Words You Should and Shouldn’t Use in Sales Conversations

The words you choose to use matter. Words are very powerful.  In, fact the words that you use may positively or negatively impact your Mutesales.

You have probably heard at some point that people buy things based on emotion and then justify their purchase with logical reasons.

In every sales conversation, the buyer holds some degree of ambivalence around making a buying decision.  On one hand they want the promised outcome, but on the other hand, it is going to cost them something (money, time, energy, etc), so there is some fear and worry around making the right decision.

Emotions can either pull a potential client towards working with you or sway them in the opposite direction. Every word that you say elicits some sort of emotion, either positive or negative. Because of this, it is important to be mindful of using words that elicit positive emotions toward working with you and avoid using words that evoke negative emotions.

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Sell the Finished Product Not the Bits and Pieces

I’m sure you’ve been told or at least heard the phrase, “Sell benefits not features.” Well, I’d like to take it one step further.  Not only do youtoyparts want to focus on selling benefits, you also need to focus on selling the finished product or end result.  Benefits are only benefits if they somehow support achieving the desired outcome.

I have 3 little girls and one thing that I’ve noticed is how good toy companies are at selling the finished product.  Whenever we buy some toy, whether it’s a doll house or a bicycle, it comes in a package with all these bits and pieces that need to be assembled.  The picture on the box, however, always shows the finished product.  The bicycle on display, is always “road-ready.” Why? Because we buy the finished product.  Toy companies know that they can’t leave it to our imaginations to visualize the potential within all of the bits and pieces, how the bits and pieces fit together, or why we even need all of those parts.  Therefore, they focus on the finished product.

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Don’t Flake Out on the Follow Up

Over the years, I’ve met a boatload of women entrepreneurs that spend a lot of time networking each week and speaking to different groups and organizations only to wind up with a less-than-ideal number of clients. womanatbar

If you’ve been reading my writing for any length of time, you might know that I consider speaking and networking to be high-octane marketing strategies. High-octane marketing strategies are strategies that quickly result in leads that turn into paying clients. So why do I see so many service-based business owners struggling to get clients this way.  The answer is simple: lack of follow up and follow through.

Imagine this …

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Tips for Creating a Business Plan You’ll Actually Use

Over the last few weeks I’ve been talking to members of the BrightFire™ business community about writing a business plan.  Having a solid business planbusinessplan will definitely help to boost your sales because it focuses your attention and actions towards achieving your goals.

However, it has occurred to me that most business owners usually fall into at least one of three categories when it comes to business plans:

  1. They never create a business plan to follow.
  2. They write a business plan but they never refer to it.
  3. They have a business plan but they aren’t sure how to use it to grow their business.

Writing a business plan is useless if you don’t use it.  The whole idea behind writing a business plan each year is to actually have a plan that allows you to accomplish what you want instead of flying by the seat of your pants.

A lot of entrepreneurs actually love winging it, but growing a business does require some strategy.  You don’t have to create a super long and boring business plan to be effective.  It can be thirty pages or one page–whatever it takes for you to get a workable plan down.

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Are You Wrapped Up in Your Work?

Are you “wrapped up in your work?” Before you answer, I should explain that I’m not asking you whether or not you are a “workaholic.”  Instead, I’m womanwrappedasking if the work that you do creates an insulated barrier between you and your prospects. Do you spend a lot of time networking and talking to prospects but they don’t seem to grasp exactly what you do and what you help people to achieve?

If so, this is a sign that you may be wrapped up in your work.  Let me explain further…

In order to be successful at closing more sales (or even generating referrals), you have to be able to talk about your services in a way that inspires people to do business with you.  The problem is, when you are wrapped up in your work, you tend to have a self-centered way of speaking about your services, rather than a client-centered approach. Selling is all about serving, so a self-centered approach is not an effective way to inspire people to work with you.

Many service-based entrepreneurs are wrapped up in their work because they are extremely passionate about the work that they do.  This passion is priceless! When channeled outwardly, it allows you to help more people! When channeled inwardly, it creates that insulating barrier I was talking about earlier.

So how do you know if you’re wrapped up and what should you do?

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Get Past “No” and Improve Your Sales

Most entrepreneurs that I have encountered tend to take a “no” response from prospects as a personal rejection.  One key to increasing your sales and No!serving the people you are truly meant to serve is realizing that “no” is not a personal rejection of you.  Often times, it’s not even a rejection of your services; it’s just the first response that comes to mind when prospects have a concern that needs to be addressed.

Your job is to address your prospects concerns so that they can make an informed decision about whether or not to work with you. Helping your potential clients acknowledge and process their concerns is actually one of the ways you serve them through selling.

Unfortunately, most business owners shut down when they hear no and scurry away with their tails between their legs. Others, relentlessly try to convince their prospects that their product or service is right for them. Neither of these approaches serve your potential clients and they do not serve you either.

In order to find the solution that’s really best for your potential clients (and you), each party must truly be aware of what “no” actually means.  Exploring their true concerns will help you both craft a plan that meets their needs.

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Prospect Outside of Your Usual Territory and Get More Clients

Traditional salespeople tend to concentrate their sales efforts within a set geographical area or territory.  Over the years, I have found that entrepreneurs and self-employed professionals tend to do the same thing.  While they may not limit their prospecting to a specific geographic location, territorypinonmapthey do subconsciously limit their sales “territory.”

Most entrepreneurs start out by selling their services to people they feel comfortable around: friends, family, and other people they already know.  This is a fabulous way to get your business started and gain some confidence in selling your services.  Eventually, however, you’re going to have to step outside of your comfort zone in order to maximize your sales.

Selling can be very intimidating if you’re just starting out in business.  It can also be intimidating if you’ve been used to sitting back and getting a steady stream of referrals.  It can be down right frightening to sell outside of your usual circle of influence if you’ve never had to do it before and/or if you are afraid of being rejected.

In order to really be proactive and increase your sales, you have to be willing to look for clients outiside of your initial comfort zone.

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3 Ways to Uphold Your Boundaries with Clients without Feeling Like a Jerk

Once you have made a sale and have a new paying client, it is very important to make sure you are both on the same page and know what to expect from one another.

A while back, one of my colleagues was talking about a situation in which her client was pushing her boundaries.  The client had hired her to do some design work and she was requesting to make changes beyond the number of revisions they had agreed upon.  My colleague performed twice as many revisions than she had agreed to without charging for them.  Finally, after much frustration, she decided to tell the client that she would charge for any additional revisions.boundary

Generally speaking, men don’t struggle as much with telling people they actually have to PAY for extra services.  Unfortunately, situations like this are SO common for women entrepreneurs.  This is one of the ways women give up their power when it comes to money and sales. Women work themselves to the bone; busy over-delivering but not bringing in the dough they deserve. This situation only leads to burn out and resentment–and that just isn’t good for anyone.

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Know Your Numbers and Make More Sales

Selling is both an art and a science.  Not only do you need to master your own mindset and know what motivates your ideal clients to do business with you, but you also need to know your numbers. Numbers

Do you know how many people you need to share your message with in order to generate enough sales conversations with prospects that actually turn into paying clients?

In order to reach your sales goals, you need to know how much revenue you would like to generate within a specific time frame and the specific number of income generating actions you need to take to get you there.

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How to Answer, “What Do You Charge?”

If you want to strike fear into the hearts of service-based entrepreneurs, just ask one simple question: “What do you charge?”question mark

For many women entrepreneurs, nothing in the entire sales process brings up more anxiety than hearing those words.  Those four little words have the power to conjure up fear of rejection, self-doubt, and our own confining beliefs around money and value.

Many people see their sales take a nose dive at this point in the conversation, not because their price is too high, but because they give their prospective client the perception that their price is too high.

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