Ethical Selling That Works


Escape from Cubicle Nation


Lesson Info

Ethical Selling That Works

So we are going to step into the world of selling, which, when I first started in my business seventeen years ago, I was very clear in telling myself the story for probably six years, that I was not a sales person. I didn't know how to sell, I hated selling, I hated sales people, I hated everything about what it is that that had anything to do with selling, and I was introduced by a good friend of mine, john fritz, to a gentleman by the name of skip miller and skip had a still has a sales training company called m three learning, and I met skip, and he was in las gatto's california's, where his office is in his whole business is in teaching people how to sell, and he has a book called proactive selling, so I was there, hired to help him develop his training business and to work with him. And when I first started, I said, skip, I hate selling, I'm not a sales person, I hate salespeople on he would just laugh at me, and then he said, okay, wait a minute. You have actually been a successf...

ul consultant for the last six years, and you've been working consistently with pretty high level corporation's here in silicon valley, but you haven't been selling e and I was like, but that's not selling, I don't sell, I just sit down with people and I talked to them about what their needs are, and I never want to push myself on them. And if it makes sense that there's a project that I sent emma proposal when they hire me and then when I do a good job than people tell their friends and that's how I get business, but I don't sell. And so he snickered, of course, and then after really a few hundred times that I spent on the road with him, I traveled all over the us with him europe we had, you know, fun teaching classes in germany, I began to really see actually not on ly develop an affection for selling, but develop a huge passion for it. Once I understood what? What is one of skips mantra sze, which is that selling is a process selling it's not a thing you don't have to be wired a certain way to have a certain personality. Selling is a process, and it happens in a process that has particular stages. So just like our entrepreneurs journey where we learned all the different steps to starting a business, when you can begin to understand the steps in the sales process and understand specifically what you need to do at each step all of a sudden it ends up being a very calm, rational ethical process we're all along all you're trying to do is figure out is this person a good match for you? Does it make sense to keep talking? How can you really learn about what's important to them? And then finally if there's something specific that you want to do with them, how can you present a very clear and compelling offer and not be afraid to ask for a decision? Yes or no? Would you like to work with me or not? I would love to work with you I'd love to know if you want to work with me and being able to ask that question is one of the very best things thatyou khun dio so what we're going to do is jump into the particular steps in the sales process and talk specifically with the studio audience and also with our internet audience about different things that you need to have prepared different steps in the sales process. So we're going to start with initiate which is the first step in the sales process and this comes from the book proactive selling which is great which has very specific information and much more resource is than I can possibly cover in this session so and the initiate stage is the first time that you come in contact with a prospective client so four folks on the internet give me some examples of how it is that new first run in to bump into people who could potentially be your clients how does that happen? And then let me ask the same thing of studio audience how do people come to you what's the first point of contact? Vanessa well, um I have clients have come to me because I've known them or I've met them through networking and not really the first year has been based on that I've had a few clients come to me randomly through the internet through my marketing and I don't know them, but very, very, very few most of the people most of my sales have been through my personal network, my, um, business at work ok, and specifically linked in facebook, twitter these air always that I've connected with people they've reached out to me ordered from me, we've started a relationship very cool, I love it, I love it and actually, as we started talking about marketing, I totally want to pick that up to here are some of the specific things that you might do ok, but so generally in this first stage for those folks who have an online business, sometimes the first time that you get to meet a customers when they actually buy something, so if you've really effectively set up your sales page where you have very compelling copy which coincidently, does fall within the same does really have the same steps that you have in the sales process. Right? You have your initiate, you have your educate stage. We'll talk about in the second you have your validate justifying decide, but, you know, you can when you have an online business, set things up. So you're actually kind of walking through the process and giving people what they need for most people, the first contact somebody is not quite ready to buy yet. Okay, so they might, you know. So what? What are some of the ways for folks in the internet that they first bump into their clients? Yeah, chris, with the cases that business association meetings and they asked, what do you do? Ok, someone makes a connection. Okay, cool. Jackie s I do personal projects that get engine and introduced me and let's see, brainiac says that she has clients from organically meeting people in coffee shops. Networking linked in because she's an introvert as well. Okay, cool. I like that. So right. Maybe not being in a huge, gigantic gathering, but maybe small having smaller conversations and coffee shops or on the internet. Okay. And susan buyers timing in say, conferences work for me although I often meet great clients not when I'm speaking but just when I'm in attendee yes, very interesting right? So in sometimes you would think that if you are the speaker that everybody's clamoring to talk to you but sometimes that's just the folks that you that you run into in you know, in a conference I on the flight out here I think I mentioned yesterday I happened to be sitting next to a woman whose husband was just laid off who is considering starting a business and that was a perfect example of some kind of initial conversation where, you know, I learned more about her she learned a little bit more about me now in this initiate stage and it can also come through things like an email so you might get an email from somebody saying I'm interested in potentially working with you or you meet them in person or you meet them online. You go back and forth in facebook I had the very first coach that I ever hired is a dear friend of mine sylvia warren who's actually in oakland lives in the same town that you do and we were in a class with robert middleton who's away wonderful marketing consultant he's an action plan dot com robert was instrumental and teaching me a lot of what I know about marketing and about fifteen years ago he was delivering live workshops here in the bay area and I went to one and there was a row in front of me of people and I was sitting behind we're listening to the great information and robert's funny and he you know, say funny things and I noticed that myself in this woman right in front of me just kept, like, laughing at the same time or, you know, you get people who just we were in sync and so as soon as the break came, both of us just went like this and I was like, it's so nice to meet you I just feel like I already know you and we made that connect action and she ended up being the very first coach that I ever hired before I even know what a coach wass so that was an example of just the way that she showed up in the world was so delightful that I immediately was connected to her in the fact that she ended up being a coach and I needed a coach was just a bonus. Okay? So the very, very, very important point about the initiate stage is all that happens in this first email conversation or first connection in person is you're simply trying to determine from a business perspective doesn't make sense for us to continue talking okay? So is there a fit so you meet somebody at a conference and you have a great conversation and you learn that indeed they may have a need for your services or vanessa, you meet a marketing manager and they're like, oh my gosh, I'm so excited and so what you want to do in that case is to not dominate all their time and to do what skip fondly calls spray and pray who were you then say, well, here is the thirty two different gift baskets I have and here the twenty two different ways you can buy it all that you say is it's so delightful talking to you it sounds like, you know, we may actually have a reason to continue the conversation, how about we set up a call for next week or maybe a time to get together? We can talk about this further, okay, very natural because you kind of established you that conversation that there may be a reason to continue talking. The important thing is that you're really creating this bridge into the next step, which is educate you are not asking for business, you're not trying to close a deal, you are not trying, teo, you know, tell them you're going to send them a proposal next week, please do not tell them you will send them a proposal next week you don't know anything, you know information bad move. No proposals after the initiate stage. All you want to do is to move them into a situation where you can learn a little bit more about them and that's the educate stage. So in the educates stage you have, you know, a more in depth conversation in the educate stage you are getting to know them, and they're getting to know you so in order to get to know them, what do you have to do? Ask questions, ask a lot of questions. Okay, so, what are some examples of questions that you might ask, you know, it's a on a potential client, you know, we meet here, we do a follow up, you know, let's, have a phone, lets, you know, jump on skype next week. So, what are some of the questions that you might ask? What are you hoping to achieve? I know what you're struggling with, ok, what you creating? Like, how do you want things to be? Whatever tried before what kind of work that doesn't work. E okay, so for that particular part of the questioning, your trying to determine what the problem, what is my problem, you know, or there's, one really important distinction. Sometimes between the way that we make change, it's called our motivational direction, so we can either be this is from neural linguistic programming or an lp that sounds kind of like brainwashing, isn't it, theo? Study of how it is that we, you know, are wired. And so we have two motivational directions towards pleasure in away from pain. So if any of you were going to buy and a pair of shoes, why would you buy a new pair of shoes? What's the first answer that jumps on your mind because they looked like because they look nice so you can leave because they're comfortable so you can look like you're in style or because you might wanna look in style for a special occasion because there is a special occasion. All the other shoes I have whole have hold all the others. You have holes. You are okay, brooke, what do you need much t buy a new pair of shoes because they look gorgeous. Yes. Okay, right to look nice. So it seems like we may have a bunch of toward pleasure people in this group so often when you're talking to somebody about their motivational direction that what motivates them toe actually make change in this case to buy something. When you hear people who were toward pleasure people, they say things like because they look awesome and they're really comfortable in there the latest style and I want to look really good rodney said, because the other ones have holes in them so away from pain kind of buyers buy something to avoid pain and they might say jane said because, you know they make me look taller I wantto look tall and away from pain person might say because I don't want to look short right? I don't want to be humiliated where everybody has nice shoes and I don't okay we have so many biases within the world in the way we look at things sometimes we can look it away from pain buyers and say you're such a negative person like why are you so negative or my favorite when we're toward pleasure people of which I'm a raging lee towards pleasure person we say I don't want to use that negative language I don't want to be talking to people about their problems that is so negative I am a positive person, I'm about positivity, okay rock on remember about seventy percent of the world or away from pain buyers? So what you have essentially said is goodbye to seventy percent of your potential ideal customers if you don't use away from pain language mixed in with toward pleasure language, how is most marketing material written this's the best and it's awesome and it's fantastic and it's wonderful which really, you know speaks to the toward pleasure does not speak to the away from pain so my suggestion is if you don't know yet when you're doing marketing copy for example when you're talking about things give a mixture of pain and pleasure did you notice kyle yesterday when he was doing his session on business foundation he could have scared the bejesus out of us right? He could have said you're going to get sued but he gave a couple of examples right somebody didn't look at their trademark and it was like a three hundred million dollars lawsuit you know where you might get audited he was very effective and using that balance between its really good it'll make you feel better it's a really wonderful step to take to be a business person with and by the way, if you don't do this kind of stuff some really bad things can happen that means that our entire audience was engaged and they have the appropriate kind of motivational direction but also where you going to say something? I was just going to say that I've noticed with my clients and customers the ones that are toward pleasure more fickle and the ones that are away from pain are actually much better clients and very like ready to buy interesting right? So maybe that's like one of your one of your criteria somebody who's like looking to solve a problem who doesn't need tohave you know the detail about what's the very best thing that has to be perfect could be one of the criteria used for an ideal client because we want to save time we want right to be easy way you know like the right choice we won't avoid the anxiety of that's right self solve a problem so so I think in that so some of these questions can be you know you see the mix what do you struggling with away from pain what are you creating right now what's your vision right? What have you tried before? That's good information and for those folks in the service business it's a really good question to ask well, I've worked with thirteen coaches so far and I did marie for leo's b school and I did power boost with pam and I went to chris's event and you know all that that's like really useful information to have because like okay, wait a minute you know, maybe somebody is just really enjoys learning and they're kind of addicted to programs and that's a really important thing for you to know right in order to help solve their problem so in the educates stage what you're trying to do is to get a very complete picture of who are these folks what specific issues or challenges do they have and what is their vision right as nancy dorte would say, what is their new bliss? What is that big thing that they want to do that you can really help them to solve now another really important thing in the educates stage is that this is also the stage where you were trying to qualify in terms of some specific things you want to qualify specifically in terms of their needs. So what is actually driving them, wanting to work with a coach or what is driving them to want to do some branding or what's driving them? Tio want to purchase some gifts? Is there a truly specific need? That is part of what they're definitely committed to doing, like do they have a big end of year gift giving at a certain meeting that they do for their clients, where they have toa have the gifts? Right? It's a core part of what they're doing as opposed to I sort of have an idea, and I'm like shopping around to get different ideas, maybe for twenty fourteen, maybe for twenty fifteen and if you don't really dig in in the educates stage to figure out specifically, what is the real need and what's the real timing? And why is the timing there, then that's where you can get stuck in what skip calls maybe land, right? The other important thing is, do they have any money to pay you, oh my gosh, we forget, I asked that question. And sometimes it jane you were saying sometimes you could be allergic to putting prices on your website because you don't want to you have to scope things out and you have you know you don't want to just we put a price and get locked into something that's not sustainable which totally makes sense sometimes if early on in the educates stage member susan yesterday was talking about how you know the project's used to cost a quarter million dollars to do market research she started a twenty five to thirty five k now it's somewhere around the ten k range for an engagement imagine if she never at this stage let them know that you know here's kind of the range that we're talking about and then somebody you know spent all this time in the educate stage sometimes it could be two or three meetings it could be e mails back and forth right? Then you get to the very end of the process and all of a sudden they're like ten thousand dollars are you kidding me? That's ridiculous and then they're pissed susan's pissed because she's invested all this time and energy when there really wasn't any possibility that they would want the same thing for you, brooke, right? I'm probably pretty immediately you want to get a sense of the clients you know you don't want to immediately hit them with a price because you want to kind of build the case as it were. If it's an ideal client, you think you could serve them? You want to build the case as to why having a custom gown made is going to be so amazing. But you do want to let them know it's? Probably not. Fifty bucks, right? I imagine I don't know your price range, but yeah, it's probably not fifty bucks. So that's part of what it is that you want to decide in the educates stage. So is there. Is there a need? Uh, can you meet that need, right? Do you actually have the capability of meeting that need? And does the person have budget for you? Is this actually something that is that's in the budgie? And the timing thing is so tremendously important, and this is something that people really miss very often, and that is that we make up a date as salespeople, and we think that's their day too, isn't that humorous. I really need some money in october, so I'm going to tell my client that they need to make a decision. We need to start a project on october first, right? Because I actually need to pay my mortgage, and my other projects are drawing up that time. In the meantime, the client doesn't care less about when it is that you, you know you want to pay your mortgage. I mean, they're thinking about their problems and what they want to solve. You need to be defining specific dates in terms of what's actually important to them. Why do they need tohave this thing happen in their life? So let's, think about that for a second and it's a little assignment for our internet audience in your business state the name of your business and state the name of, you know, for what you do, what would actually be like a significant event, that would be a really that would could have a real date on it to cause a customer you want to work with you. So, for example, and jane's work of doing design and branding, okay, everybody wants to do it. You were saying, I think on the first day, right, people sometimes start out with great energy and enthusiasm and direct the project out for two years. Okay? Because maybe it's your date, maybe it's, not their date. What if they have a trade show where they have toa have their new branding done? Or they are doing a gigantic website launch where everything has to be complete and they're doing a big mailing with her new information? And that is something that has set and it's part of their business plan that they need to accomplish that becomes a date that's very specific for them as opposed to when do you want to get this done? Isn't that sometimes what we say like when do you want this? You know, when sounds like a good time they're like, I know, like next week is that cool but it's not actually anchored in a time that specifically relevant for them, so could each of you think about, like, what? What would be a true drop dead really date by which somebody needs to take action needs to make a decision to work with you or not or to buy your product or not? What are some examples? Well, uh, you know, a product launch? Okay, um and like, I just finished a website designed for big nonprofit and they were their launch date was tied to a capital campaign that they were, um, you know, wanting to get off the ground and coordinate the two okay, cool, right? So there's a big capital campaign, which probably means they're other people involved, maybe they're bored and other fundraisers who were involved, which is always awesome, right? For people who do b to b business to business it's like, is this part of your business plan? Is this project actually funded as part of your business plan if it's not, that automatically means it's a little bit more and maybe land what else? What about for the coaches? Because I could be a little what what about for you know this is really helpful cause I feel like this is the piece that I usually leave out his because I'm not like a business coach like per se like I'm just working with them on more like personal stuff so one thing that I want to do like toe by this is to get really clear about ok like what's that kind of costing you to, like, be procrastinating on this project and then my tiny in for like, I mean a lot of times especially moms it's tied to like oh my kid is you know, I want to get my kid into this life you know, nursery school, this montessori school that's starting and so it's kind of like being able to kind of time to like, okay, so how are you gonna do that to your business of this this project that you have passed and aang is tied to that let's get a specific date and like work on that? And so I feel like it's like yeah that's really big cycle like that piece on the scene and that will be a piece that they're not even like clear about themselves a connect exactly and that's actually how you could be a value to them because you helped all of a sudden give a context of like, if you don't figure this out by this date here's actually what's going to happen not in a fear of provoking kind of way in a useful way like, oh my god, that's the case if I go home tomorrow and my book at its air not done, I will never forgive myself my kids will not forgive me, you know, it makes me choked up to think about it, right? That's a really that's a real thing it's a real thing because I gave them a commitment, right? They sacrificed a lot in order for me to do my thing, and those are the kinds of moments where you want teo that's, what you want to get to write from your mom's is like what's really date, and sometimes, as you said, they're so busy, they don't realize that if you don't deal with this, it means that during the holiday season you're going to be working or during spring break, you're going to be working when you really said you it's a priority to work with your kids? Yeah, so I'm telling you guys, I'm editing tonight what, whether is what's the internet, we have another coach in the chat room, coach dori she has a company called teen university y o u university so her drop that day is prior to the end of the student's senior year I love it oh that's so beautiful when there's an actual date that's related teo yeah like the senior year you're working with youth and you're preparing them to get into school, right? Those kinds of dates are wonderful because there's a very finite you know kind of period in which it needs to happen slowly we have a couple more um let's see, we have, um we have sarah two thousand thirteen who says I'm an expert in student loan repayment strategy is and also coach on anxiety over finances so before applying for expensive professional degree programs and then at the beginning of a spring semester two to three months out before graduation I guess before that anxiety is going to hit how am I going to pay off this off? So that is so cool and you can just see how powerful it is when you begin to help your clients to create these anchors of really working you know skip calls it in a proactive selling he always says buyers by backwards okay, so buyers have a particular date by which they want to get something done for mothers of the bride mothers of the groom right there's the wedding date sir there's that wedding date so in order to, you know, figure out like they need to have their final fitting right in order to be ready for the wedding date in order to do that, maybe they've kind of gone through and looked a different gowns in order to do that, they've had to make a decision about who they're actually going to go for in terms of designing, right? So you lay this out in a timeline the wedding's on october fifteenth. It's ok, two weeks before is october first, you know? Okay, maybe, you know, you have, like, step by step thirty days before that that's, you know, september thirtieth, and so that means that in order to have that, they need about two weeks by september fifteen u have to her whenever september first, you have to have made a decision about which designer that you want to go with, and you're just having a conversation so you could map this out. Sometimes if you're on the phone talking to somebody, you might gather information, and this would be a really effective example of a follow up where you say so let me just help you no understand here's what your wedding date is here's kind of the process that we go through here, some of the timing. And when skip disease examples. It's really funny because he was teaching this to a sales person and they were sitting with a client that had been, like, pushing stuff off. You know, for a long time, they did the buyers by backwards, working towards the date, and they both realize that the client needed to have made a decision two days before about who it is that they were working for working with otherwise their entire process was going to be screwed up. And as soon as the client saw that they were like, oh, my god, like where the papers and they were scrambling around in order to actually get everything signed. So this to me, is this ethical part of the sales process, even if they decide not to work with you because it's not a good fit, you are helping them to really see the implications about why it is that something is a value to them. When does that need to happen? As soon as you start to get into reald dates, then that's when you could be effective and your follow through, right? If somebody is not making a decision, you can say, you know, hey, it's, uh, you know it's august twenty eighth, which is my birthday f y I it is august twenty eight. You know, just just a reminder, you know that we were talking about making a decision by this date so you know if you know if not it might really shift our entire project forward but then you're talking about rials stuff real things that are significant for people so sometimes like you're saying it's related to a date within their life sometimes it's making the case for maybe mike, I know you do a lot of relationship coaching sometimes with your men and you know, maybe you could help them really understand like you've really been in a horrible communication you know, with your partner and maybe there's not a finite period of time maybe your girlfriend or your wife or your partner has said like, dude, you know, after august I am not going to be messing around anymore it's really time to take action so and the personal development side sometimes it's a little bit harder because there's not like a business deadline, but what you want to do is you want to help people establish a need now sometimes in specific need that's related to a date. And so so when you do that when you're in this this educate step in the process of discovery, you're asking lots of questions you're trying to figure out, you know, what's important to them you're gathering the information at the same time they're also trying to gather information from you and so they can gather in a number of ways they can sometimes talk to somebody who's worked with you before they could go to your website and look att examples of you're beautiful gowns, you could send them a sample basket so they could actually see it and they could, you know, get more a sense about, you know, how it is that it that it looks you want people to be fully engaging with you and discovering if you're a good fit in order for them to feel comfortable moving forward. Okay, so this stage that's really what it is that you're trying to dio this is really where the majority of in the sales world what you call qualifying should be happening. Can I work with this person? Do I have what they need and don't have the capabilities right now to provide what they need? Is it a good fit? And if the answer is yes and so let's say hypothetically, we'll come back to the stages in the sales process again in a minute, but let's say that it does seem like a good fit everything's going forward, and so you always as the sales person are going to be pulling them to the next step you've chatted with him a couple times on skype, you've traded some emails you feel like you have kind of clearly defined what the what? What their particular need is it seems like it makes sense they could move forward. So invalidate is where you begin to put together a specific proposal, right where you might say okay, you know, here's all the needs here's the timing are our solution that the kind of solution that I think would make sense is like this. Okay, um and so you want to put, you know, put forth a very specific, you know, proposal put forth a suggestion sometimes. For example, if you're a coach on educate conversation, khun can happen sometimes as little as twenty minutes if you have a very effective qualifying process but that's where you might move forward and say, ok, reinforcing all the value based stuff that's in here here is why, you know here's the particular solution it sounds like if we worked together for three months, we could do, you know, ex package because you said that you were dealing with these issues and you need to make a decision by this time here, specifically wide is that this solution? Maybe, you know, a really good fit. And you remember back to yesterday and we were talking about offers, and we looked at the web copy that sells right kind of like here's your problem here's why it hasn't been solved before and you know here's the possibility for something new which is what you're proposing with your offer and then you would have the particular price here is how much it costs so some businesses people have an actual proposal I'm curious you know, for folks that are out there like how many people actually right official proposals some of that depends if it's you know business to business versus people that that just maybe send an email you know, with information for folks um tow walk through so to continue to walk through this step so again you've been an initiate you have a good initial conversation you say hey, I think it might make sense for us to keep talking to see if it's a fit you pull them to the educate stage you have your conversations, you gather your data then you say if you're comfortable I think I think I understand like what what your needs are the way you've expressed them um as a suggested next step, how about if I send you a proposal and I could just summarize what we've talked about I'll give you some specific options so that we can see what works and that at that point you can review it and decide if it's a good fit and then we can talk about making a decision is that sound cool? Okay, how did how did that feel if I said something sort of like that how did that feel to you if you were a prospective client and you two internet folks out there? Well, that all sounds very clear to me I mean it's it's it's it's like that should give me enough you know, information to be able to move forward and I like the reiterating what was discussed what I I find happens and I'm sure this happens to a lot of you know, creative people is that sometimes you don't know whether you're bidding against other people sometimes it's totally obvious sometimes um one of the things that I've had to really work on in the past several years is not giving too much advice away during the educate stage because what what are you giving away advice in the educate stage? No, no you are listening you are asking questions, write the other thing a lot of people do is in their proposal that's thirteen pages long that outlines the specific methodology that they're using for what the project is sometimes this happens it's so painful and awful but it's a great learning experience somebody says awesome thank you for that strategic overview and initiative that was free a k a your proposal and they won't hire you to do it they have somebody else internally do the work or they go with somebody else okay? Because in a proposal in the educate stage, you're not giving advice you are asking questions and concrete lee do that people say well here's my thought about marketing what should I do? Say well, first let up told let's totally get to that first tell me more about why you're doing it what's happening in your company do not let yourself go to the giving advice piece okay, you got it that this is something you might have to train yourself, you know, to do a little bit more and then when you're doing the validate stage, one of my favorite people that super clear about proposals is alan weiss, it's one bill and hey has a bunch of books like million dollar consulting but he has one called million dollar proposals, and alan is one of these, like super straight business people direct clear person okay, which I think for creative entrepreneur sometimes people might be a little put off by a style but he's brilliant in a genius when it comes to really great, specific information about what a proposal is and what it isn't he and he has a lot of free giveaways if you go, I think it's what's name of his sight I forget the exact name, but just just google alan weiss million dollar proposals having its summit consulting I think, is the name of his business uhm summit consulting something like that and under his books page under the page that discusses the book million dollar proposals, he actually is a whole bunch of free handouts of sample proposals and guidelines for doing proposals generally, he says, proposal shouldn't be more than maybe a page or two long what the purposes isn't totally reinforcing the value the problem to be solved, right? What the need is what that need is worth somebody in a short manner so that you're just really outlining here's your problem here's a solution here, the impacts you know that it's gonna have and maybe, you know, a couple steps in order to do it. It's not the thirteen page very, you know, specific description of exactly what it is that you're going to deliver so that's what it is that you want to do in the validate stage, what you're doing at this step in the sales process is allowing them to see how your solution is directly tied to solving their problem in providing value. The value you provide should always be a heck of a lot more than the price that you're charging. Remember when kyle said that your lawyer or your consultant should always pay for pay for him or herself many times over? I know a lot of people were like when they heard that right? This is the point when you do your proposal or even when you're sending an e mail saying, okay, if you do my two thousand dollars accounting package based on what we discussed, this should be able to bring you a savings of fifteen thousand dollars in tax fees, right, or whatever it is you're establishing the value, reiterating what their need is that you have. I just was going to say yes, summit consulting dot com okay, perfect. All right, did we have any other examples? I know I asked the question about for our internet folks about I think was it early on not how people initiate, but what was the question I get asked them how many of you actually write proposals or emails for protecting a client? Ok, good, so let's see what people are glad you guys were paying attention because I only forget what I've said in the past. We've had some feedback here. There's a good discussion going on between three eighteen media and jackie s they're talking about software to help the proposal process mentioned, quote, robot and bid sketch and no kyle talk yesterday about some software that could help people. Have you used these? I haven't I haven't used it but I love the idea I mean quote wrote was that quote robot robot it's a cool name? The only thing is I recognized for that brand name it's like you don't want to be a robot you want to make sure you're not just pumping out proposals but probably not I mean it sounds like a cool thing what that could maybe do is to give you an example of a template that you can use that can help you walk through the process right and that's what three eighteen media had said I write proposals for every client I follow a template that I created and I change it up as necessary but I always in big caps go over the proposal with them on the phone okay wonderful so but another question that came in was from cyber m o j says what if I provide a service to clients who don't necessarily require conversations as the service is not a lengthy process so it's something that somebody might just sign up for kind of like the clarity dot fm were like come to your age and they sign up you know you don't have that proposal yeah process which is a very common thing, especially for people that might have services where the price is right there and people can purchase it on the site this is an example where the information that can help them to make a decision, because even though people can purchase right right then and there are they still will have tohave gone through in their mind each of these steps in the sales process, right? That's part of how we make a buying decision, you know, I'll cover the next steps in the sales process to give total context to that, but many times it's making sure that on your site you do have case studies, you do have testimonials, you do state in your sales letter for said service, you know, do you struggle with balancing your books, losing weight? You know him having great relationships, establishing the problem, you know, do you know here's the cost of such a thing? Here's the opportunity in some ways for the online world, you are actually addressing these parts of the sales process in your sales letter. That's what a good sales letter does is to cover those areas, so no, you're not sending a proposal, but don't think it's enough to just, like, have a page like, hire me dude with nothing else with a big bite, but, I mean, maybe some people can get away with it, but I would say probably theirs. A huge amount of social proof that's been built up before where maybe, you know, everybody wants to work with this person, and so you don't have to really be doing that much selling, but everybody is going to go through this this stage, what do all your perspective clients, do they google you do not think they don't google is the voice of you, whether you want to believe it or not, right? Google tells our story to a great extent so everything that people find about you that they find on google, or ways that they can initially figure out if they want to be working with you. Okay, so let me go through a couple more steps in the sales process, and then we'll come back and think about it in terms of the process, so talk to them gathered tons of information really established the business case for why it is you're doing what you're doing, you might, you know, send them proposal, or you might send him an email that says, based on what we discussed, you know, here's, the kind of service I think would be good for you, then they have to go through a process of justice cation so this is sometimes where we had a question yesterday with susan, where sometimes you think you're talking to the buyer when really you're not and I think it was somebody who worked with teenagers and they were saying is that the parent who's the buyer or is it the teenager often where this happens for people who were small business owners is their spouse is a very important part of the decision making process you can have a fantastic conversation with somebody you're cruising, you're jamming, they love you everything's fantastic you throw in the proposal or put out the offer all of a sudden everything gets totally stalled right? Because they're saying, can I afford it? Is it really the right time? Is this really the right person right before you, like hover over abi button for something? Or maybe you plan a big vacation or decide to attend an event? Probably you're going through this justification process in your head right and that's what everybody does so again, you know in this process that's really the internal process for your buyer that's where you want to make sure that you in the educates stage have asked questions like this is a favorite one that skipped gives what is the decision making process for purchase like this and who is involved? This is such a beautiful question it's like to be framed okay, so what is decision process, decision making process and who is involved? Remember this is happening in the educate stage, so when you ask that question what do you find out? Find out if there's someone else that if there's someone else okay, you also get a sense of you know how much time they may need to make this decision yes and then also maybe like any concerns that they have around yeah yeah um what's keeping off and say you know, something we want to ask is like, are you the one that has the money? You don't have to go over your head, right? I mean especially if you're in a business to business setting sometimes you don't know but it's so powerful when you ask this question what you can you can change the burbage toe if it doesn't exactly flow for how you would say it the key is you are not saying like, who holds the power if you say who decides how to spend this, sometimes people get their ego in the way and they're like, well me even if it's not really done okay, so when you say you know here's the decision making process even for individuals where you're talking to somebody and on dh they say okay, well, you know, once I get the final proposal and discuss it with my husband, I'm going to go look at my budget oh, you know, I got to get this information and you know, you know that I'm going to bahama the bahamas like all summer, right? And then I will come back and I'll make a decision on it for timing all of a sudden you realize what's going on on dh, then you figure out really who's involved, because when you confined out, say early on that you are selling especially it's a case for, like, a significant service where you know that somebody really needs to involve their husband or their wife for their spouse. You want to get that information in the educate stage you might actually ask and say, you know what? Because both of you are actually interested in this process, would you might invite your husband and join us? May be the last ten minutes of the next time that we get together let's talk about it, you know, to make sure that I really understand if it's maybe a decision that's going to impact the whole family and that way when you're you realize then when you're putting together your proposal or you're putting forth the offer, if you don't know what the concerns are of the other decision maker, and if you haven't addressed their concerns, then that's where, you know, you can really run into trouble, and sometimes you might be talking to somebody who's like I don't need any background just kind of, you know, some e a direct quote, maybe their spouse is totally different and they want the documentation and they want the information, which is why I think it's so important to always be thinking about how are you framing and reinforcing the value of what you're providing in in terms ofthe what specific problems that they have in the problem that you want to solve because they may not be the only person who's really looking to make a decision for those folks who deal with business to business kind of situations, that's, often where you might have many people involved. So I have this other team that has to look it over where I have that, you know, ceo who rubber stamps decisions over, you know, x number of dollars, I've seen people be brilliant in business to business situations where they learn the inside scoop for cos they're working with about what is that dollar level that say a midlevel manager is able to approve without a higher level decision? And so it would make sense, wouldn't it? Maybe in that case, if they can do anything up to fifteen thousand dollars, you might want to actually scope your first project if you have a great relationship with a middle manager to be a fifteen thousand dollar project. Boom you're in the door it's scoped as opposed to scoping it out you know as a fifty thousand dollar project so this is really important information to know it makes it fair for them it makes it you know, safe for you and then you won't get blindsided by it so justifies this process they might come back to you that that might be a stage where they say, you know I really like you but I I'd love to talk to somebody else who's worked with you in which case I always say fantastic you know are there any specific kinds of people that's where you might you know, put them in touch with past clients but then once there they have the information they need to make a decision this is where you very clearly happily and specifically ask them to make a decision the final step in the sales process is not closing the deal. The final step in the sales process is asking for a decision yes or no it's a big mental shift and a lot of what we try to do is just focus on like I gotta close the deal I have to close the deal when really you're just trying to get people to make a good decision now you notice where everything is weighted right? Things start to get a lot more expensive for you if you're continuing down this road with people continuing down the journey where after the educate stage you know you're taking the time to put together a proposal you're beginning to think this thing's really gonna happen right? You talk to them you start to get close to a decision date and all of a sudden you've asked them to make a decision and they totally back out beckoned like really be upsetting it's also exceptionally dangerous for your business because you think that you have a deal in the pipeline when you really don't and it can really you know set some panic in so a lot of what you want to be focusing on is early on in the stage of the process to your ass for a decision yes or no you get to that step and what happens if they say no what would you do mike let me say great I'll follow up here okay okay okay cool so they've said no so in this case too so in this case if they said no because maybe it's not the right timing they clearly haven't said like I totally don't want to work with you mike, in which case you probably wouldn't say I'll follow up later I would imagine right if you're not an ideal coach for that but like you've gotten down the road you've had great conversations you put some in front of it then they're like, you know I totally love too but not now that's a great response awesome! I totally support that. I only want to work with people who were totally ready. I often say that two people in my in my like initial conversations, I do my best work when you're ready to work with me, so if you're not ready yet, totally cool right on dh, then you could say, you know, do you want? Do you want me to follow up with you? I'd be happy to check back in with you, you know, six weeks from now and see where it is that you are, and if so, you can and sometimes that's when you do pick up clients, but mentally in your mind what you really want to do is to move that person out of maybe land and put them into no so that what you do is you make sure that you're filling up your hole sales prospecting, funnel with new people who are really interested in working with you to move through the process. It's awesome to have people who are kind of in the back burner, right, who you're working with, but if for too long you kind of think somebody's going to work with you and then they don't, then it ends up burning a whole bunch of resource is I had a friend that worked with somebody is actually somebody referred to her because it seemed like it was a perfect fit she went through a huge process it was a consult big consulting gig and she actually spent tons of time giving advice preparing a person like for a big meeting and like it was so clear that it was gonna happen it wasn't even a consideration they got all the way down she had a huge proposal and he verbally said like this is totally gonna happen you can count on this it was like ah whole year's worth of work massive client project right so she was totally psyched can you make a decision by next week? It slipped he left it slipped its left it turns out what she didn't know in this educate stage in the qualifying process is that he was not the decision maker the board was the decision maker and they had not been in all those conversations with her and there was huge conflict within the board and they didn't agree with the direction that he was going so it was months of work that she did thinking that she had in the bag a gigantic consulting agreement you know, engagement for a whole year when it turns out it never happened it never materialized. Okay painful lesson fantastic lesson because what does she do now? Oh my gosh she is fierce when it comes to the educate states right she is automatically asking what's the decision making process and who's involved you know, really making sure that that's clear before she moves forward and she's closed a lot of business since that time sometimes we have to learn the hard way, okay? Questions or comments from the internet or from here? Jane man, I mean, well, I mean, I can relate to that I mean, not a year's worth of work, but but it is it's it's sort of weird thing because a lot of it is following your instincts like she went she learned from that and went back and, you know, redid her process, but sometimes, you know, you know, your instincts were telling you that it wasn't really even the right person to go through the educated stage, you know, because one thing that I think happens and I don't like to think badly of people, but, you know, sometimes people are fishing for price and you kind of know you're not going to get it anyway, andi also, sometimes people don't even respond after you, you deliver the proposal, which often happens after e mail and you might say let's, go over this over the phone or and they don't even reply, so sometimes you don't even get no and you can really end up being sort of frustrated by that, and I think that rather than think that it's, the other person being just rude and consider that you spent all this time that you you know, one it's the cost of doing business but it usually also has to do with something along the way and you probably and writing a proposal for someone you shouldn't have in the first place and really yeah, you know, like and sometimes that happens and you do learn your follow your instinct, you know, I know in this particular case it seemed like it was great I mean, it was a good fit it just that he wasn't the decision maker he wanted to work with her, but that is where sometimes when you have that instinct and it's not a good fit, this is where we develop that really important skill and selling where we learn early on to say, you know what it sounds like for what you're specifically looking for, I don't know if I'm the best fit for you and I think maybe a better solution would be that you work with mike or you work with rodney and because when you begin to trust your instinct, you might know it's not worth it for you to go all that way it's actually dangerous you're not setting yourself up, you know, in a good way and some people don't want to tell you who the decision maker is because you might have a project person who there's a turf war something like that and that's also may be a sign that it's not the right exactly what does that tell you? It's more of a maybe right the more that you get people who all these air indicators that people don't want to tell you the decision making process they get pissed if you ask them more specific questions like well, you don't need to know that I just want a proposal people say this here no, you know honestly I'm busy just sent me a proposal that's gonna be like, you know, actually, you know what? I actually think somebody else might be a better fit and send them on how in the world could you send somebody a proposal for work if you have no idea what their issue is and what value you're providing and when you need to have it happen and also for somebody when you get to the decide stage, I mean, I've been this person sometimes not because I want teo I just get super busy and I might have talked to somebody maybe they didn't do their due diligence to really qualify if it was actually time to do something together and, you know, I was trying to be nice and friendly and helpful and often people will do that they kind of jumped through with you because they want to be helpful and maybe it's interesting somehow but sometimes and it can get to the stage where people you know put a proposal that's why asking for a decision it's really important if you don't hear back from them that's where you want to say you know, I know I know you must be totally busy I completely understand I'm actually booking my calendar for the next quarter we talked about that yesterday or the day before I'm booking my calendar maybe was that lunch we didn't talk about it with our creative live audience sometimes it's it's important? I think for us always to be an integrity and ethical with what we say, but if we say something like I'm booking my calendar for the next quarter and therefore I actually need tohave a decision made by this date to me that's ethical maybe in the next quarter you want to know if you have time to take off to go on vacation you wanna know if you can catch up on the latest scandal issues on lulu, which is totally on my agenda right like that's critical priority for me in order to do that, but you're saying I have value I need to be planning as well I'm not going to be at the whim if you decide you know, sixty days from when we talked about making a decision to suddenly decide that you need something and what often happens with those kind of folks is they need it yesterday and all of a sudden you've been waiting forever and then they're like I need to work with you I need this stuff now and they get pissed if you're not available right? So all of this is like getting clarity, being an equal partner, you see where this fits with what we talked about this morning you are equal so you're a service provider they have a whole bunch of money, they're a big corporation, you are partners, your needs are as important as their needs if you want to have a respectful relationship, you have to really come at it from that perspective. So one of my favorite sayings that chris is that chris, that thinking of chris from canada that skip says is yeses are great knows their great maybes will kill you maybe slay business people if you're in maybe land if you're like you think somebody is going to do it and you don't really know the date by which they have to get something done and you're afraid to follow up because you don't want to harass them. But then you have this feeling of like but maybe, you know, I don't know that's really what's going to kill you so you want to get efficient in walking through the sales process to make sure the of the best possible chance by the time you get to decide like you're already married, you know what I mean? It's like already clear because you've established the value you've talked about what it's worth and they could make a decision. All right, what any questions? Comments? Yeah, have some people charming in about the decision making process. Brainiac says that you need to remember to ask for permission to keep in touch if they do say no, then nature says that he likes to ask him directly. What could I do differently to own your business today and along the same lines? Kabuki says, I like to use questions and let them do the talking by saying anything else and tell me more cool, right? So kind of being being collaborative in that process, which is great, probably the only thing I would say as an and two that is a lot of that kind of conversation should be happening in the educate stage, right? You're clear what they want, what you're going to provide, right? You've talked about the process together, you've laid it out for people so that by the time you get to the decision, you've told them that they're walking through that step, they're clear, like, I'm totally going to ask you for a decision, you know, people say, well, tell me about what has the coaching process work? First I need to gather some information from you when you think about what you need you can learn about me then you know maybe suggests a particular coaching package and then I let you think about it talk it over with your spouse or whatever and then I'm going to ask you to make a decision to see if it's a fit to go right now so there's no fuzzy anything out there and so by the time he asked for a decision it's just really done have a question pam from bran who says on dh this is back when we were talking about that the value that you're offering should be we way more than the price that you're parsing what about when you're just starting out and you don't have a clear idea of what the r o I would be for your client for example if you don't have a case study just say yeah we saved you this much money what are some other ways you can think about explaining that value? The value is comes from a couple key areas and there are kind of four main ones that I want to talk about so you have and this again is from proactive selling which again is a great source if you guys want to get some specific information but value comes from return on investment so you give you give me money I want to get some back and more comes from time risk and brand so the value that you're trying to really pull out is what is it actually costing somebody in orderto have the problem that they have right what's what's that potential value from business setting sometimes it is directly return on investment right if they have a better brand they're going to make more sales maybe they'll make you know, fifty thousand there their ability to have a screaming brand and really look great at their trade show is going to bring them in you know and they kind of tell you in their words well we had it all together if this campaign was successful look at the numbers you know, maybe we could make an additional twenty five thousand dollars or something right? So at least you have some kind of number in mind that you're talking about if they know for other people value is time so what you know I know for a lot of my clients you could spend all year long on google stumbling around trying to figure out what to do in order to start your business but probably we could be a lot more efficient if we work together where I can tell you very specifically what the steps are that just you need to do that's going to save you a lot of time which is you can see also ends up saving people a lot of money risk risk is a huge one people will pay for to mitigate risk so how scared are you of the irs? Especially after yesterday I'll write that people when they feel like something's at risk are you willing to risk losing your marriage losing your relationship? Losing your health people will pay money in order to be mitigating risk that's a really solid part of value and then brand is people people will really pay too to do certain things that create a positive brand experience for them that's why? Sometimes we have cool apple computers and we have iphones and we might wear a certain kind of shoes a lot of my guy friends and arizona have those like like non two shoes you know what are those called that have like the toes in them hey, they feet whatever those are five fingers vibrant, right? Right. Those shoes, right? So in some ways that's kind of like a branding thing you know, like if they buy your product they look kind of cool or it helps their business if if you do something that's going to improve their brand I mean that's a huge one for you, right it's actually huge one for you for your moms their personal brand is looking really super awesome at their their kid's wedding, so that is something that people can pay for so you don't it's not necessarily that you have to say you're going to pay me three hundred fifty dollars for this hour and you're going to get thirty two thousand dollars worth of value it's that you're a least asking questions around these areas of value to establish how is somebody going to be benefiting working with you so when you start you don't have so much data that's maybe where you can just start to ask questions around this you know what do you concerned about what do you feel like is it risk what would it mean to you? So even if you're not using a specific number you're still couching it in terms of something that's really important to them testimonials yeah testimony really a good way like a lot of my stuff ofthis since I do bee to bee it's like it's like soft results sometimes it's just relieving anxiety or it's making somebody just you know feel more confident in promoting their own business and I can't say you're going to sell fifty thousand more witches so right um and testimonials let other people speak for you is always a good one exactly rather than really a toot your own horn definitely that I think that could be super powerful so we've all seen testimonials you know spend two thousand nine hundred ninety nine dollars with me and instant guaranteed success of you know, seven million dollars that you can earn people will sometimes playing with these numbers you know, the average and then like really really small type in the bottom is like this is not an average result and you know, most people spend two thousand dollars in our two thousand dollars in debt right? You need to be careful about it and they need to be careful also about what you what you promise right? You're trying to couch here is kind of the scope and scale of your project so that they understand that you're really adding value but of course you never want to say something in your proposal like unless you're super brave and you're completely confident like I guarantee that you will get fifty thousand dollars in new business if you work with me I mean some ways it's kind of fun right little bit more of a challenge if you're willing to be up for that but it could be a little bit dangerous because it's dependent not only on you delivering it's dependent on your client doing what you are recommending to them and that does not always happen with anything that we're doing. So I think the really important thing is we start to talk about the sales process first of all is to think about it is a process right? Selling is not a thing a one time event you're not trying to like force somebody to hire you the first time you meet him in a networking process there are specific steps at each step you're delivering very specific things and that's, where from an organization perspective, you can make sure that you're prepared. So this is a little bit homework e where when you go back and you look at how you want to prepare, maybe you do have a super great elevator speech. So when you're meeting people in a networking event, brooke, like you were saying, you have a great way of dispatching conversation, so people get interested in thai talking to you that maybe invokes them to start business. In the educates stage, you have a clearly defined website. You have case studies, you have testimonials from other people in a validate stage, you have a sample proposal. Can I tell you how many of my clients have business sitting in their inbox? They have sometimes tens of thousands of dollars of people wanting to work with them, but they're so freaked out because I've never written a proposal that they don't get back to them like they're ready, the person's ready to buy. So if you already have a sample proposal ready to go it's so much easier in order to do it, and then you practice right, you practice how to ask for a sale, it doesn't have to be over the top, but these things can really help.

Class Description

Join business coach and author of Escape From Cubicle Nation Pamela Slim for this comprehensive guide to forging your own path as an entrepreneur.

Starting out as a business owner can be scary; Pamela will help you tackle this fear head on as she guides you through the journey from employee to entrepreneur. From identifying your skills and strengths to building a secure financial plan, you’ll explore each stage of developing a business with a strong foundation and the potential for radical growth. Pamela will also cover networking, minimizing financial risk, mapping your sales process, identifying your ideal clients, and more.

By the end of this course, you’ll have a business plan customized to your business’s unique needs and unlock the freedoms associated with being your own boss and pursuing your true passions.


a Creativelive Student

I bought the class thoughting the illustration included in this course in the class materials , but its not , thats sucks , THANKS A LOT