To start, here are 5 guidelines for graceful sales conversations:
1) Check your energy. Before you have a sales conversation, are you experiencing positive emotions? If you feel like you're in a funk, if you feel tired or annoyed or anything like that, postpone the conversation or do whatever you can to get to a better place (mentally, emotionally, physically) before the conversation. Even in emails and other text forms of communication, your energy can be felt by the other person. If they feel the negativity, they'll want to run away from you.
2) Ask permission to coach someone. If they're not paying you to be their coach yet, ask permission to coach them. I sometimes forget this if I'm being honest.
3) Speaking of honesty, speak your mind. But if you think speaking your mind may offend them or put them on edge, it's helpful to ask, "May I share with you what I think is going on?" or something like that. Don't ask "May I be honest?" and then say something that is more than anything, an opinion or view of yours based on your belief system.
4) Offer to assist the clients in budgeting for your offer or finding the means to pay for it, by saying something like, "If you would find it helpful, I would be happy to discuss ways to make this investment."
5) Don't use the sentence, "You have to invest in coaches and other resources or you won't get anywhere," or any variation. Although I believe in the value of investing in myself, it's even a little gross to me when people repeat it during live stream videos and in other formats that address an audience larger than one. But it's most certainly a no-no in one-on-one communications in my book.
Here are the 6 reasons why you should never use that sentence ("You have to invest in coaches and other resources or you won't get anywhere”) in your sales conversations:
6) If they don't believe that, they're probably not your people, so you tellin' 'em is just not moving this along.
7) You've just hurt their feelings or made them angry. The person hearing or reading those words from you will feel like you've insulted them. You've just sentenced them to failure instead of showing them how they could succeed with your program or service.
8) It makes you look desperate. These are the words of a pusher. You're pushing, trying to get them to buy, and for what? If they weren't so convinced they wanted this that they said all other things and people be damned, do you really want them in it? If you're flush, making the kind of money you want to make, even if you just really liked this person and thought they'd benefit from this thing you're offering, telling them this makes it sound like you need this sale bad.
9) It feels like you've just said, "You'll only succeed if you work with me this way" and "All other work you've done has been for naught." When you say something like this, you assume you know this person has said no to every other investment opportunity that's come their way. You're ignoring all the books they've read, all the programs they've bought before, all the coaches or other service providers they've worked with.
10) If you're using words like this, I'm taking it as a sign you've bought into whatever money story they told you. You let them sell you on their own powerlessness or lack, and you think you're saving them by telling them this. Wrong.
11) It ignores where they're at. Sure, they might not have everything they desire in their business, their life, their relationships, or whatever area your solution is intended to improve, but they may also be really proud of how far they've come and when you belittle their progress, you belittle them. Don't alienate people by using this phrase. I heard this from someone whose group program I decided not to join and it felt really icky to read those words.
Here are 4 next steps you can take when someone tells you no:
12) Ask them if there was anything you could add to make it a no-brainer to say yes and spend the money. Maybe you can add a very simple feature or bonus that makes it so ridiculously valuable to the prospective buyer that the next ten conversations you have all end in a quick, passionate "YES!"
13) Ask if there was anything about your copy and/or discussion(s) of the solution that made them decide to say no. Maybe there's language you can adjust to make it a really easy YES for the next person.
14) Thank them for their time and for considering your solution, and say, "I look forward to working with you when the time is right! I trust there will come a time when my work will have its greatest impact on your life." Something like this is so graceful that it really makes your prospect appreciate you. I don't know about you, but I aspire to gracefulness, especially in sales conversations.
15) Politely let them know that if they change their mind (before X date) it'll still be available. (Particularly for group programs and courses, etc.)
Here are 2 more things I suggest you NOT do in your sales conversations:
16) Tell them "I wish you luck." That's code for "F&C% you." Don't go there.
17) Badger them. The person who wrote to me "You have to invest in coaches and other resources or you'll go nowhere," responded "What do you think?" when I sent a simple "Thank you." They couldn't see I was trying to end the conversation. Sometimes we make the mistake of continuing to "go at" someone because we think we're being helpful. Realize that people have a "Power Down" button and will totally shut off if you push too hard.
What tips do you have (whether learned while selling your own stuff or while being sold something by someone else) to make sales conversations more graceful? Reply and let me know!