We can all get a little bit nervous when we are about to have a sales conversation with a potential client but if you prepare for the conversation and keep in mind that you want to make a sincere connection you will be one step closer to closing the deal. The components of great sales conversations normally consist of the following:
- Making time to have the conversation – don’t be a clock-watcher, appearing rushed or hurried.
- Asking powerful questions.
- Accepting different views and new opinions.
- Showing trust.
There are some people that are naturally gifted when it comes to having a sales conversation. It is like a switch they can turn on and off. With little preparation they can be witty and charming, relaxed and making jokes so the prospective client feels at ease. The rest of us listen in awe. However, not everyone has that natural ability but everyone can have a successful sales conversation. Think about some of the most successful stand-up comedians we have in this country. They don’t just turn up and start talking hoping it will be funny. They write down everything they are going to say in a script, and then they rehearse and rehearse – perfect practice makes perfect delivery. Successful entrepreneurs do not leave it to chance and hope things will run smoothly, they stack the odds in their favour by doing the following:
- They enlist the help of business colleagues, their coach or friends to practice their sales conversations.
- They think about the questions the client might ask and prepare responses and they also think about the questions they don’t want to be asked and prepare responses.
- They are clear about their offer and know why they are worth it.
- They speak with passion about their business. If you speak from your head, you will come across as being very business-like and rational. There is nothing wrong with this but you have to be careful you don’t appear cold and detached. If you speak from the heart then you take the rapport and trust to a deeper level and your client will most likely speak from the heart as well. Speaking from the heart means being more attuned to your intuition and letting it guide the conversation.
Turning a sales conversation into a business transaction is about building a relationship. Understanding a client’s needs and expectations helps shape your understanding of how you can match your expertise and experience to them. In my view no sales conversation is a wasted opportunity providing you have qualified the lead before you invest your time; even when the answer is ‘no’ and the contract is awarded to someone else, no doesn’t mean never it just means not now. Keep in contact with your prospect and at some point they will do one of two things, recommend you to someone else or buy your services at a later date. Put in the groundwork and build a relationship. It might not bear fruit from the very beginning but if the roots are in place it will last a lifetime.