I was never someone with a natural selling ability. I could hold my own, but I was not a master of the sales process.
This is because I was sort of jaded. I knew how the process worked and I was always on the lookout for “the pitch.”
This in-turn made me uncomfortable making the “pitch” on others because I knew I’m not a fan of having it done to me.
Unfortunately this is exactly the resistance that businesses encounter when they try to sell to somebody. They must contend with all the built-up negative sales experiences of their potential customers, which makes the sales process even harder.
But then I realized what I was doing wrong. Most people (I was included in this group for a long time) go about the sales process completely wrong. Even calling the process “sales” is a bit of a mis-statement. It really should be called “lead conversion”.
What does the the word “sales” mean to most people? Does “whatever you can do to get them to buy” sound about right? For the record, the definition of sales is: the “transfer of ownership”. Wow, that sounds pretty ugly!
Lead conversion on the other hand is defined a little differently. Lead conversion is a process of acquiring long-term, quality customers by meeting the customers emotional needs with your service. So the goal is rather simple. Stop shooting for more sales and start your lead conversion program.
When you build a lead conversion system instead of a sales system, you remove any barriers to success. This is because people cringe when they are being “sold” but they love to have their emotional needs satisfied (this is starting to make sense now isn’t it?).
Looking at the process differently allows you to not be so fearful of being a “salesperson”, because that is not what you are going to be doing. Your new title becomes “Emotional Needs Fulfillment Director”. Now lets dig in and talk about how this is done.
Engage with the prospective customer. Here is where your potential customers start to build their expectations about what they want or don’t want. This is your opportunity to do two things.
- Create some interest.
- To show the prospective customer that you are committed to giving them what they want out of your relationship.
Be sure to keep the focus on the potential customer. Your goal is to make one thing clear in the initial engagement. That their needs and comfort are your principal concerns.
Repeat the emotional message of your promise. Your customers want to engage with you because something about your cleaning service promises to meet their emotional needs. This promise was originally made during the lead generation process (networking, direct mail, etc…). Reengage with that promise again, and affirm that your customer has come to the right place to have it fulfilled.
Determine what the customer’s needs are. What do your customers want? Why do they think that your service can give it to them? The more you know about what your customers want and need, the better you will be able to meet those needs.
Develop a set of questions that will enable you figure out this all important part of the process. Remember the two steps, first step is to determine what your customers’ needs are. The second step is to explain how your company will expertly meet those needs.
Provide a solution for them. Think of it this way. “Don’t sell them, satisfy them”. Help your potential clients figure out whether your service solves their needs. You of course know it does, but you need them to come to that conclusion themselves. When you get this right the customer makes a regret free decision to hire you.
Take the opportunity to educate your customers about how your cleaning service will address and satisfy their exact needs. Be excited and passionate during the process, then make sure you offer it to them with no strings attached.
Offer your cleaning service (as the solution). Your customer should now be well educated and be able to make a decision (HINT – look at your offer through your customers eyes). Consider whether your service meets their needs and delivers what you promise it does.
If the answer is a resounding YES, then you have a new cleaning account under your belt. If not, try to keep the door open. They may come back at a later date and be ready to do business then.
Good luck in your new role as Emotional Needs Fulfillment Director!