Are you frustrated because many people are “interested” in your product but they aren’t moving forward? Yup, I’ve been there too, and so have many of my friends. Today I’m going to review the major things you need to include in your 1-on-1s or classes. For those of you who have been with me for a while, you will be familiar with these concepts. They bear repeating. Most importantly, they are all here in one post, along with a fill-in-the blank.
If you are missing one, you are likely feeling the effects in your monthly sales, and feel sales slipping through your fingers. Don’t buy into the myth that your success is simply about being enthusiastic about your product. Yes, that is important, but so is a well-crafted, professional, customer-centered approach. If you treat your business like a professional, you will get results like a professional. The good news is that these components are very simple and in most cases are more stripped down than what you are actually doing. If you follow these steps, I know you will feel more in control of your business, your conversations, and you will receive a much better vibe from your customers.
I have also created a fill-in-the-blank with these components so you can customize for your product and use it in your next class or 1-on-1! Click here to download it now.
1. Have a dedicated conversation, one that is devoted to the product or services.
Don’t sell on the fly. I have a friend who is one of the most talented, enthusiastic people I know. She was one of my top performers for years in a tough industry. And then she started an attempt at direct sales. The problem was, that she would have 5-10 minute conversations with people at work at random times. She would get frustrated that she wasn’t able to appropriately build value. They were definitely interested, but they weren’t moving forward to buy because everything was so haphazard. Obviously I mocked her when it happened to her. But then a few days later I found myself doing the same exact thing with a friend when products came up in conversation. DOH!
Instead, learn about their interest and set up a 1-on-1, even for 30 minutes at a later time where both of you can focus. Or invite them to a class. You can even have this conversation over the phone or via Skype. With Skype you can screen share, which means you can show them brochures, a power point, or walk them through the website to order.
2. Learn about them in a way connected to your product. Click here to link to the podcast on uncovering needs.
Small talk is tough for everyone. If asking random questions is awkward for you, don’t overdo it. This is really hard for introverts, and often introverts share that they don’t think they can be in a sales position. According to research, the most effective salespeople are ambiverts, which means they are someone in the middle. In fact, introverts perform similarly to extreme extroverts. Introverts have excellent listening skills and are seen as experts since they are so contemplative.
Whether you are introverted or extroverted, there are a few questions that will connect the customer’s personal story to your product. These will help you build the right type of rapport, and are excellent “go to” questions to ask every single person. You can even ask these round robin in a group format.
What do you already know about ______?
What are some of your (health, skin care, etc) goals?
Bonus question for the brave: Why are those goals so important to you?
This question will will lead to the motherlode of connection. This question works best in a 1-on-1 setting. Your customer will likely take a deep sigh and give you the real deal. This helps you to be their partner in achieving this goal, which your product or service is likely a good fit for. It also proactively eliminates procrastination at the end.
3. Give them an agenda, so they know exactly what will happen.
In buying situations, no one likes surprises. Often people are wondering, “how long will this take?” or “what are we going to talk about?” or “how much is this stuff?”
Acknowledging these questions will build trust and create a comfortable atmosphere. Before you start into the meat of the conversation, let them know what you are going to cover.
We are going to spend about ____ minutes going over ______, ______, and ______. You might be wondering how much this stuff is. Sets range from _____ to ______ but it really depends on what you need and what you are comfortable with. Then you will be able to decide for yourself what works for your family and your budget.
What things do you want to make sure we go over today?
This is a killer bonus question that ensures you go over what is important to them. Again, it proves to them how much you care about their situation instead of just your “pitch.” This can also be asked in a round robin format in a class.
For Cutco, this was simply, “Today I’m going to show you Cutco, the World’s Finest Cutlery. You don’t have to buy anything, but if you do something you would like, you can order it today.” Over the years I have learned about other components.
4. Explore the need.
Some of this happens when you ask a good questions about the goal. The other part of this is the story on the problem that your product or service solves. (Click here to link to the podcast on explaining the problems your product or service solves.)
For Cutco, it was the junk knives section, where we would explain how unsanitary wood handles or high carbon steel is, or how unsafe and ineffective a stainless steel dull knife is. You will paint a similar picture with your own story.
5. The credibility section. (Click here to link to the podcast on trust and credibility.)
Do you have an awesome return policy? This is the place to show that your company puts its money where it’s mouth is.
This is a great place for social proof, to let them know that there are over X amount of people who have chosen your company, or there are Y amount of people that have personally purchased from you in the past couple of months.
This is also great for a quick overview of one of the flagship products, and an opportunity to wow your customers. For Cutco, this was cutting the penny with the shears or doing the comparison of your knife cutting through the rope and Cutco cutting through the rope.
6. Explain your products in terms of a set that will benefit them. (Click here to link to the podcast on why sets are so important.)
Now that you know a little bit about them, explain every item in terms of “the next item in your set is…. and you will use this one when…” This helps them connect the dots and feel more comfortable with using the products. In addition, it promotes the use of the set, or kit, which is overall the best customer experience.
People who bought 1-2 knives were never my most satisfied customers. The ones that love their knives the most got a solid set. They loved it because they had everything they needed. An example of how to explain one item in a set would be, “the next tool in your set is the spatula spreader, you will use this to make your kids sandwiches, and you will be able to spread icing, cut, and serve cake all with the same tool! The next tool in your set is…”
7. Close with choices. Click here to link to a podcast on closing with choices.
The end is tough. If you don’t know what to say, all of your hard work and your customer’s enthusiasm can implode into a “let me think about it,” or worse, “I’ll buy later.” Most people don’t know what to say, so it becomes something like, “what do you think you want to get?” This open ended question is confusing for customers and they become overwhelmed with choices.
Make it easier on them. Present 2 options. Ask which one they think is a better fit for them. Then shut up.
For Cutco it was, “if you were to get a set, would you prefer the homemaker with the table knives, or the ones without?” 2 choices. Then, “would you like to order it today?” Be quiet and wait for them to think, and answer.
If that doesn’t fit in their budget, no problem. Just find a combination that is about 25% less and go from there.
There are entire volumes of books that specifically address the closing process, and I won’t even attempt to give you more than the one non-negotiable tip that I started with. Simply start with 2 choices and go from there. It will make a huge difference in how comfortable your buying process is.
If your product line doesn’t support kits, or sets, or starter packages, use a wish list format. I will discuss more about wish lists in future episodes. Here is the gist. Ask them, “If (product) was free, what would you get?” Then make a list. You can craft this into 2 choices. “Would you like to get the whole thing today, or start with the ones you see you would get the most use out of over the next few months?” Either way, the answer is perfect.
So there it is. The 7 things you need to give the best service to your customer. Take some time for each of these components and really think through how they benefit the customer because that is who we are here to help. You will find the approach allows them to engage more, and be more confident and comfortable with their purchase. The added bonus is that this is a simple approach that anyone can follow. The approach is therefore duplicatable and people think, “hey, I could do that!” This will increase the attractiveness of joining your team, if your company is set up that way. To make it easier to implement this, just print the worksheet. Click here to download it now.
I would love to hear your feedback on how this is going for you. Furthermore, I am currently taking requests for blog/podcast topics. If you run into a sticky situation and want another perspective, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll be glad to work it in to a future podcast.