by Deb Mazzaferro

Developing natural, professional selling skills goes hand in hand with applying Best Business Practices to your coaching and consulting work. My presentation for the Greater Sarasota Coaches Alliance March meeting will focus on those business practices which will allow you to increase your income and quality of life if you consistently apply them. But what about the sales skills needed to increase your business?

When you think of sales, do you think of back-slapping, joke-telling, insincere extroverts?

Or perhaps you think telling a prospect all about your expertise, your story and your goals is how to sell.

Or maybe you think you should have a relationship, so you ask personal questions about hobbies and kids, etc.

Well, there is a smidgen of truth in all of these:

  • It helps to be fearless and outgoing; reaching your sales goals requires persistence and tenacity. However, no one appreciates obnoxious or relentless behavior.
  • You do need be able to communicate your story well.
  • People do buy from people, so you should form a relationship with this person over time, but don’t rush the personal stuff.

It’s exciting when a prospect shows interest in your service. But what do you do to be a highly effective sales generating rock star?

Well like most things, it’s not haphazard. It’s a process.

Step 1 Introduction: Schedule a Free one-hour “consultation”. It’s really more of an introduction, getting to know each other.

Step 2 Establish the agenda: Explain that you are interested in learning about their business and becoming a great business partner by helping them succeed.

Step 3 Probe: Ask questions about their business. I spend 45 minutes asking abut them, their goals, their challenges. Keep an open mind. We often think we know what it takes, yet each customer has different priorities. I always learn something useful.

Step 4 Listen….really listen: The answers are the keys to success. You need to fit your products and marketing tools into the prospect’s needs. I spend 45 minutes asking questions, and then they typically want to know what I do. Usually, they ultimately ask how we can work together, even though we’ve only been talking about them so far!

Step 5 Articulate how you can solve their problems: Address how you can work with them on their terms. Repeat back to them their expectations using their terminology. Now is the time to sing your praises, explaining how it will help them to solve the issues they have identified to you.

Step 6 Proposal: I have a set of templates for 90% of the work I do so I don’t waste time creating proposals. I simply customize it and send it off.

Step 7 Close: Ask for the order! (You can do this anytime during the process if you are getting buying signals.) Don’t keep selling if you can write the order. After you get a “YES”, you can start building the relationship.

Anyone can use this simple and effective process to be a Super Human Selling Machine by putting the focus on the prospect and their needs. It’s the ultimate win-win.