Suddenly, you’re face-to-face with your first potential digital marketing client.  You’ve selected your niche, focusing on local businesses.  You’re offering solutions that solve problems.  You have a relationship with this business and introduced yourself in a casual, friendly way that led to this meeting.  Now you're here! What do you say?  How do you distinguish yourself from the fourteen other guys who have come to this owner/manager claiming to offer the same thing?  How do you know what solution this business needs?

The answer to a successful sales call is to focus more on the conversation and less on the sale. In this video we will go through the steps of a successful conversation.  The goal here is not to make a sale, or pitch a random list of solutions. Instead, your goal is to understand what digital marketing your prospect is currently using, whether it is successful for them, and what they would like to do differently - if anything.  Your best chance of success is to shut up and listen.  Even if your prospect buys nothing today, you will have distinguished yourself as the person he can call in the future, because you have taken the time to understand what he wants - or doesn’t want.

Video Transcription

Sell Yourself Without Selling

Hey, it's Alzay Calhoun with Coveted Consultant.

This video is about what you say when you're finally on a sales call!  By the way, never have a sales call! Nobody likes sales calls. We want to have a conversation, one business owner to another business owner.  You’re here, either on the phone or in-person, to have a conversation with a decision-maker.  How should this sales conversation unfold?

Your Prospect Thinks He Has Heard It All Before

Let me tell you what they're used to and why you should never function this way. The business owner is used to sitting back in his chair and allowing the salesperson to go through their spread of services, because the salesperson is prepared to pitch something. So, they're used to sitting back with this “What do you got?” kind of attitude. You tell them about this and about that, and about this and about that. They think to themselves, "Nope, don't want that, don't want that. That could be cool, but I’m not really interested," et cetera. Right?

The result is that you, as the person doing the selling, now have to play the guessing game. You’ve  got to figure out which thing in your bag of tricks is going to get them to say yes to something.  We’re going to say “Whoa,” to this whole concept.

Let’s clarify two points:

  • He’s heard it all before, but has he understood it?  The business owner does not understand digital marketing nearly as well as you do. He can't speak the language. He doesn’t understand the functionality.  He’s not unintelligent, but he just doesn’t do what you do.  He does something else. So, speak his language with them.
  • Your goal is not to sell anything, to force a sale. Your goal is to understand his needs, and to have him make a decision about those needs.  In fact, you should not even judge the success of this conversation on whether or not you make a sale. You should judge the success on whether or not you understood your prospect’s needs, and if he made a decision about what to do about his needs.

Face to Face Sales Script

With all of that said, let's walk through the flow. So, here you are, on the phone, or in-person.  What do you say? 

  1. Explain how you, as a customer, use his business.  Once you express your appreciation for his taking the time to meet with you, give him an honest picture of the way you, as a customer, spend your money on his services.  “Here is how I shop in your business. This is where I go on the website. This is how I know where you guys are going to be. That this is how I show up at the store.” Tell the truth about how you shop. 
  2. Explain the truth about what will make it easier for you to spend more money with them. I'm assuming it has some digital marketing element to it and I'm assuming you can also solve a problem. So, you say, "Listen, it'd be easier for me if things worked this way, if this content was here, if the website was organized differently, if you guys had a better presence on Twitter or Facebook.”  Whatever makes the most sense.

    1. If you have any metrics to support your stance, that's even better. So, you can say, "Listen, people typically click through double when it's like this, or they find it easier to go from here to here if you set it up this way, or when you organize your homepage in a certain way more clicks go here or here.” If you've got heat maps or metrics to support your statements, use them. 
    2. If you don't, that's fine. It's the logic flow that your prospective client is appreciating. 
  3. "But I don't want to introduce any unnecessary side projects." Let him know that you’re interested in his situation specifically. In other words, "Business owner, I came into here with a concept, but I realize that it may have nothing to do with the plans you already have in place."
  4. "Tell me more about the digital strategies you are currently using.”  “Tell me what you're doing today. Tell me what's working for you today." When you ask that question, shut up and listen to the answer.  Let a prospect tell you everything that they're currently doing from a digital marketing perspective.
    1. Take real inventory and real interest in what they're currently doing. It may have nothing to do with what you suggested. It may have nothing to do with what you think they should be doing. It may have nothing to do with what you plan to offer them later in the conversation. It doesn't matter. 
    2. Ask follow-up questions.  "Really, how does that work and who organizes that? And how does that work for you? And do you like that?" Understand what they're currently doing from a digital marketing perspective.
  5. "Is that working for you?”  You know their setup.  Now find out how happy they are with it.  “So, I understand that you've done all those things and here is how it's currently set up, is that working for you?" When you ask that question, shut up and listen. Let them tell you if it's working and inquire more about that. "Why isn't it working that way? Who set it up that way?"
  6. "How would you like it to work?" Once more, ask the question and then shut up and listen.  Let him tell you how he would prefer it to work. He may say, "Listen, I'd prefer if the whole thing was digital, if this whole process was all digital. I'd prefer if we had no website at all, shut the whole thing down. I think we should be on Twitter a whole lot more, or Facebook a whole lot less. I've been trying to shift our media spin from here to here. I've been trying to get a content writer or a web designer.”  Let him tell you what he has going on and how he feels about it. Then you can move on.
  7. Now that you understand, you can provide honest feedback.  "Listen, I recommend that you stay with your current situation because you like it.”  Or, “Switch to this way that we have for you, because I think it's going to be better for you all the way around." Give that prospective client your honest assessment of where you believe he is. If what he has is working for him, it takes him where he wants to go, then let him stay right there. If you believe that what you have takes him where he wants to go even faster, then you owe it to him to recommend that improved solution.

"No Sale" is Still a Success

Remember: It is 100% okay if you do not make a sale. Why is that? Two main reasons:

  • You don't want to force your service on anyone. You've got to work together to make it work anyway. If they don't fully understand what it does for them, you'll take the money, but it'll be a hard project going later.

  • No other service provider is spending this kind of time with them. Everybody else is hard-pitching what they want to sell to your prospect. No one's taking interest in how that business is currently, realistically functioning.  They’re just trying to see if what they have to offer fits inside that prospect’s world. So, even if your prospect doesn’t buy anything from you today, his opinion of you has increased tenfold.  When he has another relevant need, he will reach out to you again because he knows he can have this kind of conversation. He has bought nothing and you have not over-invested, but the value you've provided to him is way above that of your competition. 

This is the kind of conversation you should be having.

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