really don’t need to get from A to B. But I digress…
When I talk with small business owners, I find more often than not the idea of selling their product or service feels completely unnatural. Even though most of these people are extremely passionate about their businesses and could talk to you all day long about it, there is still a disconnect between talking and selling. Then when I start to discuss marketing and selling with them, it becomes obvious that many of them have NO IDEA where to start.
Of course, the harsh truth is that if you don’t work to sell your product or service, you won’t make any money. And if you don’t make any money, you’re not going to be able to stay in business very long. It doesn’t matter how passionate you are about it. Passion doesn’t pay the rent.
That’s why you have to get good at selling from the get-go. And selling like a boss doesn’t mean forcing or manipulating people to buy from you. Good selling is asking the right questions.
Let me say that again: GOOD SELLING IS ASKING THE RIGHT QUESTIONS and getting your prospects to talk. Your prospects want you to listen to them and their concerns, not hear your sales pitch.
So what are the “right” questions? Well, it’s all about asking questions that get your prospects deeply connected with their fears, frustrations and desires around the problem that your service or product addresses.
(Check out my article on Copywriting 101 to help hone in on what questions to ask.)
For example, when I was a health coach, my way of selling my services was to have prospective clients come in for a free session and at the end, I’d tell them about my program. When I was first starting out, I had no clue to how effectively sell my services, so at the end of the free session, I’d tell them all about the details of my program—give them a standard “sales pitch” basically.
Then I learned how to sell like a boss (after experiencing rejection after rejection). Instead of giving them a pitch, I started asking 4 questions…
- If you could describe how you want your life to look in the next 6 month in terms of your eating, health and exercise, what would that look like?
- What would having all that do for you?
- What do you feel like are the biggest obstacles hold you back from reaching your goals?
- What would it feel like if you could overcome those obstacles and reach your goals?
After we got through the questions, I’d conclude by repeating their exact answers to these questions as my “sales pitch”. Basically, it would go something like this: “My health coaching program will allow you to [fill in their answer to #1] to helping you overcome [fill in their answer to #3] so you can have [fill in answer to #2] and feel [fill in answer to #4].”
Now instead of selling them on a cookie-cutter program, I was tapping into their emotional realities and showing them they CAN achieve their innermost desires. But it all comes down to asking the RIGHT questions.
And what happened? Well, my conversion rate of prospecst-to-clients went through the roof. And yours will to if you ask the right questions.
Make note that to sell effectively, you have to truly believe in the inherent value of your product or service. (Otherwise, any sales method will feel sleezy or awkward.) Part of good selling is knowing your own value, so don’t forget that.
In the end, practice makes perfect, so as you start practicing these methods and seeing positive results, you’ll better be able to hone in on an art of selling that works just for you.