Do you aggressively sell your services only to find that prospective clients — even those clearly in your target market — aren’t buying? Perhaps you’re struggling to find new clients because you’re afraid to overtly “sell” them.
“Just what is selling?” I ask at the beginning of many of my programs. The question elicits a variety of answers which provide a window into the thinking of the professionals and entrepreneurs in attendance.
“Trying to convince someone to buy what you offer,” “Saying things that persuade someone to agree to buy your services” and “Manipulating someone into feeling he or she has to have what you offer” are some of the answers I receive.
“If your view of ‘selling’ your services is something along these lines, it’s no wonder you can’t fill your pipeline,” I say. “If by ‘selling’ you mean some kind of noisy, pushy, aggressive hawking of your services, you’ve already sensed that ‘selling,’ as you have defined it, doesn’t work.”
What if you had a different view of selling? What if, instead of “selling,” you asked appropriate questions so that your prospect could come to his own conclusion that he needs what you have to offer? Stop selling, and start attracting business instead.
The next time to meet a prospective client, tell her what you do and then ask permission to explore her situation. The conversation may end right there, but since you won’t be “selling,” she may very well agree to let you explore. Then, ask questions that will help her unearth a specific need or desire.
What you offer is valuable. It’s something that people want and need. If you have even one client, you’ve already proven that. People need to know about your practice, and you should be proud to tell them about it. You don’t need to push it on anyone.
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Sandy Schussel is a speaker, business trainer and coach who helps sales teams develop systems to win clients. He is the author of The High Diving Board and Become a Client Magnet. For more information, go to www.sandyschussel.com.