Almost everyone I know has a problem with “selling” themselves. This is especially true for coaches, and I know it’s a reality for me. Most coaches have an empathetic manner. They can talk to a prospective client, and that conversation can flow well. Positioning in problem/solution language, making a great connection, explanation and acceptance of a unique selling proposition… everything’s great.
Then comes the moment. You hesitate. Your heart beats a little faster. Will it work? Will I say the right thing? You may blurt out something… it might even make sense. Then you pause and wait for the objections. You’re prepared, and you counter each one. Now what?
Let’s Put a Name on It
This, my friend, is the exciting world of sales anxiety. Everyone that makes their living selling anything, even the sales pros, have suffered at one time or another. How do we work to overcome it?
It’s the feeling of relief we get when a cold call hangs up on you. It’s nodding your head in agreement as the prospect tells you the reasons why he’s not going to buy today. It’s that headache, that feeling in your gut, that nervous cough… the physical manifestations of “I don’t want to have to sell this person anything.”
Technique vs. Mindset
People have studied this from every angle. Do some people just “have it like that” when it comes to sales? Are there particular techniques, tips, and tricks you can master to ease the anxiety and win the deal? Is it more about mindset? Do you bring about what you think about?
Well, I’ve come to believe that it’s a combination of all these things and possibly a few more. One thing I’m definitely noticing in coaches, though, is the difficulty they have in asking for the sale. It all goes well, and they are passionate in talking about how they can help but stop short of asking for the sale.
The Right Mindset
Here’s one of the weirdest things I’ve noticed. It applies to all sales, but especially to those of us in the business of helping others.
FACT: If you are desperate to make this sale, you cannot make it!
That’s right, the more you feel that you HAVE to close, the less likely you are to do so. When this happens, you are working with a Scarcity Mindset. This mindset works against you, unless you knock it out.
Adopting an Abundance Mindset is the best way to eliminate your scarcity way of thinking. Affirming to yourself and developing a belief that you are helping people. It’s helpful to adjust your worldview to notice the possibilities of everything, the blessings you have in your life, gratitude for all these blessings. Adopting these thoughts and practices are a great way to start developing a mindset of abundance. This is how you work to change your success paradigm and get clients to come to you, hoping for a chance to work with you.
If you know that you always “choke” at the moment of truth, try working up to that moment with mini closes. When you are explaining features and benefits of your programs, stop and check for understanding. “Does this sound like something that might help you?” “What do think that would do for you?”
Pay attention to the fact that I’ve asked two different types of questions here. The first is a closed question. It is possible to answer it with YES or NO. The second one… What do you think? is an open-ended question and requires a more thorough response.
This changes the dynamic of the conversation, in case you’ve found yourself in a situation where you are doing all the talking. Pepper these questions, or mini closes, throughout the discussion. If you prospect has agreed with you thirteen times throughout your presentation, it’s natural for them to accept at the end.
“You can keep what’s behind door #2 or give it back at take what’s behind curtain #1.” Exciting stuff, right? Options make it easier to close and make us feel like we are in control of the final decision. If you’ve used mini closes while talking with the prospect, you can ask at the end… “Which of these two options will help you the most?” If you’ve structured your offer correctly, the higher priced option will actually help them more, and provide the best value. The second option is meant to allow them to fall back on something if they are adamantly against the premium offer.
It’s essential that you know ahead of time which components of the deal you can be flexible on, and what’s written in stone. For instance, maybe you can adjust payment options, but not overall price. It’s possible you have an accountability piece written in your program that says you must make yourself available every Tuesday at noon for a call… or perhaps you can have it on another day if Tuesday isn’t working.
Whatever you decide, make sure you can answer questions about your offer, and know what to say when these questions are asked. Put a lot of thought into structuring your program and play devil’s advocate as you think about what your prospect might object to. Overcoming objections can be your greatest strength, or your most significant opportunity.
When it comes to objections… Practice, Practice, Practice! Find someone in your network that you trust and do some good old-fashioned role play scenarios. One effective way to do this is to work with another coach. As you work through objections together, you both have a chance to learn and grow.
Look for Buying Clues… When your customer asks how to sign up, sign them up!
Ask for the Sale… If you’ve laid the groundwork properly, it will be a natural part of the conversation!
Once you’ve closed the sale … Stop talking!
If you’ve found this information useful, but you’d like to explore this in depth with me, I’m available to help! Visit my website or shoot me an email [email protected] Let’s chat some more about ways to help your coaching business grow and prosper!