I just about fell off my chair when my business coach told me that if I wanted to reach my revenue goals, I had to master
the art & science of the sales conversation. She told me that if I wanted to grow fast, I would have to do 20 complimentary consultations with prospective clients each month.
Holy crap. 20? Every month!
Where on earth would I find these people? What would I actually do and say in this meeting? How was I going to convince people to work with me?
Ugh. I hate sales.
Despite how scary all of this was, I jumped into it with two feet. I didn’t have a choice. I needed the money, so that I could feed myself and pay my mortgage. My business was growing really slowly and all the money I made went to pay my business and home expenses, with very little left over to live on. I was still very much in reinvention mode, while I picked up the pieces of my life to start over again. It got pretty bad some months, when I had to sell my belongings to get the cash I needed to buy groceries and pay my bills.
Everything changed when I made the decision to get help, hire a business coach, and dedicate my days to self-help and skill development around my own negative self-talk, speaking in public, sales, perfectionism, running away from fear, shame, judgment, failure, and my worst nightmare… being homeless and living under the Granville Street bridge.
Over a two-year period, I spent $50,000 on coaching, counselling and trainings. I didn’t have this money just lying around. I cashed out my insurance and term deposits, drained my savings account, and sold my jewelry and other valuables. I knew that if I didn’t find the money to invest in getting the help, I may not be in business a year from then.
The cost of not taking the risk to invest in yourself can be far greater and much more detrimental than taking the risk to do it.
Perhaps my determination is unique. Maybe it’s not. Perhaps it’s part of my DNA, being the child of an immigrant family who moved to a new continent with little money and no language, with only the hope of a better life than the one they left.
My business coach told me that I wasn’t allowed to judge myself during the process of having consultations, which was almost impossible to do considering I am my own worst critic. (Aren’t we all?) The task was to fail and learn what worked and what didn’t. Week after week, I met my quota for consultations. Many of them sucked. Some were OK, and others had a positive result. The more I did them the more I realized that I had so much to learn and that there was actually a structure and and a process that I needed to follow if I wanted a successful outcome.
Over time, with tons of hands-on practice, I learned the how-tos of having a successful sales consultation – what works, what doesn’t and why. I now share these strategies with my clients so they can avoid some of the major mistakes and headaches that I had when I was learning by trial and error.
This is what I learned about the six stages of sales:
- Target and identify your qualified buyers and understand their problems
- Connect, build rapport and trust
- Qualify and question your prospect to really understand their gap
- Co-create a future together, and propose how you can help them close that gap
- Address their fears, and empower them to commit to their own success
- Invite them to work with you
If you are struggling with converting your consultations into clients and you’re not sure why, I’d love to chat with you so that I can share what you need to do differently to get a more successful outcome for yourself. How much more money do you think you could make if you shortened your sales cycle? How many more clients could you serve if you learned the skills to successfully convert your consultations into clients? Contact me for a complimentary 45 minute consultation.