You’re speaking to a potential client about your service. You know you do a great job, and all your other clients are happy – so it’s a no-brainer for them to come on board, right?
For some reason they don’t end up going ahead! Argh!!!!
It’s easy to blame the prospect, but let’s be brutally honest here… it’s because you suck at selling yourself!
Here’s the big thing.
If you’re a service provider, you’re not really in the business of providing a service – you’re in the business of marketing and selling yourself to bring in more clients.
That’s just the truth of the noisy, competitive world of today. It’s not enough to be the best at what you do – you also need to be the best at letting people know how good you are.
Some parts of marketing can come easy enough for many entrepreneurs. For example, writing a blog or creating a video is just taking knowledge you already have and giving it a voice. Networking is just going out and meeting people without being a douche. You have options that can bring in leads.
However, turning those leads into clients is where many entrepreneurs fail.
Because as a service provider, you’re probably going to be working closely with the client on an ongoing basis. Because as a service provider, you’re not selling a product – you’re selling yourself (your skills, your communication, etc.).
So that potential client is very wary about who they’re going to be working with. It doesn’t take much for them to run for the hills.
Good news though: fixing poor sales performance is one of the most common things I work on. In many cases I tend to be working on the same three points (and thankfully they’re really easy to fix).
So here you are: three of the most common mistakes that are drastically hurting your sales along with what you should be doing instead.
1. NOT LISTENING TO YOUR CLIENTS
Remember your last sales meeting. Who was talking more – you or the client?
Professionals and business owners often think that sales meetings are presentations of their skills and experience. While that’s partially true, it’s definitely not the only purpose of a sales meeting.
Proving your expertise is important – but don’t make the entire conversation about yourself. Ultimately, sales meetings should be all about the client’s needs and how you can help them achieve their goals. You’ve got the right qualifications? Great. Now let’s move on and talk about what needs to be done.
Of course, sales are just as much art as they are science, and no hard rules will ever apply in 100% of cases. In some meetings, you’ll sell by quietly nodding your head; in others, you’ll sell by being vocal and telling a convincing story.
What to do instead – ask a lot more questions. Be flexible and adapt to different situations, but never put talking before listening. Remember – it’s all about the client and their needs, not you and your business.
2. SELLING ACTIONS, NOT RESULTS
Identifying and offering the end result is one of the core principles of salesmanship, and also one that most entrepreneurs drastically fail at.
The thing is, clients are never after your services – they’re after a solution to their problem. People looking to buy a massage session don’t necessarily need a massage – most of them want to relieve their back pains, relax and have a good time. Companies that hire accountants aren’t simply looking to hire an accountant – they’re looking to save time, energy and money.
Someone going into a hardware store to buy a drill doesn’t want a drill – they need a hole.
That’s why your number one goal as a business should be identifying what your ideal customers are all about, recognize their struggles, and sell solutions to those struggles, not just the means to get there.
What to do instead – If someone needs a hole drilled in their wall, you sell the hole, not the drill. Talk about the outcome of hiring you more than just the process of working with you.
3. LACK OF CONFIDENCE
Nothing is more alarming to clients than when they sense you aren’t confident in yourself or your service.
Why? Because confidence in your services means you understand what you’re doing, you’ve done it before, and you’re good at it. Weakness means that one of those things might be missing.
Don’t get me wrong – being cocky isn’t the answer. Being overly confident will simply get you kicked through the door without even getting a chance to finish your pitch.
What clients want is someone who knows what they’re talking about and is excited about helping them reach their goal.
Having a hard time sounding confident? Perhaps the problem is that you don’t fully understand the value of the service you’re providing.
What to do instead – find out more about the impact of the problem at the start of the conversation (literally – how much does this problem cost them).
Now think about it this way: that is how much it costs if they don’t hire you. Compare that number with how much you charge.
Well, I’ve given you 3 things that are probably screwing you up.
I’ve also given you a tactic you can use to hopefully fix that problem.
Now you just need to do it!
After all, practice makes perfect – so practice.
Did this help? Let me know!