It’s often frustrating when you’re trying to secure clients, sometimes you’ll talk to someone who seems like a perfect fit for you, but they either don’t get back to you, or they tell you they have decided to use someone else. With all of the work associated with pre-qualifying clients this can be a big letdown, especially if you’re desperate for new customers.
But often the experienced sales professional and I like to consider myself as one, have a few different ways to get to a yes that you might not know about or have thought about.
Understand What “No” Really Means
Almost all of the time, when a prospect raises an objection, they are really asking a question and not saying no at all. It’s your role if you want sales to know what type of objections your audience might have in advance and to come up with answers that educate and explain these objections away. I know when I started out on my own, I wrote down every single objection I could think of, and the best possible answer and believe it or not. Simply by doing this my prospects kind of sensed that I knew what I was talking about and many of the objections simply stopped. Why because your sales pages, email marketing messages, blog posts and other marketing material should answer most of these objections up front, so avoiding them later.
Be Committed to Getting to Yes
You should understand that most prospects simply need time to get to yes, if you have someone sign up to your email marketing list, and they are at least opening the emails you’re actually on your way to getting a yes. If they’re not opening the emails, it’s up to you to figure out why, for instance your incentive to signup might be targeted at the wrong audience… if this is the case move them to a new email list so that you can market to them much more aggressively. Perseverance wins over doubters, that’s why they say the money is always in the follow up… so if you keep delivering high quality educational content you’ll win them over.
Host a Webinar
Even service professionals can host webinars to discuss something they do for their clients. If you, for example, help improve conversion rates of shopping carts for your customers, you can host a webinar about “making your products stand out” or “25 reasons you are doing things wrong” if that happens to be your specialty. Then end your webinar with an offer they can’t refuse.
Spend More Time on Client Screening
If you are getting to the discovery call phase and getting a lot of “no” answers, it may be time to re-evaluate your client screening process. Potential clients that get to the call should be ready and willing to buy. The way you accomplish this is by building up an email list of leads who may become prospects, who will then be more likely to become customers based on the actions they take as you lead them through your product funnel.
Yes – You Need a Product Funnel
You no doubt read the words product funnel above and cringed. You don’t have one? Well you need to create one. A product funnel for a service-based business is not much different from a product funnel for any other types of business. You put the least expensive item you have at the widest part of the funnel, and the most expensive item at the narrowest part. In between you develop educational materials that lead the prospect through the funnel, sounds simple doesn’t it?
Stop Treating Every Prospect the Same
Every prospect you have is unique. You need to personalize your efforts for each prospect that gets to the discovery call stage. Learn all you can about them via a client questionnaire that you send to them prior to the call. This will help you narrow down what to talk to them about, as well as help you identify potential issues. Don’t worry about if you find out they are not right for you in the process. You saying no is acceptable.
Fine Tune Your Marketing Messages
If you are sending a lot of prospects to the discovery call phase and still getting a lot of no’s, then you may need to improve your marketing messages. As the person creating the message, you’re responsible for how your prospects hear them. If they’re not hearing what you thought they were, then it’s your job to go through every single message and fix the problems so that they hear your messages correctly.
Tell Your Own Story Better
When you look at high-priced items compared to lower priced items, they are essentially the same thing. What is it that differentiates the perceived value of the items? Is it really the ingredients? Sometimes, sure, but often it’s all based on perception. It’s your job to tell your story in such a way that your audience perceives your work as worth more than the work someone else does.
Getting to yes, and being the chosen one, doesn’t come from luck, it comes from experience and hard work and it most definitely doesn’t come from waiting around for things to happen. It comes from proactively creating a system that helps pull in your ideal customers. The clients who want to say yes, the clients who really want to work with you and are ready to do what it takes to do so.