While working recently on a new training segment about implementing sales skills, I found myself thinking a great deal about the power of intention.
It reminded me of my Division Sales Manager days (cue the “Glory Days” music) when we would end virtually every sales meeting or group email with “Sell like ya mean it!” I can’t exactly remember how it started or who said it first, but it became our mantra. And sell we did. We went from #5 builder to #1 in the market. In fact, we still hold the record for the number of homes sold and closed in a single year!
Now this didn’t happen overnight. It took preparation, dedication, and commitment. We tracked everything from phone calls, to appointments, to conversion percentages. We perfected our visual branding and the types of questions we asked. We analyzed the different types of communication styles and adapted our process based on them. The sincere intent to help customers meet their personal goals is what ultimately helped us meet our professional goals. We were dedicated to moving people forward in the process.
If you want to improve your sales conversion, think about your intention BEFORE you enter a client meeting.
Start with a plan
Keep the outcome in mind prior to the first contact. Start with a documented sales process. (If you are not sure how to do this, see the Make it Easy blog.) It is so important to have a “map” for both the sales person and the client to follow. You wouldn’t start driving your car without knowing where you are going, right? You have to discipline yourself to approach each meeting with the intention of moving the client to the next step.
Focus on solutions
There is a significant difference between presenting information and delivering solutions. This comes up often when I am working with interior designers, remodelers and home builders. They can be so focused on getting the client to “like” the design (which they can NOT control), they think they CAN’T move on to the next step until it happens. Instead, focus on developing a partnership so the client knows you will work together to finalize the details.
Don’t worry about being too “salesy”
This is the #1 objection I hear. “I don’t want to be too pushy.” Or “I am not really a sales person, I just want to help people.” Great! Successful sales pros are always looking for opportunities to help people. A consistent sales process allows for a more proactive approach. (This is a good thing. See Proactive Selling.) Assign a specific goal (finalize the budget, set the appointment, sign the contract, etc) to each step in the process.
Like anything, if you want to be really good you will have to practice, practice, practice. It takes time to develop new skills. (See Learning Process.) If it doesn’t work the first time, think about when, how and what you said. Had you clearly established your client’s needs? Were you actively listening? Did you have the right to close?
By clarifying your intention prior to any customer interaction, you set yourself up for success.
“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” -Wayne Gretzky
Take the risk. Swing for the fences. Put yourself out there. Go for the close. It’s time to sell like ya mean it!