How To Find Your Sweet Spot When Selling
Have you ever noticed when you’re learning to do something new, you have to concentrate hard with little to no distractions in order to do it right?
And then as time goes by and you practice a few times, it requires less concentration. Eventually, you can do it without having to really think about it. This is what’s known as the “sweet spot.” It’s easy and authentic – it’s just how to show up in the world.
For many people, the idea of reaching the “sweet spot” when selling might seem unattainable. Yet, I’m going to let you in on a little secret, it’s much easier than you think. The quickest and easiest way to reach the sweet spot of selling is to make the relationship between you and the other person the priority. This is the first step.
At some point, you’ll transition from focusing totally on the relationship to actually moving the conversations in the direction of doing business together.
When you start with the relationship first, it’s much easier to broach the sales conversation. And, you don’t have to be an expert sales person with every trick and technique up your sleeve. You need to know enough about sales to recognize buying signals and what to say when you get one.
You may have heard of the concept of finding your client’s pain point and focusing on that in order to close business. This is certainly a popular strategy and when used correctly, it does close business.
Unfortunately, there are too many people out there that have misinterpreted how to successfully utilize this technique. What I’m hearing and experiencing a lot of lately is people creating pain points for prospects and then “selling” themselves as the solution.
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The best analogy I can give is someone taking a piece of paper and making a bunch of small cuts up and down your arms and then saying to you, “Bless your heart, you’re bleeding honey, I can help you with that.” In these instances, I want to yell, “Yeah, I’m bleeding because you just cut me. I was fine before we started talking.”
Someone said to me the other day, “It must be so easy for you to get clients Nikki. You hear someone talk and you know they suck at sales, so you can just tell them how much they need your services.” I was mortified that anyone would think I would say to someone, “You suck at sales, so hire me.” In no way is that method making the relationship the priority. And my whole approach is relationship selling.
When people share their struggles with me about how hard they find selling, I ask questions, suggest tips (when requested) and when appropriate I offer my services as a way to help them get what they want. I’ll never be the “tough love” kind of coach. Tearing people down in order to build them up seems like a narcissistic, self-serving, and out of integrity approach (oh, this brings out my soap-box big time).
A woman proudly told me that one of the ways she sells her product (she sold accessories) is she would approach a woman in a coffee shop, compliment her outfit and then tell her how her handbag really wasn’t doing anything for her. I asked her if that worked as a sales strategy and she proudly told me it had worked. I then asked her how much repeat business she receives and her face fell. Turns out few people bought a second time around.
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Geez, I’ll bet you can guess why people weren’t buying from her a second or third time. Making people feel bad about themselves so you get their business is a terrible long term strategy. (By the way, this woman is no longer in business.)
Building long-term client relationships is a much more effective strategy to sustain your business.
Think about what’s its like to spend time with someone who makes you feel good about yourself. Have you ever had a friend/mentor that sees the absolute best in you and because of it, you elevate, you grow and you push yourself to be better? It’s a true gift to spend time someone who makes you feel this way.
Are you that person for your clients? How might your relationships improve if this was the attitude you showed up with when meeting prospects? Do you think this would draw people to you?
Of course, this doesn’t mean you can’t have the difficult and sometimes “hard to hear” conversations with clients/prospects when it will benefit them. However, these difficult things are better said when you have permission. Build rapport, develop the relationship and ask permission before put on your “expert hat” and point out places for improvement.
Your Savvy Sales Tip this week: Finding the Sweet Spot in Sales
Create authentic connections with clients. Take time to learn about what’s important to them before pitching them on your product/service or offering feedback/criticism. Prioritizing the relationship is where you find the sweet spot when selling.
Wishing you continued success in honing in your sweet spot this week.