There are so many issues around the topic of sales, especially as a small business owner. Setting your prices might feel uncomfortable, but the truth is that if you want to have a successful business, you need to make a profit. It’s as simple as that. So, instead of thinking about sales as something that is sleazy and uncomfortable, think of it through a lens of service. When you are selling your product or your service, you are serving others with your gift, your talent, your time, your expertise, your knowledge.
No one does this better than one of my most recent guests on the Christine Means Business podcast – Lynn Whitbeck. Lynn is the Queen of Sales. Business Owners and Entrepreneurs hire Lynn to ignite winning sales teams because most are chasing down clients, stuck in a chaotic sales cycle, and lacking client retention, conversions, and profits. So, Lynn helps transform thinking to the client’s perspective, ending sales chaos with a robust strategic plan to harvest the hidden profits. Bottom line: Lynn will ignite your sales and unleash lasting profits.
Be of Service
Lynn’s core value is to be of service. It’s what drives her. Every morning she wakes up and says, “There are so many things I get to do today.” Lynn is the Founder and CEO of Petite2Queen, and you may have seen Lynn in USA Today, HuffPost, Chicago Tribune, and more.
According to Lynn, to be efficient in sales, you have to approach it with the intent. What this means is that you genuinely want to serve and help your clients. Of course, you're going to trade dollars for your services, but if you want to be efficient in sales and make profit, you have to make sure to approach it from a place of service.
Over the course of her career, Lynn has helped salespeople all over the world close multimillion-dollar deals, and she saw things in sales that are common, regardless of whether you're a small business owner or the big corporate giants. And that's a feeling of being overwhelmed from the sales perspective and not knowing where to go next.
The first thing you need, when it comes to sales, is a strategy. Lynn believes that there are four core pillars to a good sales strategy:
- Your client’s “why”. What does your client want, need, or lack? Why does it matter to them? How is it going to benefit them, so they can…? Because that's what people buy, they buy “so they can…”
- Your client’s journey. You want to look at that journey and make sure that it’s a delightful experience because when there are areas of friction and gaps, that's where you create client discontent and you miss out on future business and referrals. So, you want to create a beautiful client journey, giving them that delight.
- Understanding your client avatar and their market. Who is your ideal client? Where do they hang out? What things do they have in common?
- Relationships. We’re in the business of human-to-human selling, and everyone should be treated with dignity, compassion, and respect. Your clients are people with whom you should be forming lifelong relationships. These are people who you not only help and serve, but become friends with. These are people who become master referral resources for you.
Once you have these four pillars in place, you can start working on all the other aspects of your strategy,
How to connect with your ideal client
So, the next thing that you want to look at is how to connect with your ideal client. What are your client’s top 10 pain points? What are their top 10 questions? What are their top 10 objections? You need to answer those and you can do it in a myriad of different ways. With a video, with an article, with a quiz, whatever it may be. Then you think about what your outreach is going to look like and how are you going to connect with them. Where do they hang out? How are you going to build rapport?
Once you make those connections, you have to follow up. Follow-up is the number one deadly sin of sales because 80% of people are not going to buy the first time they talk to you. The fortune is in the follow-up. This is where you can use those materials that you've developed about their top 10 pain points, questions, and objections. When it comes to a follow-up, you want to mix up how you're following up and make sure that you are always delivering value first.
The presentation phase
After the follow-up, you are entering the presentation phase. During this phase, you need to revisit your client’s “why” because their “why” might be different now because they're in a different place in their customer journey. Another thing to keep in mind is who else is in that room that's making the decision? Are you selling to different partners, is there somebody else in the room, like a sales manager? Keep this in mind during this phase, because you need all the people in the room to be on board.
The final negotiations
Now you move to final negotiations and the key thing here is to know your deal points. Know exactly what your deal points are and what is negotiable. After the negotiations, all that’s left is to close the sale. Ask for the sale. You deserve the sale, you know that you can help them, you know that it's the right fit, so for their business, and guide them to a decision.
Nurture your client relationship
Once you're actually working with the client, make sure you nurture that relationship. Here, you want to focus on two things: referrals and quarterly business reviews. Now, you might think that quarterly business reviews are big for big companies and big corporations, but no. The truth is that every business needs this. So make sure you take that time and review: have an hour-long meeting where
- For the first 15 minutes you talk with your client about where they were and where they are now, what's happened;
- The next 15 minutes is about where they are now and where they're going;
- The last 30 minutes is about what's in the future.
This is the optimum time to expand your business with them, to get in on the ground floor with a proof of concept, and to get that business and build it for them. This is also the perfect time to reconnect with the executives that made the decision to bring you in.
As for referrals, this is the strategy you've got to have from the first time you meet with a potential client. Make sure you let them know that most of your clients come from referrals, start putting those seeds in all the way through the sales process. And by the time they're a client, they are ready for you to ask them for a referral. Once you actually get a referral, you reward and recognize them for providing that because you want to repeat their behavior. This reward doesn’t have to be some huge giant thing, but make sure to give them something that's of value to them. If they say that they don't need anything, Lynn’s advice is to offer to make a donation to a charity of their choosing in their name.
If any of this sounds interesting to you and you want to connect with Lynn, you can do that by going to her website, Instagram, LinkedIn, or Facebook. Also, Lynn was so generous to offer her master class: How to Leverage Guest Podcasting to Grow Your Business, for free. So, make sure you don’t miss this opportunity!
If you want to hear more from Lynn, check out her podcast Petite2Queen.
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