If your fear of public speaking is greater than the fear of dying, the fear of asking for the sale cannot be far behind. Many business owners languish in low volume when, with a little bit of knowledge and practice, they can be kicking their sales into overdrive.
During a recent webinar with Apri Wier, we learned how classic sales techniques can be updated for the digital age. We also dug into the psychology that not only keeps some of us under-pricing but keeps us from closing the deal, at all. You don’t have to be cheesy, sleazy, or greasy to be a great salesperson. We learned how to sell with style and walk away with increased confidence to go out and make more money.
April Wier is director and coach at Sugar Five Design. She helps individuals and businesses become the best versions of themselves. This may come in the form of a new, or better, web site or coaching to break through self-imposed limitations. She specializes in helping high-performers reach their goals online. She is heavily involved in the Atlanta WordPress community, as a co-organizer of the Woodstock WordPress meetup, and as a former organizer for WordCamp Atlanta.
How to Overcome Your Fear of Sales
Maybe you went into web design or development because you love the work and you enjoy helping people. But your web development skills don’t necessarily translate to sales. You may want to avoid selling your work altogether or think you aren’t cut out for sales.The fear of sales can really be boiled down to the fear of rejection.
Some Bleak Sales Stats
Sales can get a bad wrap, especially when you look at a few stats:
- 80% of consumers say “no” the first four times a salesperson talks to them.
- 72% of all cold calls end in rejection
- On average, it takes 5 calls to get to a “yes.”
How to Reframe Sales: Your Mindset About Sales
According to April, the #1 reason for a rejection is your agenda. With all the info on the web, a potential client doesn’t care what’s in it for you. Are you thinking more about how this interaction will affect you, rather than how it can benefit the client?
Are you doing sales enough to gain comfort or just enough to be barely tolerable? Repetition is the king of sales comfort. Just like with public speaking, the more sales conversations you have, the easier it gets.
Here are a few thoughts you may have during the sales process that need to be reframed in a more positive light:
- “But I don’t want to bother anyone.” Are you trying to read minds? Instead, rethink selling as a way to provide value and a service that can really help your potential customers.
- “There’s no way they’ll be interested in this.” Do you set out already defeated when you start a sales conversation? When you reframe the sales process as being helpful and trying to solve problems, you’ll gain more confidence about how you can help. You’ll see how a customer can benefit from what you have to offer.
- “They can’t afford this.” Are you playing credit manager? Have you ever adjusted prices in your head thinking what they can afford? Don’t limit yourself by making assumptions about a potential customer’s budget.
The important thing is to listen to your self-talk. How are you projecting your own insecurities or doubts onto your prospects?
Solving, Not Selling
According to April: Your job is NOT to sell. Your job is to solve problems.
Once you get clear about who you want to work with, you can get clear about your customers’ pain points and how to solve them. They need a trusted guide … and that can be you.
Here are two questions to ask to get into the mindset of solving through selling:
- What’s going on in your business?
- What is your greatest pain point?
It can also be helpful to find out what they didn’t like about folks they didn’t buy from, and what they liked about folks they did buy from.
Classic Sales Techniques Updated for the Digital Age
- “Going out of Business!” – These giant signs on the windows and doors of shops create urgency and scarcity. Translated to today, the equivalent might look something like: “I’m booking up quickly and can only take on one more project …”
- “Foot in the Door” – This classic sales technique was among the first to give salesmen a bad name. Today, selling doesn’t have to be assertive or pushy. You can build an incremental relationship with tripwire products.
- Stalking the Client – We’ve all experienced a salesman who “follows up” one too many times or won’t seem to go away. You can continue to demonstrate the prospect’s value to you and that you care about them. If a prospect goes silent after you send a project proposal or contract, try following up with an email about how effective an online presence can be that doesn’t ask anything from them.
- “He who talks first loses.” This old saying highlights how uncomfortable we are with silence. Maybe you’ve just given a price or set terms and you are waiting for them to respond. Our natural response is to project all of our insecurities into that moment of silence and immediately backpedal. Without realizing it, you reduce your position of strength. Learning to sit in silence with a prospect can actually add money to your bottom line.