By Ann M. Strout
Over the years, all of my clients have faced one similar struggle. While many of them work beyond it, or for some this concern ebbs and flows, finding clients is undeniably one of the hardest parts of being in business for yourself.
However, what if I told you that there is an easy way to find consistent clients and all you need to do is be yourself?
It’s true, but let’s back up a bit.
I remember when I first started my business. I dreaded the mere thought of doing sales calls. I hated sales and I remember thinking, “I suck at this!” and I’m not normally the kind of girl who thinks that way. I’m smart, I’m confident, and I know I’m great at what I do.
I also didn't want to feel like I was on the stand being interrogated, and any minute, my potential client would say, “You’re a fraud! I’m not hiring you!” Yikes! Or even worse, what if I didn't know what to say or how to help them? Fortunately, neither of those scenarios ever happened, but I had really gotten in my own head about sales calls.
I knew something needed to change.
Once I did a little soul-searching on why sales calls were such a stumbling block for me (and many of my clients), it occurred to me that I actually enjoyed part of the process. I had a passion to learn everything I could about my ideal clients.
That was when I began to reframe sales calls. I started working on simply having conversations.
If you were going to have a conversation with your best friend, would you premeditate what that conversation would be about, how you can help them, and how you will answer their questions? Of course not, because it's just a two-way conversation between two friends.
You can use that same magic of a conversation between friends on sales calls. Many coaches call them discovery calls or discovery sessions, but no matter what you call them, they are not meant to give answers, solutions or sell anything. In other words, take the sales out of the sales call.
I had been so focused on getting a new client and making a new sale that I didn't realize people don't like to be sold to anymore than I don’t want to be that sleazy salesperson.
People are not sold on your benefits or how you have all the right answers. People are sold on how you show up to just be present with them.
People want to be heard.
Conducting discovery calls this way has changed everything for me. Now, it’s not uncommon for me to book 45 discovery calls in 30 days with a 98% successful closing rate.
That means a lot more clients and a lot more income. You can have this too. Here’s how …
1. Get in a positive mindset.
If you are entertaining negative thoughts like I was about how I “sucked at sales calls,” you will struggle to get clients on your calendar because subconsciously, you will avoid opportunities to put yourself out there and speak to people.
2. Begging gets you nowhere.
What I see too often is messaging that comes off as desperate or needy, which will turn people away in a second. No one wants to work with someone who is desperate. The same goes for the slick and sleazy sales calls. Remember that your clients are looking for experts and leaders. Experts do not beg.
3. Clarity is key.
Once I got really clear on exactly who I could best serve and how, I was able to show up very confidently in my ability to serve my clients. The more I worked on this, the more confident I became and the more clients wanted to work with me (without even being asked)!
4. Stand out from the crowd.
If everyone else in your industry is promoting discovery calls and you are too, what makes your calls different? Only you can discover this. You have to find what you are really passionate about, and how you can stand out in a way that will speak to your ideal clients.
5. Simply have conversations.
I didn't care if I got clients or not, I just wanted to have a conversation, make a connection, and get myself out there.
The main reason clients say no to something they know they need has nothing to do with money and everything to do with fear. So if you’re doing more than just helping clients with their problem – you’re allowing them to talk and be heard – of course they are going to work with you!
Ann M. Strout is the strategic implementation expert who has been helping business owners succeed for the past 14 years. She supports heart-centered women entrepreneurs with implementation services, strategic planning, and online business management so they can experience wealth in all areas of their lives. Find out more and get your free webinar, 8 Mistakes Small Business Owners Make that Kill Their Business at http://www.annmstrout.com/8mistakeswebinar.