- Posted by: Jade Brindley
- Category: sales
Does the mere mention of the word “sales” drive you into a wild panic? Finding ideal clients and approaching the sales conversation doesn’t have to be scary, find out how to overcome that fear in my blog.
Sales prospecting, sounds a bit like gold rush America, doesn’t it? In fact, you probably think that it’s easier and a lot less scary to pan for gold than it is to successfully make those sales calls. Sales don’t have to be the hardest task of being a business owner, so I’m going to share some tips on how to avoid the fear and overwhelm that engaging in the sales process can bring.
Understand the target audience you’re wanting to make sales from
Spend some time in finding out who your ideal client is. Known as the marketing persona (or avatar), you should create a profile for your ideal customer. You can think NCIS and CSI New York for this and creating a “case file” filled with information you know about them – they’re female, aged between 30 and 50 and work as an accountant, for example.
This is a fun way to fill in the blanks, think about the small details that can help you build a rapport (such as family life, previous careers, etc) and identify their key motivation in wanting to buy from you. The more detailed the information is, the easier it’ll be for you to understand and meet their purchasing needs.
Don’t “switch into sales mode” when you talk with prospective clients
Sales shouldn’t make you uncomfortable, but it’s not unusual for business owners to feel like they have to put on an act of how the ideal salesman or woman looks and behaves. If you’ve ever dressed differently for a sales meeting, changed how you speak or act, or have tried NLP techniques to close the sale, then you’ll understand what I mean by sales mode. But I have a question to ask you about that – how did it make you feel?
If it felt hard, unnatural and like you weren’t being yourself then this will be contributing to your fear of sales, and probably enhancing some of those imposter syndrome beliefs we all struggle with from time to time.
Sales prospecting is about identifying potential customers and clients and moving them further down the sales process towards the end goal. Rather than trying to get from A to Z in one cold call or initial meeting, it’s much better to think of them as discovery sessions. This gives you the chance to be completely natural with just one intention – getting a deeper understanding of your prospect’s needs. You’ll then spot how your product or service fits into their business or lifestyle naturally and won’t need the tricky sales tactics to help them see that too.
Believe in the value of your product or service
We often feel that making sales is a competition with some people being better than us at “closing the deal”, which can lead to over-thinking and “why are they better than me?”. No one is better than you at what you do because you’re unique. What you have to offer is just as good as anyone else, but it is different, and it’s the differences that’ll help you stand out from the crowd and be the perfect fit for your target audience.
Remember that the people you are selling to are just the same as you, with the same concerns and feelings about what they do. If they’re a B2B business owner, then they too will have products and services that they need to sell and will empathise with what you’re trying to do. That’s why the heavy sales tactics that seek to “conquer” prospects and bend them to your will aren’t helpful.
Believing in the value of what you have to offer and how that can solve a problem for your target audience will give you the confidence to see sales fall into place much more easily.
Understand your sales process inside out
Sales seldom happen the first-time round, so it doesn’t matter if your calls or meetings don’t go to plan. While making a sale is your objective, it usually involves a longer process of warming your prospect through contact and engagement; introducing what you have to offer and how it can solve their problems; and following up in a less pressurised environment when they’ve had a chance to think things over.
It’s a good idea to map out the steps in your process to understand where you are in the process when you meet with your prospects, and how to steer things back on track if things don’t go as well as you’d hoped.
Hopefully you’re feeling a little less anxious about the thought of client acquisition and sales prospecting now but if you feel you do need a little more help, don’t hesitate to get in touch with me today.