No matter how good your website, your Twitter interactions, your LinkedIn profile and your Instagram feed, at some point all this effort raising awareness will lead to making sales. However much you insist that you are not a sales person, you are just that. You know your business better than anyone else. You know what you can do, and the benefits for your target market. But when you are caught like a rabbit in the headlights with a potential customer, how do you make that sale?
Have your pitch ready
Because you know your business so well, there’s a good chance you can talk the hind leg off a donkey when asked about your product or service. You know the background, you can relate some great stories of how you perfected it. This is not a sales pitch. it’s not what the client wants to hear. Look at your business from the outside and answer these five questions, one line each. This is your elevator pitch and the structure you’ll follow at every opportunity.
- Who are you?
- What’s the problem your typical client faces?
- What’s the solution you offer?
- Why are you the best – what’s your USP?
- Who is using / will use your product or service (case studies)?
No deviation, hesitation or repetition
It’s true that being natural is better than parroting – but you can be natural if you know your script, just ask any actor! Sticking to the pitch may feel dull to you, but for every new audience it’s fresh. If you stray from the pitch structure you’ll forget something, waffle, repeat yourself, hesitate… and lose your sale.
Don’t give them a chance to say no
Not everyone will be a suitable client – don’t waste time pushing people who obviously won’t benefit. However, once you get a sniff of interest, you can manage the conversation to maximise your chances of getting to Yes. Don’t ask any questions that can be answered with a no! Turn your questions into choices. “Do you like the pink one, or the green?” “I can call round at 3pm, or would 3.30 be better?” This gets easier if you follow the next tip, which is to….
You aren’t the person buying the product. What you see as the benefits are not what matters. Ask questions, listen, understand the problem that the potential client has, and explain the benefits in their language. If you can empathise, you build trust and confidence, and that will lead you on to….
Close the sale
This can feel like the hardest part, but if you’ve put in the groundwork it’ll be simple. You’ve pitched it right. You’ve identified the problem and they’ve bought in to the solution. All you have to do is give them the chance to buy: they want you to close, so don’t be afraid! If it helps, prepare a stock phrase that you can trot out. “Will that be credit or debit card?” is a good one, but find something that suits you. It’s time to stop hiding behind your website and face the customers!