Sales and selling has come up a LOT recently, especially inside my BEB Group. After 17 years in business, I’ve realized one thing they don’t tell most entrepreneurs when they start their business is that they have to sell to survive. In fact, the majority of their role will be selling, especially, in the beginning. The reality is that most entrepreneurs will spend 80% of their time selling and 20% doing delivery. Not exactly what you expected when you started your business?
Let’s face it, sales people aren’t necessarily portraying in the most positive light. When you see them in movies the connotation is often negative. Sales people are greedy, slimy, and trying to take your money… think of all Glen Gary, Glen Ross or the Wolf of Wall Street. Totally not the same as you who is an impassioned entrepreneur looking to change the world?!?
Being sold to feels icky! Have you ever been a part of a sales conversation when people are just dumping features and benefits all over you? It’s terrible. They drone on and you zone out…I think we all have.
The question then becomes, how can I make it easy for people to buy from me, without feeling like they are being sold to?
I thought I would share some tips that have worked for myself and my clients over the years. Now, let me preface this by saying that I could talk about this topic for hours and hours, so this is going to be a high level version if you want more in depth info, you might want to book a call with me.
If you are selling online, don’t make them jump through a bunch of hoops. Creating an one page checkout process will increase conversions dramatically. I worked with an ecommerce client who sold cookies on (they are delicious if you want to give them a try – order here) and we took their 5 page checkout process where they were losing 80% of their people in the process and made it into a one page. Conversion increased by over 60%. Make it easy and simple for people to buy.
This includes adding alternative checkout methods like amazon pay, paypal and apple pay. The more options the better especially in the online shopping space. Most people are on their devices so if they don’t have to get up while they are shopping and they can easily check out in the moment they will more than likely buy!
If you are selling a group program or online course it is incredibly important to set clear expectations around what happens after they buy. For example, once you purchase you will receive immediate access to the course and…..(insert any other information here) so they know what happens when they buy. This is important and often overlooked.
If you are selling on the phone or on a zoom meeting it is critical to avoid throwing up a bunch of technical jargon on people to “showcase” your expertise. It’s wise to avoid dumping a bunch of features and benefits as well. Oftentimes inside a sales call, entrepreneurs tend to speed up and talk faster. They blow through their sales presentation without much listening to what the prospect has to say because they are nervous about asking for money or they are nervous about selling. Ultimately, this causes a breakdown in communication and trust with you and your potential buyer leading them to have that glazed over zombie eyed look. Which means you’ve lost them.
People don’t buy because of features and benefits they buy because the product or service evoked an emotion in them. Part of evoking an emotion is establishing trust within the sales conversation. You might be thinking, “so, Jamie, if we don’t sell features and benefits and we have to build trust, how do we do that in one sales conversation?” Great question, and that is not something I can fully answer on this blog but I can tell you this – Building trust requires listening, engaging, asking questions, fully engaging with the potential client in an ideal way and when the time comes actually asking for the sales.
One action I often encourage my clients to do is to record their sales calls so that they can go back to them and listen to how they actually sold. Remember, people love to buy but hate being sold. When selling you have to build trust, show value and ask for the sale. Many times when I have had clients do this exercise they realize they didn’t do all three of these things. Next time you are on a sales call ask to record it and takes notes because it shows active listening.
Here’s the thing the better you can get at selling and the easier you can create the buying process the more you will sell, be it in person or online. Like any other skill this requires practice, a system, and keeping it simple. Which one of these tips will you integrate into your business?