Turn the hardest part in sales into the easiest
Key learnings from the Practice Growth Formula workshop
Many people enjoy having a chat with clients about their problems and helping them come up with solutions. What people don't enjoy so much is the part where they need to ask clients to buy their service and the price discussion that follows.
This is what I found was the case at the Practice Growth Formula workshop I presented at last week.
One of the main reasons the "asking for the sale" part is because they weren't clear on how to communicate what they do for clients. There was no succinct way to articulate their services in a way clients understand and can value.
Attendees at our workshop walked in not being confident how to "close" a conversation. They walked out knowing that the close shouldn't be the hardest part if you've prepared in the right way upfront.
Here's what they learnt.
Key learning 1 - Why we think closing a sale is hard
The reason we often think that closing the conversation is the hardest part is a reflection of where we spend our effort. We are investing our energy at the end - when we have to tell the client about what we do and usually follow up with phone calls and emails to get the sale over the line. The effort diagram looks a bit like this.
No wonder it's the hard part!
This way of doing things also means we waste a lot of time in the follow up and trying to explain our value.
Have you had the experience of clients not returning your calls even though you thought you had a great sales meeting? It's because we're putting all the effort at the end and our clients know it.
There is a better way though - that is to spend more effort upfront.
By that I mean invest the time upfront to get your services into a clear structure that's easy for you to communicate to clients and also easy for you to deliver. In other words, creating services that are productised.
This way of doing things makes it easier for you at the end when you're asking for the sale so the effort diagram looks more like this.
When you've invested the time upfront to structure your services well you can then focus your energy in each sales conversation to understanding the client and building a solid relationship. That's where the hard part is not the close.
Key learning 2 - It will never be perfect
Many of us are perfectionists at heart. We want to know that whatever we end up selling is perfectly structured before selling it.
The problem is - perfection is unattainable.
We can, however, create a great set of structured services by using client feedback to help us refine it as we go.
That requires us to be willing to just get started. Test out your imperfect productised service on your clients and let them give you feedback.
We've had this experience when we first rolled out our workshops and are still refining how we deliver it. We're having this experience with our Premium Packaging Program where we work with clients over a 3 month period to create productised services.
Its been challenging and we've had to continuously improve how we do things. We know even with the best planning, until we start working with clients on each productised service we're not going to be certain what works best.
But we're committed to putting in whatever effort and time it takes to get our clients to the result they want. We've had to invest more time than we initially budgeted to get our clients the outcome we promised as part of this process.
And that's ok. Because we wouldn't have any productised services if we waited til it was perfect. And we wouldn't have been able to help all the clients we've helped along the way to refining our services.