I don’t consider myself an especially good salesman. When I started Tricycle Creative, I had never been in a sales or retail job. Ever. If you struggle with sales, here are 3 simple and effective things you can do to improve:
1. Tell Your Story
Chances are, when you’re just starting out, that your story is the most compelling thing you have to offer to a prospective customer. And, chances are, in your first year your story may morph and change as you build your business. In our first year of business crafting our story has been one of the most challenging tasks – and we do Branding + Marketing!
We took on projects and clients we didn’t enjoy, excelled in some projects, and failed in others. In your first couple years, you need to have your finger on the pulse of what you want to do and who you want to be. It’s not failure if your story changes, it’s failure if it stays the same and it’s not who you are.
Your story, while a powerful tool, is just one part of the equation. It’s not enough just to tell your story.
This is where most “salespeople” fail but where you can succeed. In your initial meeting or consultation, let your prospective customer do at least 70% of the talking. Ask them open-ended questions such as:
- If this project could achieve only ONE THING, what would it be?
- What are you struggling with?
- What do you believe you’re doing well?
- What are you most passionate about when it comes to your business?
Too often a salesperson has your “solutions” pre-prepared and fires them blindly at a prospect. This doesn’t mean you can’t prepare solutions in advance, but they need to be presented in context to a prospect’s needs and challenges.
3. How Can You Help?
Honesty is the best policy. Use the tried-and-true “underpromise and overdeliver.” People often read that phrase and are concerned with the “underpromise” part, thinking that mean they have to set the bar low or present something boring. That’s not the case – you can present the most basic projects with enthusiasm and confidence.
Connecting your story, the client’s needs, and how you can help is ultimately all you need to be better at sales and land new clients.