Sales is just a conversation…punto!
Figuring out how to sell (online and off) without sounding or feeling like a pushy, sleazy salesperson is a huge challenge for most. The vast majority of people I’ve spoken to admit that they fall into the extremes – pushy (aggressive) or shy (passive). Now, I’m not a fan of the aggressive type at all. In fact this type categorically (and has always) turned me off. However, I recognise that we’re all different and the truth of the matter is that it has to work as so many do it.
Now, since you’re reading this post, you’re probably looking for some tips on how to sell professionally, or as I put it ethically. So here are my top tips on how to do it.
1. Be honest from the start
Make sure you’re being clear you have something to sell. I can’t stand sales people who get in contact and say that they’re not selling to you when clearly they are. I have more respect for the honesty of a sales person who calls and says, “hello, this is a sales call.” I always advise, starting as you mean to go on. Being honest from the start sets you apart from other sales people. You have nothing to be ashamed about if you are selling professionally and you’ll soon find out if the other party is interested. It takes confidence to approach it this way, but it does work.
When selling online, the problem is different as many websites fail to be clear about their sales propositions. For example:
- It’s unclear what the website is about or offers
- The website is poorly structured and products and/or services are hard to find – usually there’s too much content
- Make your navigation bar clear and don’t be clever with the menu descriptions
- There are too many products or services on offer – keep it to a minimum to avoid confusion (3-5 packages)
- NB. A confused mind doesn’t buy. Read this article by Derek Halpern.
- The website or blog content is unfocussed and off topic
- It’s not clear whether the website or blog is for show or for money
2. Be clear and specific: demonstrate how your offerings can solve problems
A blog on your website is a powerful business tool for you to get your message across. You don’t have to give away masses of e-books to show people how you can help them. Instead, write simple, useful articles. If you’re struggling to come up with an idea, create a list of all the topics that relate to your service. Think about all the problems and questions your audience might have about your service. Be specific and use words that your audience will use. Don’t be fluffy and vague. Then demonstrate aspects of your business and show how you help others. War stories, success stories and case studies are really useful here. You can also create simple how-to-videos.
Finally, include testimonials so people can see who you’ve worked with – these are incredibly powerful sales tools and my favourite!
3.Use copy (words) that your customers use to describe their problems
Don’t be clever here – it’s not needed. Survey your market and keep it simple i.e. use the words and phrases they use to describe the issues/challenges/frustrations they’re facing.
4. Make your prices visible
It’s the easiest way to get people to know that you have a product or service for sale. Gone are the days when you’d be thought of as being tacky for putting your prices online. Once someone has seen your prices they will come to you to for help and you won’t have to sell to them because they ‘ll have already had the ‘how much does it cost’ question answered. I know this sounds harsh but doing it this way gets rid of the time wasters who can’t afford your products or services. I’m a big believer in ‘where there’s a will, there’s a way.’ If they want your services they’ll find the money.
5. Give them an action – tell them what to do next
This really is the close, or as I prefer to see it, the start of the relationship, and it doesn’t always have to include a sale. It does however, need to include an action. And, that could be as simple as buy now, or share or please leave a comment.
[box]You don’t close a sale, you open a relationship if you want to build a long-term, successful enterprise – Patricia Fripp TWEET THIS[/box]
In the comments below, tell me what your biggest frustration or challenge is with selling – whether that’s online or in person. Let me know what top tips you have for selling without sounding like a salesperson and what action you’ll take as a result of watching and reading this post too. I’d love to hear.
Thank you, as always for watching, reading and contributing here. If you found this useful, please share it with your friends!
With love and gratitude – as always,
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