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As online entrepreneurs, selling often starts on social media, but many forget to include it in their selling strategy (or even have a strategy at all!) Let’s change that.
I had the pleasure of interviewing sales expert, Nikki Rausch, who teaches how to be authentic when it comes to selling using a step by step process.
In this episode, she teaches you how to guide someone from uninterested or unaware of your services, down the pathway to selling with ease.
Topics Discussed in this episode:
After 25 years of experience selling to such prestigious organizations as The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Hewlett-Packard, and NASA, Nikki Rausch decided to trade in her road warrior status so she could help entrepreneurs sell in a way that builds relationships, creates true connection, and results in more closed deals and long-term clients. Now, as a sales coach, author, speaker and founder of Sales Maven, Nikki transforms the misunderstood process of “selling” into techniques, tools, and tips that can be successfully incorporated into a process replicable by anyone whose livelihood relies on selling a product, a service, or themselves.
Why selling makes so many uncomfortable
(11:33) I find that especially in the entrepreneur world, is because they're selling the thing that seems easy to them and that they're passionate about. It gets down to like, is it okay to charge money for this?
It's that uncomfortableness of really learning how to treat your business as a separate entity from you, even if you're the business of you and you're selling your expertise. You have to treat it like it's separate and you have to care for it just like you would care for anything that's important. That means feed it, and feed it means you've got to bring sales in.
1. Project our limiting belief on the person we're in conversation with
2. We hallucinate that we can read their mind
(13:52) It gets in your head because now you've got some negative self-talk going on. You've got that voice in your head going like, they don't think you're worth it, then you start to act uncomfortable.
By acting uncomfortable, you send like a signal. When you start sending this uncomfortableness type impression in your body language, with your voice and the way you're laying out your offer, it becomes a spiral and now the whole thing falls apart because you're worried about what they're thinking about you.
(15:05) Getting out of your own way, limiting that negative self-talk, being prepared for sales conversations, having some language that seamlessly moves the person to the next step is so important for your own success but more importantly, it's so important for the relationship, because you're selling to adults.
If you're acting uncomfortable and weird because you want their business and that's sending the wrong signal, well, then you're doing a disservice to this other person who will benefit from what you offer.
..But don’t forget about your client or prospects’ language
(37:17) Their language has way more influence than anything you could ever say. Your job is to not interpret their language and make it sound better. Your job is to deliver back exactly what they're saying they want and need, and maybe offering some additional benefits to it.
(38:23) Hearing what they're talking about and really focusing on that, sometimes means you have to abandon what you were going to say. You have to be adaptive in that way.
1. Step 1: Introduction: (18:10) Your job is to make a powerful first impression. That can be done through your website, on social media but it's also done in those first couple seconds of connecting with somebody when you're on that first call with them.
2. Step 2: Curiosity: (18:28) The second piece in the selling staircase is being able to create curiosity. Curiosity is getting sparking enough of an interest..We've got to pique their curiosity, and then we got to move them to step three in the process.
3. Step 3: Discovery: (18:48) The discovery step is about understanding what's the problem, what's the need, what's the want, and asking strategic questions that lead them to starting to recognize, like, ooh, Heather's got something I need more of, or she knows something I don't know yet and I need this. We got to ask strategic questions, so that we can move them to step four.
4. Step 4: Proposal: (19:13) This is where you're actually laying out the way to work with you. One of the most important things in the proposal is that you are really standing in this place of credibility as the expert and able to recommend the solution to meet the need and solve the problem, not the solution you think the person can afford. There is a difference to that.
5. Step 5: Close: (19:42) Once you've laid out a clear, easy next step of how to work with you, you move to step five, which is the close. It's essentially like, is this something you'd like to move forward with? That's a yes or no question. Would you like to schedule this now? Yes or no? You have to get this close language out of your mouth.
(20:13) In the Selling Staircase, your job is to understand what step am I on with this client and what language do I need, and or process to move them to the next step. The biggest mistake we make in the selling conversation is sometimes we think we gotta go right in for the close.
You cannot skip steps in the conversation. If you try to skip steps as the seller, you confuse, you frustrate. Frankly, you annoy. It just doesn't work. I teach this process of how do you seamlessly move somebody from step to step to step and know where you're at because then you are confident.
(25:05) If you say to your toddler right now, I'm gonna chase you, they don't even know what the game is and they're like, I'm off, I'm running.
I think when you act like you're going to chase clients, they will run, and your job is to not have people run away from you. Your job is to make it easy for them to make a decision. 'Yes' or 'no,' and that's it, then you get to deliver once they say yes.
(26:52) Your job is to pique curiosity. Make a powerful first impression and then pique curiosity so they want to know more and they'll take whatever that next step is.
People don't care about what you want, or wish or know. They care what they want as the consumer so tell them how this is going to benefit them in some way instead of always making it about the person who's selling. That's just not interesting, especially to an audience that hasn't been warmed up to you at all.
(39:26) If you really are an expert at what you do, give away your best stuff. If you give it in bite-sized, like chunks, it's actually to your benefit because people are gonna go like, 'Wow, look what I just got from this person and this was amazing! I love this,' and they've got to have more.
Nikki shares some language suggestions you can use in building real relationships and connections..
Try this: "Here are the three main ways I work with people. If this is something you'd be interested in, is it okay if I ask you a couple of questions about you and what your business is? See if we're a good fit."
Try this: “In case you like my idea, what about us setting up a quick zoom call? Here are a few possible times. Please pick one that works best for you.” (and then give ranges of time, you can share three options)
(43:09) Sharing a link to your website and services is not enough. If you actually do the work and instead say, ‘here's a link to schedule a call with me,’ and share a few possible times, it will be easier for someone to look at her calendar and check which time would work.
And now you’ll actually have a commitment, and you’ll move off social media. You will be in a real conversation that you’re engaged with each other. You’ll get to know if you can offer something to this person. Do they have a need that you can fulfill? And also, do you want to work with this person?”
(48:28) If you give somebody something tangible, like something they can go and get from you. Your opt in, or your lead magnet, whatever you call it, then it gives you an opportunity now to really connect with them in your email sequence that goes behind the opt in...You have to give people a next step with you whether you're speaking, whether you're a podcast, whatever it is.
Connect with Nikki
Closing the Sale ebook will help you establish yourself as the expert and language to use when asking for the sale
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