Even talented entrepreneurs, including independent PR practitioners, need consistent income that grows annually. Stable income allows independents to hire, travel, acquire resources, and plan financially. Since more entrepreneurs are failing than ever, how can we ensure we have great clients signing up for our services? How do we make sure we ask for money – the right amount for what we are offering?
When IPN guest speaker Kate Beeders started doing business development for a Fortune 500 company years ago, it was presumed that employees did not have to land their own clients, just service the business. Today, practitioners have to be comfortable having the money conversation as well as doing a great job on the account management side.
First, Kate discussed how to develop a mindset before you start selling your services. (It’s a lot easier to sell someone else’s widgets than your own, by the way.) Develop a mindset to combat giving discounts, trading services and overcome fear of having sales conversations. A mindset is how you see yourself in relation to the outside world (marketing), as well as how you view yourself in relation to the outside world, and the limiting beliefs you have about yourself. Mindset is at least 99% of your success and failure – overriding the subconscious mind’s “recording” that keeps you stuck. Kate helps clients overcome these limitations and change your mindset to a positive story.
Kate challenged the IPN meeting attendees to think about these critical questions: ask yourself how your life would change if you could sell with ease. What do you do to “sabotage” your deals? What are you doing to attract what you need? What are you doing to break negative patterns of behavior in your life, brought about by years of conditioning.
Tip: Build your business around your lifestyle, not the reverse. What do you want to do? Where do you want to go? Be specific.
Think about the history of sales: Ford Motor Company encouraged salespeople to sell based on the shape of people’s heads (open minded, etc.). Dale Carnegie talked more about relationship selling – know, like and trust. Then “barrier selling” became popular: asking qualifying questions. In the 1960s, a dramatic “creating a desire” style emerged, “red is romance” selling. In the 1980s, “spin selling” is about creating a need so people will buy – physical need, emotional need, etc. – and getting people to talk about their dreams (Tony Robbins style). In the 1990s, solution selling became in style, getting in with prospects before the deal goes out to RFP and long-term selling is in favor. Now: commodity selling is in favor: pricing yourself cheap, you can get it anywhere and it doesn’t really matter where you buy it and just is a price comparison.
Jack Canfield once said: “When someone says no, you say next.” and Tony Robbins taught his followers, “People will buy from people that they know, people that they like and people that they trust.”
Sales conversations: are you doing them to get the client, or get the money? People can pick up which one you have chosen.
Three general issues we encounter when it comes to selling
- Money issues
- Time issues
- They’d rather do it themselves
Three reasons why we struggle with sales:
- Believing good products and services sell themselves without actually selling. It just doesn’t happen. Entrepreneurs are good at planning, but don’t spend time getting out and actually selling to people who might want the product someday. Advertising doesn’t build up the “know, like and trust” factor; you still have to have sales conversations.
- Thinking it’s a numbers game – the more prospecting, the better. You are most likely going to do the wrong thing more often. You need to know what to do correctly, and how to connect with people correctly vs. more frequently.
- Focusing on what to say and the client’s objectives solely, and not selling your own services in as well. Pay attention to what is popping into your head for objections while you are listening to the prospect, and know when you can stand on your own two feet to overcome their objections. Don’t get caught up in your own negative story (no time, not good enough, pricing). Be confident or they won’t believe you.
In short, sell from a place of power instead of a place of fear.
Want to learn more about developing your own mindset? Learn more about having sales conversations with coach Kate Beeders and let your true brilliance shine in a two-day workshop from June 22-23 at the Wellesley College Club. If you sign up using the code YES17, you will save money and get a super special seat next to yours truly. Website: http://www.
By Julie Dennehy, APR and President, Dennehy PR