Every week in my newsletter Speaking From the Heart of Business, I delve into various aspects of sales, breaking down the process and removing the mystery from success, to make it achievable by everyone. And by applying some focused attention, by mastering your sales conversation skills, success is achievable by everyone.
With one giant caveat:
Nothing happens until you step out onto the field. Into the arena. Pick up the phone. Initiate that conversation.
Information can be seductive. Gathering it can lead to thinking I don’t know enough yet. I just need one more piece of intel, one more strategy, one more skill. Then, I’ll actually get out there and prospect.
This is not a winning strategy! It’s a delaying tactic to avoid the discomfort of failing.
We all have a hundred clever ways to avoid pain. This human instinct is hard-wired into our biology. Don’t bother berating yourself for it, but do look yourself in the mirror and acknowledge the avoidance.
Want the formula for getting better, fast? For rapidly increasing your closing rate?
Okay. Here it is:
Skill + Action + Skill + Action + Skill + Action
Let’s put some methodology to this. Here’s how to execute the formula:
Lower the pressure!
Telling yourself how important it is to make a sale, make money or make your target is a recipe for anxiety and failure. When we’re anxious we avoid risk. Our biologically wired self-protection mechanisms kick in and just the thought of picking up the phone or attending a networking event sends us running for the bedcovers or the TV remote.
Choose low-value, low-stress targets, first.
If your ideal demographic is HNW business owners, then starting there is too high-stakes. Too much anxiety and there’s a real potential that you’ll burn valuable leads. Instead, choose another demographic where you truly wouldn’t care if you didn’t get the business. Find a large list of these prospects.
Choose one skill to work on.
Sales conversations follow a predictable pattern and there are a finite set of skills to master. Here are the core skills you’ll need: a strong introduction, articulating the value of your service, asking engaging questions, getting from rapport into business, high-value listening, handling objections and the close. Seven skills. Give yourself a couple weeks to concentrate on each of them.
Get into the arena!
For rapid improvement, your mission is not to make the sale, but instead to master one skill. That first skill you chose from your list. Prep before each call, reviewing how you’ll verbalize it. Practice it out loud. Then pick up the phone and have the conversation. Stay present and focus on that one skill. Take note of your improvements and the results they generate. Aim to have at least 50 conversations, working on that skill.
The first time you do something in a new way, it feels challenging, but with repetition, gets easier. Obvious, right? The reason for this is that your brain is generating new neural pathways. And when you repeat the effective technique, you are strengthening and widening that pathway. Soon, you can do the skill without conscious thought.
Once you get to that point, choose another one.
With each new skill you’ve mastered, the quality of your conversations goes up and so will your sales.
Okay, you know what to do. Now pick up the phone!
If you want some accountability and expert guidance through this process, reach out for a Free Consultation Call to see if coaching is a fit for you.