Every new business owner must identify two important pieces of information to make their journey easier: 1. their target market, and 2. their niche within that target market.
You’ve probably heard this often, but many new business owners resist the idea because they just know they can serve everyone. Save yourself time, money and heartache by getting clear in the beginning.
A third essential that all business owners need is a personal process or system for providing their services.
Now that you have identified your target market and determined your niche, it is time to nail down exactly what you do and how you sell your services. I know, I know. You’re a therapist, designer or coach. But that’s not what you do — that is a title. I want you to identify the exact steps to how you uniquely solve the problems of your target market.
A sales methodology is simply a system you use to explain how you are going to help your prospects. It’s how you move them through your sales funnel.
Once you understand your method for a sales conversation, you can then use that method to craft your online sales funnel, as well.
You’re probably saying to yourself, “I’m not a salesperson, I just want to help people with the service I offer!”
Without sales, there’s no need to provide a service. So silence the little voice that says selling is a bad thing. Selling is, in fact, a very good thing.
You can make someone’s life better in one way or another with the service you offer, right? Then maybe it’s actually a bit selfish not to offer your service to them.
Your sales process takes a prospect from an introduction in the beginning to a win-win situation where you get their business, and you help them solve a problem.
The techniques and skills you learn as you are building your Process become your methodology.
Without a structured approach to sales, you won’t have the success you crave and deserve. There are many sales training programs out there that can help you learn some of the techniques and skills. A few of the most popular include the following:
- Miller-Heiman Strategic Selling
- Target Account Selling
- SPIN Selling (This one’s a good book, as well)
- The Challenger Sale
- ValueSelling Framework
- Solution Selling
- The Sandler Selling System
- Integrity Selling (My favorite)
Here’s why Integrity Selling is my favorite: Not only are most of these complex; these are costly training programs, too. Integrity Selling is something you can learn without a large investment. Just purchase the book and study the process.
It’s important to document the process or system you use to help your clients achieve the specific results and benefits they want or to help them solve their problems,. Your Sales Process articulates to a prospective client the ways you can help and how your service works.
Let’s start off by explaining how to determine your basic business process or unique service proposition. The good news is, if you are serving people, you already have your Process within you! You are already using it! It’s just that you may not be explaining it in a way that is most attractive to potential clients.
To refine your process, I would like you to think of the end result and benefit for each step in the process you already use, forming it into a statement like this: We do ____ and the outcome is ____ and the benefit to the client is ____. If you can do that for each step of your Process, you will hit a home run.
Once you know how you serve your clients, you can then incorporate your sales methodology to help respond to whatever objections they might have and allow them to feel confident that they are making a good decision.
As consumers, we like to buy systems. A good example is Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. He introduces his readers to a system to follow. Integrity Selling for the 21st Century by Ron Willingham also presents a system for creating a sales process.
If you had to write a book about your system, what would you name each chapter? How would you describe those steps? This is, once again, how you provide your service.
Now, it’s not enough to just write down your Process — you must practice it. First, practice in front of the mirror. Next, record your process and listen to it while doing other activities. Drill it into your head. It must become second nature for you during conversations with prospective clients.
Think about structuring your sales calls like this:
- Build Rapport/Make a Connection 1-3 minutes
- Review Structure of Your Conversation 2-3 minutes
- Overview of Service and Your Specialty 3-4 minutes
- Coach! 20-30 minutes
- Explain How You Can Help Them 3-4 minutes
- Ask for the Business 1 minute
- Sign Them Up/Overcome Objections 5-15 minutes
TOTAL 35-60 minutes
A structure will give you more confidence when speaking to prospects about your services. You can more easily share your system with a prospect, and they will naturally have more trust in what you are offering because you know exactly what to say.
Ultimately, your Process is what you say to a prospect about your business. It is the first step before you can even think about closing a deal. Once you’ve outlined the steps and practiced it, it’s time to work on perfecting the Process. Look at what works, consider alternatives, and test those alternatives. Then incorporate what works into your revised Process.
It’s time to stop denying that you’re a salesperson. Your business depends on it. And despite the occasional stigma, you can be a professional with integrity. And that’s a great thing! Your clients will trust you more, refer their friends to you, and generally buy more. With a solid knowledge of your audience, your product or service, and how to sell your offerings, you’re well on your way to success!