Selling is an anxiety-producing activity for many women who are running their own businesses. When those women try to sell their services, it’s not uncommon for female business owners to be overwhelmed, anxious, and stressed out when it’s time for them to ask a potential client to purchase
their service or product.
In the years that I’ve been coaching others, I’ve found that I don't have enough fingers and toes to count the number of clients who say to me “I'm not good at selling myself.” Believe me, when I reply back to them “I'm glad you're not good at selling,” they look at me like I'm crazy.
You see I have a belief that as service providers it's not our job to “sell” our potential clients anything. Rather, I believe it is our job to connect others to the services that they need in order to improve their circumstances. This is why I believe that the power to unlocking sales is through questions.
Closing a Sale Depends on Connection,
Understanding and a Shift in Focus
The key to gaining high-quality clients is knowing the details of their current circumstances and understanding what they want to change, how they want to change it, and why it's important they change right now. The easiest way to get that information from a client is to ask the questions.
But, asking the questions isn't the specific piece of the puzzle that magically unlocks a sale. You have to know why you are asking the question, what you want to find out, and how your question truly connects to the services you offer, and what you help your clients to achieve. You must learn how to utilize this information to move toward a commitment from the client.
You need to identify the information the potential client is sharing with you that connects them to your services or products. You must be able to identify which specific service or product is best for your client
and their current situation and for the results, they want to achieve.
Don’t Fall Into the Trap!
Too many business owners try to sell potential clients too much too soon. Most new clients know they want something they don't have and they understand it will cost them money. However, like you and me, our customers and clients want to ensure that what they're buying is what they truly need. They want to know what they're buying is specifically designed to create the result they want.
That's why it's our job to identify what they truly need and sell them only that which they truly need. Focus on what your clients need from you.
It can be so tempting to want to sell our clients our biggest packages. After all, this will bring us the largest income. That is a mistake. You’ve probably met a business owner who was far more concerned about making a sale than helping you achieve your end goals – those people are often pushy, or come off as not really caring about what you’re saying, and what you’re trying to communicate.
It doesn’t feel good to be sold to by a person who is in that mode. The thing is, they’re probably operating from a place where they’re feeling a bit stressed by finances, and that clouds their judgment.
As business owners, it’s so very important to focus more on our clients’ needs, and their desired results, instead of our own desired income. Those meetings and discovery calls often go more smoothly, because you’re focusing on relationship building and learning about your potential client, not on just what you need and want.
In order to truly focus on your clients, I believe that asking a few targeted questions can help you shift your focus to your client’s desired results, and away from your income and desire for a sale. That completely changes the energy of a conversation, and can sometimes be the difference between a yes, and a no from a potential client. Consider these questions, try them out and see how they work for you.
10 Questions to Help You Focus on Your Client
(and Gain Valuable Insight)
- What prompted you to reach out to me?
- What is it you're hoping I can help you do/achieve?
- What have you already tried that worked well?
- What have you already tried that didn't work well?
- What do you believe would help you?
- Can you give me more details about…
- If we could get you this result, what would that mean for you?
- Once you gain this result, what do you think you will need to do next?
- What is your timeline for achieving your result?
- Have you identified any challenges to achieving this result? If so, what are they?
Grab a piece of paper or your favorite digital device and start a list of information that would help you identify which of your service programs, packages or products your potential client needs. You may create a list of information for each service program or package you offer or you may make a general list for all of your services and products.
Next, brainstorm a few questions that will help you understand your client's current circumstances, their future goals, what challenges they see and how dedicated they are to achieving their goal.
Combine the list of information you need with the questions you want to ask. This will help you to clarify which services and products are best for each of your potential clients.
If you’ve made it this far, you're ready to test your questions to see if you get the information you need and if it's easy for you to connect your client's circumstances and desires with your service package or product.
Want support in coming up with your questions and knowing how to connect that information with your service program? It would be an honor to coach you on how to utilize questions to unlock more sales.
Schedule your coaching session today.