selling

[338] Why you feel scared of selling (and what to do about it)

Are you scared of selling? Are you crippled by nerves when it comes to pitching for new business or asking for the sale?

In this episode, sales expert Marcus Cauchi gives practical advice on overcoming your fears using tried and tested techniques that will allow you to make sales naturally and authentically.

{Click on the player above to listen to the podcast episode and/or read on for a detailed overview. Scroll down to the bottom to read the show notes including all the links mentioned in this episode}.

Why are most of us scared of selling?

Marcus believes this is down to things we were told as a child. Statements such as, “Children should be seen and not heard”, “The customer is always right” and, “You can’t trust salespeople” influence how we do business - and not always in a positive way.

“We’re conditioned from childhood to associate sales with slimy, pushy, self-interested sales people and therefore every experience we’ve had with them is largely negative. As a result, we try not to be one of them,” he explains.

And instead of seeing ourselves as being equal, we tend to put our customers on a pedestal – and in doing so we give away our power.

How to get your prospects to do the selling

One of the biggest mistakes people make in sales is to focus on themselves - rather than their prospect, says Marcus.

“When you talk about yourself you fall into a trap where, when you tell people stuff, they don't believe you. When you show them, they believe a little bit. When other people tell them, they'll believe some of it, but they always believe everything they tell themselves.”

An effective salesperson listens 70% of the time and talks 30% of the time. And when they do talk, they ask questions, rather than give information. This allows the prospect to tell their story, to talk about the pain they are experiencing and explore the possible solutions - meaning they actually end up selling to you.

This is very different to how sales is traditionally taught which typically involves the following steps: qualifying loosely for money, presenting features and benefits, then closing the prospect.

Marcus sees this as manipulative. He'd much prefer people volunteer for the sale and ask, "When can we start?"

This is a far more efficient, effective and authentic way of selling because people hate to be sold to but they love to buy.

How to plan your sales conversations

When people feel under pressure to make a sales, they tend to talk a lot and try to educate, says Marcus. But this doesn’t work because you’re telling the prospect what/how to think, rather than helping them draw their own conclusions.

To avoid this he suggests being clear on what you're trying to achieve in a conversation with a prospect: “All too often people go into a sales conversation with no plan,” he says.

It’s important to plan what your desired outcome is, and decide in advance on your best case scenario, what will be acceptable, what your worst acceptable outcome will be and what your walk away point is.

“Plan eight to ten great questions that will make your prospects prick up their ears. I believe we differentiate in the questions we ask, not the information that we give. That's where our credibility comes from,” says Marcus.

How to diagnose not sell

Marcus advises consultants and coaches to diagnose rather than sell - using the analogy of doctors who always diagnose before they prescribe.

An effective salesperson asks a series of questions, with permission, then nurtures the prospect through a discovery process where they self diagnose that they have a problem, he says.

The key is to help prospects discover for themselves why they want what you have to offer. The idea is to help them reach their own conclusion so they volunteer the sale and say: "I want you to help me. How do I pay? When can we get started?"

When you do this, you’re not pushing, says Marcus. In fact you're doing the opposite. You're not trying to convince – your prospect has to convince themselves.

How to voice your concerns/qualifying prospects

Qualifying your prospects is an essential part of the sales process, allowing you to make an informed judgement about whether you and the potential client or customer will be a good fit.

This can include voicing any concerns either party has about working together. Janet explains how in the past she has had concerns about event sponsors not having the resources to follow up the leads they gather as part of the sponsorship arrangement. She has learnt that it’s worth being honest about these concerns before agreeing to bring them on board as a sponsor.

Marcus agrees: “If you're going to have half-hour conversations with non-prospects, it's going to be a disaster. If on the other hand, you're going to have three to five-minute conversations with people so that you can qualify them in or out, that brings value and raises awareness and familiarity.”

He reminds us that too often, people focus on the wrong end of the problem and forget the question: “What's the thing we're trying to fix?”

Marcus’s Top Tips

  • Start with your intent - Your intent is not to sell, but to understand and make sure that the other person knows that you're there to help them, not yourself.
  • On sales calls and in meetings be clear, upfront about what you both want to happen, what you don't want to happen and what the boundaries are.
  • Ask quality questions, not bland, mundane questions. Then listen. Too often people are only silent long enough to look for the pause when they can jump in.
  • Slow down - allow for double or triple the time that you're currently putting in for sales calls to give you the time to ask the questions you have planned and your prospect the opportunity to answer fully.

Podcast Show Notes:

  • Marcus’s business story (8:30)
  • Why selling always has negative connotations (10:20)
  • How to change your selling behaviour so people will engage with you (and buy from you) (13:50)
  • How asking questions will help start a conversation (plus examples of how to do this) (15:52)
  • How to make your prospect feel comfortable (plus dealing with imposter syndrome) (21:50)
  • Why you shouldn’t try and please everyone (32:26)
  • How this technique can change your mindset both professionally and personally (38:25)
  • Why you shouldn’t be pushy when you’re selling (44:55)
  • Marcus’ key tips for improving your selling technique (47:15)

Resources

Marcus Cauchi: Website

Marcus on LinkedIn and Twitter

Apply for a place on the LinkedIn Content Strategy Masterclass here

Get your hands on the ‘How to write awesome sales copy’ course now

Janet Murray’s Audience Calculator

Register your interest in the Build Your Audience programme

Order the 2019 Sorted Content Planning Toolkit here

Order the 2019 Media Diary

Order the 2019 Media Diary and Media Diary Owners’ Club

Order the 2019 Wall Year Planner

Janet Murray’s Love Marketing Membership

Love Marketing, Make Money Income Goals Checklist

The Janet Murray Show Podcast Guide

My YouTube channel

**MY BOOK ** Your Press Release Is Breaking My Heart (A Totally Unconventional

Guide To Selling Your Story In The Media)

Connect with me on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn

 

[273] How to handle sales objections

Do you freeze when someone raises an objection to the product or service you are trying to sell?

Listen to this episode for six practical tips that will help you handle sales objections successfully - from how to anticipate objections before they come up, to why you need to treat objections as ‘fears’ and welcome them.

Here’s what you’ll learn in this episode:

  • Why you need to welcome sales objections (0:40)
  • Why you should consider objections as ‘fears’ (4:12)
  • How to anticipate objections before they are raised (12:18)
  • How to provide information that helps prospective customers make a decision (21:29)
  • Why you need to have alternatives to offer at a lower budget (25:32)
  • Why it’s important to show integrity when discussing objections (31:01)
  • What to say when you are faced with objections (34:24)

Resources

Blog Post: How much does it cost to put on a live workshop or conference?

Blog Post: How to get the most out of your media diary

Blog Post: How to get the most out of your Soulful PR Membership

Blog Post: Lost your mojo with your membership community? Here’s how to get it back...

Blog Post: How to get the most out of the Studio Office Hour with Janet Murray

Episode 258: How to get testimonials that convert

Love Marketing, Make Money Income Goals Checklist

Love Marketing, Make Money Membership Wait List

Media Influence Live

The Janet Murray Show Podcast Guide

My YouTube channel

**MY BOOK ** Your Press Release Is Breaking My Heart (A Totally Unconventional

Guide To Selling Your Story In The Media)

My FREE Soulful PR Facebook Community: tips & advice for promoting your business

Connect with me on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook

 

[269] Deciding what to sell (at any stage of your business)

If you run your own business you have to make decisions about what to sell. If you’re right at the start of your journey, this might be about working out your very first offer or product range. If you’re further along, it might be about deciding whether or not to introduce a new product or service.

In this episode, I share practical tips and strategies to help you decide what to sell successfully in your business.

Here’s what you’ll learn in this episode:

  • How to find your customers’ pain points (and how to heal that pain) (7:31)
  • Why you need to look at experiences/products you have to offer and how they can help people (9:02)
  • How non-essential items can also ‘heal people’s pain points’ (15:40)
  • Why you need to remember people aren’t always after the cheapest option (20:30)
  • The importance of having conversations with people to discover their pain points (24:30)
  • How to validate your product or service before you launch (25:40)
  • How to scale up your sales targets to reduce overwhelm and give you a chance to tweak what you’re offering (29:30)
  • How to put your offer together in a way that sells (34:16)
  • Why streamlining what you’re offering can help you make more sales (36:12)

 

Resources

Episode 160: Going small to go big in your business

Episode 184: How to test your business ideas

Episode 206: How to get new customers or clients

Media Influence Live

Soulful PR Studio

Soulful PR Podcast Guide

My YouTube channel

**MY BOOK ** Your Press Release Is Breaking My Heart (A Totally Unconventional

Guide To Selling Your Story In The Media)

My FREE Soulful PR Facebook Community: tips & advice for promoting your business

Connect with me on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook

 

[155] How to sell without feeling gross with Tara Swiger

Being able to sell your products and services is a key part of running a small business, but time and time again business owners tell me that selling makes them feel a bit icky and uncomfortable.

In this episode, Tara Swiger shares her tips on how to build a sustainable business - and how to sell without feeling gross.

Here’s what you’ll learn in this episode:

  • Tara Swiger’s business story - from working at a handmade yarn company to running her own business, teaching and writing
  • Why Tara believes the biggest problem facing creative business owners is a lack of confidence
  • How to do scarcity marketing without feeling slimy
  • The importance of getting the maths right when setting your prices
  • What Tara thinks stops us feeling good about making money
  • When it’s OK to offer your products or services for free

Key resources

The Soulful PR Studio

Soulful PR Live

ResponseSource

Tara Swiger

Tara’s podcast

Podcast How to deal with freeloaders (episode 152)

Happy Money

**MY BOOK ** Your Press Release Is Breaking My Heart (A Totally Unconventional Guide To Selling Your Story In The Media)

My FREE Soulful PR Facebook Community

Connect with me on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook

What to do next

If you enjoyed today’s show, please share it using the social media buttons at the top of this page.

I’d also love it if you could take a few minutes to  leave an honest review and rating for the podcast on iTunes. I read every one personally and may even read yours out on the show.

And don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, to get automatic updates every time a new episode goes live.

 

 

[114] Are you afraid of selling?

Are you afraid of selling? Perhaps you get scared that if you send a sales email people won’t like you or unsubscribe from your list? Or maybe you hold back from telling your current clients about new product/services you have, in case they think you’re being pushy.

But if you’re not telling people about what you do, you could be missing out on opportunities to sell to people who actually want to buy.

Here’s what you’ll learn in this episode:

  • Why your customers - past and present - should be the first to hear about your new products and services
  • How upgrades and upsells can give you a sales boost
  • Why talking about what you’re working on means can help you make more sales
  • How to encourage your existing customers to make referrals

Key resources

2017 media diary to plan your PR year ahead

Podcast episode How to write non-spammy marketing emails with Nadia Finer (episode 113)

Podcast episode How to get people to say ‘yes’ to you with Matthew Kimberley (episode 57)

Podcast episode How to have better sales conversations with Petra Foster (episode 71)

Podcast episode How to sell without being pushy with James Schramko (episode 109)

**MY BOOK ** Your Press Release Is Breaking My Heart (A Totally Unconventional Guide To Selling Your Story In The Media)

My Soulful PR group coaching  programme (next intake starts in March 2017)

The Soulful PR Business Club

My FREE Soulful PR Facebook Community

Connect with me on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook

What to do next

If you enjoyed today’s show, please share it using the social media buttons at the top of this page.

I’d also love it if you could take a few minutes to  leave an honest review and rating for the podcast on iTunes. I read every one personally and may even read yours out on the show.

And don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, to get automatic updates every time a new episode goes live.