Sales For People Who Don’t Like Selling
Selling to strangers doesn’t come easily to a lot of people, so below is a walkthrough I put together for a friend who asked me about Sales, Negotiations and business in general. The key is to remember you are having a conversation; it doesn’t have to be a hardcore pitch.
This Is My Sales Cycle.
(Side note — I flew by the seat of my pants trying to make it Building specific, so some of the questions will sound like a keyboard warrior with calloused fingertips wrote them.)
1. Introducing Yourself
Capability/Credibility Statement: What you do and why you do it (20 seconds)
“I am a builder with 10 years experience, having worked on residential and commercial new builds, renovations and extensions.
I started my own business earlier this year so I can work directly with my Clients to deliver their houses on time and within their budget. Jimmy mentioned you were thinking of renovating, and I believe I can help you.”
Finish this with an “open” question to encourage your prospect to begin talking, where they can’t answer by saying “no”:
“What are you hoping to do with your place?
How are your thoughts on your project coming along?
When are you looking to kick things off?
Examples of “closed questions” to avoid at the beginning of the conversation
Do you want to work with me?
Are you ready to build your house?
Does this sound interesting to you?”
Save Closed questions (ones that can only be answered by a “yes” or a “no”) for the end of the conversation when you are closing the deal.
Once you have their attention, you need to know that they want.
2. Fact Finding/Needs Analysis: (The What and the Why)
a) Fact Finding = What, When, Who, How — sketch out the prospect/job and look for Buying Signals
This is what you already do in order to get the quote.
“What do you want done to the house?
When are you looking to have this done by?
Who is involved in the decision making process? (Wife, kids, investment partner etc)”
b) Needs Analysis = Why — figure out what is driving them (Cost, Quality or Time)
These questions will go a long way to keeping the project on track — if you can keep referring to your Client’s answers to the below questions, and understand their motivations/drivers for the project, it will make it a lot easier to win the job and manage the project cycle.
“Why are you looking to do it now? (Have received a bonus at work)
Why do you want a new house? (More kids on the way/ have been in current house for 10 years)
Why do you want that kind of kitchen? (Very modern/saw it in .. magazine)
Why is it important to you to have that type of finish? (Best design/cheapest option/fastest install)
Why does the job need to be done by then (40th Birthday and want to show off to friends)”
All of these types of questions will help you control the process if you can repeat back to the Client what they have already said to you. If I am doing this over the phone at my desk, I type everything down. If I am on the road, I use Evernote. And then follow each call up with an email confirming what we have just discussed.
HubSpot could be a good CRM to look into to keep track of the stages of prospects/projects so that you can follow up at the right time as your business expands
3. FAB (Feature, Advantage, Benefit) — try to have five, so that you can use the most relevant three
This is when you get to sell your services/business, and tailor it to the information they have just given you
Feature: What are you offering?
Advantage: How does this help projects in general?
Benefit: How does this specifically help this Client?
An example would be:
Feature: I have 10 years experience in this industry across multiple sectors
Advantage (general): I have seen what works and what doesn’t
Benefit (to the client): You don’t have to pay for cost blowouts because I know what to look out for
4. Objection Handling — Embrace Objections/Look For Increased Interest:
When people start objecting, this is a sign of wanting more information, which means they are interested. If they weren’t, they would have said “thanks but no thanks” and wouldn’t still be on the phone. People just want to know that the money they are spending with you is going to be put to good use and that all bases are covered.
The key to Objections, is that you need to acknowledge them upfront. It builds trust and rapport while moving the process along at a faster rate.
The best way to handle Objections is to tie them back to your Fact Finding and Needs Analysis. Often the customer has already given you the answer to their own question, so it’s important to listen when asking your questions so that you understand where they are coming from.
Quality Questions — Source of Materials, Workers
Cost Questions — Level of Investment/Budget
Time Questions— Holidays, Schedule Disruption
- Cover off Objections again with FFNA, and ensure that the Client doesn’t have any other doubts — if they do, go back to FFNA because you haven’t found all the relevant information/motivations
- Run through your understanding of the project, asking if you understand what they are looking for
- Book face to face meeting to organise specs of job/quote.
- Make the next call.
Prospecting and growing your business can be uncomfortable at times, particularly when first picking up the phone. The benefits of doing so, however, are large — it only takes one successful phone call to change the trajectory of your business.
The Trusted Advisor by Maister, Green & Galford (I bought this in iBooks, but it is also on Amazon)
Stories from the Sales Floor
The Top — Nathan Latka
The James Altucher Show
The Tim Ferris Show
Young Entrepreneur Lifestyle
The School of Greatness with Lewis Howes
Achieve you Goals with Hal Elrod
The Slow Hustle Podcast
Pivot with Jenny Blake (ex-Google)
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