Myths about Selling (and the Truths You Need to Know Now)
An excerpt from my International Bestselling Book
Selling is telling. When it’s time to step into what you perceive as the selling conversation, telling the client all about the features and benefits of your program or product is not the right thing to do. More importantly, that is not selling. It’s telling. The truth is selling involves sharing. It means you’re engaged in a dialogue with your client about how your program is a solution to her problem. You’re sharing information that invites an exchange of ideas. You’re inviting the ideal client to engage with you and converse about your program, product or service. It’s a two-way conversation that goes both ways.
Selling focuses on multiple problems. Typically clients come to you because they’re experiencing a challenge or problem that they need your support to solve. They probably have more than one problem and if you’re interested in helping them, your natural inclination may be to try to solve every problem your client shares. To be really effective; however, your selling conversation must focus on only one problem. Remember, the Power of One? One ideal client, one core problem and one comprehensive solution works extremely well in the selling conversation, too. You can only solve one problem at a time within your sales conversation.
When you’re in your initial consultation, sample coaching session, or discovery session, selling is about ONE problem that your client is facing. The client may identify more than one but your job is to focus on only one. Focusing on more than one problem takes your session beyond the time you’ve allotted to spend with the client.
Additionally, when you try to solve multiple problems, you confuse the client about what’s really important and overwhelm her with all of the possible solutions available to support her. This is true for groups, too. Trying to solve all of the different problems presented by the group confuses and overwhelms your audience. You can offer a little guidance but be sure to maintain the focus so your audience of ideal clients is clear that you, your programs, product and services, are the solution to their problem.
Selling involves the masses. Your selling conversation must be with one ideal client. Even when you’re writing a sales page, you’re speaking to one person at a time. Why? Because that’s how your sales pages will be read… by one person at a time. Similarly, when you’re in a sales conversation, your job is to connect and build rapport with the one person right in front of you.
I was afraid of everything during the first two years I was in business. I was afraid to succeed. I was afraid to fail. I was afraid to try. I was afraid of everything. I enrolled in a program that ultimately changed my life. The program was Fearless Living based on the book of the same name written by Rhonda Britten. In the program, you’re given tools that help you reframe how fear shows up in your life.
It was an amazing program and when it was over, I decided to become certified to lead groups using the book and the study guide as a focus. When I completed the certification program, they gave me a boilerplate press release to send to the media letting them know I was qualified to talk about fear.
My press release was picked up by a division of the local paper here in Atlanta with a weekly circulation and distribution to more than 40,000 homes in DeKalb county, one of the largest counties in the country. They sent a reporter out to interview me and take photos. I was thrilled and super excited about the possibilities. That was until I started receiving calls from people who had read the article. The callers had traumas, dramas and tragedies. They were looking for therapy and counseling – not the work I was prepared to do and interested in doing.
My point is this – numbers matter only when you’re definitely speaking to a sea of your ideal clients. Otherwise, you’re spending time, money and energy talking to people who are not necessarily served by your content, your programs, your services or your products. Wasted time. Wasted money. Wasted energy.
Selling is Sleazy, Pushy, Salesy and Slimey. They just don’t belong in your selling conversations. It’s a myth that isn’t true. The truth is selling is an invitation for your clients to work with you. When you recognize the importance of your invitational language, you’ll be able to extend the invitation for your ideal client to enroll in your program, eloquently. Selling will be natural and authentic because it will be an extension of what you do to serve your ideal client.
The transaction is definitely part of selling. Yes, the client is going to give you her credit card information or write you a check or pay you for your service or product. But, your focus in the selling conversation is the invitational language and the nature of serving and supporting your client during the conversation.
Selling is about techniques, manipulation and tactics. Before my Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) training, I’d experienced sales training that didn’t feel authentic. It’s because my previous training had equipped me to “do” something to people rather than serve and support them. It was so kewl to me that NLP helped me to see selling as an extension of my natural language. It wasn’t about the tactics or techniques. For me, NLP is about understanding language in a broader sense.
Let me share the WendyY definition of NLP so you understand what I mean:
NLP has three parts.
The Neuro part says that all information is processed by the brain via the five senses which are sight, sound, touch (tactile/external and feelings/internal), smell and taste.
The Linguistic part says language has a broader definition than just words. Language also includes pictures, smells, tastes, sounds, colors, beliefs, attitudes, feelings, emotions, and behaviors.
The Programming part says that way each of us processes our experiences forms distinct patterns. It also says when you understand those distinct patterns, you can connect with people and relate their experiences to something meaningful and support them in creating lasting change.
#ILoveNLP because of how it’s helped me to serve my clients more effectively. Now I hope you can see why selling is about connecting and serving and supporting.
Selling requires in the moment strategy. You cannot sell in the moment without first setting an intention or having a strategy. When you know what you want to achieve within the selling conversation, it guides how you support the client. Remember, your intention is about serving your client fully and offering value.
You must learn how to express your compassion, caring, understanding and focus on your ideal client effectively in the selling conversation. It also involves being able to listen to your client and anticipate her needs with clarity.
Selling isn’t coaching. Selling is coaching and coaching is selling. This means understanding that you’re ALWAYS in a selling conversation. That’s right, ALWAYS! This is because your ability to connect and build rapport with your ideal client begins as soon as you meet. The stronger your connection and the greater your rapport with the client, the more your ideal client trusts you and is open to investing time, money and energy in learning more about how you can solve her problem. Then, when you add value by giving specific content, coaching, resources and support, you are increasing your opportunities for conversion (i.e., the transaction) to be successful.
This is an excerpt from Business Beyond Limits: 7 Powerful Practices for Creating a Highly Profitable Business. Buy the Kindle version on Amazon