If there is one thing that often astounds me, it’s how much effort business owners are willing to put into marketing, especially social media, but how little they do on the sales side.
Sales have gotten some pretty bad press in recent years, with the high pressure, cold calling sales tactics no longer being tolerated by many, it seems that business owners are concerned with reaching out to people on a personal level to engage in a sales conversation.
This is such a shame since it’s your ability to connect with your potential customers on a one-on-one basis that really allows you to open the “know like and trust” door that consumers and businesses are looking for.
With the changes to how we all do business now, the ability to look up pricing and make comparisons online and find reviews and recommendations across multiple platforms, the only real way to distinguish yourself from the competition is through that personal touch where you can offer some value and create trust. There are also many potential clients that are still looking to the subject matter expert to give them the answers to their problem that they might not even be aware of.
Coaches are in a unique position as far as coaching sales conversations are concerned because part of a sales process includes the need to “coach”. The first part of the process is to listen to the client explaining their problem or pain point, which is then followed by some probing questions to understand what is really going on for the clients – sounds like contracting and exploration to me!
Just like in a coaching session that drives transformation, if you are able to get the client or potential client to take the responsibility for their development with effective questioning, then closing a sale should be child’s play. Getting the opportunity to show what the pain is, what the feelings are and what the transformation will look like from working with you, uses the same questioning techniques.
This isn’t just unique to coaches, I’ve seen a reluctance to embrace the sales process in many small businesses, especially amongst solopreneurs where time is short and client work feels more important than gaining new clients. I believe though that coaches have a head start due to their unique talents and ability to initiate powerful questioning.
The best way for coaches to master their sales process is to create a complimentary mini-coaching session for prospective clients – anywhere from 30-60 minutes depending on the price point of your packages. The more money you expect a prospective client to spend with you, the more time you should be willing to give upfront.
All of your marketing efforts up until this point should be steering your potential clients towards this complimentary session because once you get them in front of you, you are able to dig in deeper to find the specifics that will resonate with them. When you are marketing you are communicating on a one-to-many basis so you are sending the same message to multiple people. It can be hard to make this personalized and is almost impossible to know exactly what is going on for your client at this level. Once you have them in a one-on-one conversation though you can hone in on exactly what is going on for them and exactly how your package/program/service will create the transformation they are looking for.
Mastering your sales processes doesn’t have to be difficult, but it is something that as the owner of the company, you are responsible for. If you are in a position to bring in a salesperson, great, if not, it’s all on you and quite honestly it should be. If I am going to be working with a coach one-on-one and dropping some significant money, I’d be wanting to meet that coach in my complimentary session and not their salesperson, that doesn’t create trust for me, especially with most coaching sessions now being held remotely.
If you need help with figuring out your sales processes, sales coaching and how to connect them to your marketing efforts, reach out and book a complimentary exploration call with me. Together we can understand what challenges you are facing in this area.