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  • Writer's pictureCameron Scott

How to start any sales conversation

We’ve all been there...

The first meeting with a potential customer. A make or break chance to grow your business.

If you’re like most, your business thrives on these high-quality conversations with people that genuinely need your services.

Whether you own your business or work for a business. Whether you are a coach, consultant, accountant, agency owner or any other profession - if you have these initial calls with potential customers, you are a salesperson.

And when it comes to your business growth, the job of a salesperson is the most important job there is.

You see, your prospect has a challenge that they think you may be able to solve. But at the same time, they’ve been burned before and they have a nagging concern in the back of their mind as to whether you can be trusted...

Perhaps they’ve had a previous poor experience with a service provider offering them the world without any results. Or a pushy salesperson that refused to take no for an answer...

Your prospect is hopeful you can solve their problem, but at the same time, they have their guard up. It’s your job to win their trust and bring that guard down so you can help them.

There are many, many factors that go into increasing sales. But there is one quick, easy way to set the context for the conversation to substantially increase your chance of success. To grow your sales and get more clients.

A way to get your prospect talking about their challenges and sell themself on why they need your service (100x more powerful than you selling them).

By opening your sales meeting in the right way, the whole context of the conversation changes.

You transform from ‘just another salesperson’ to a Trusted Advisor.

Contrary to what most people think, the most powerful way to be in control of a conversation is not having the gift of the gab or talking your prospect into submission. To truly wield influence, the most powerful tool in your arsenal is a question.

In fact, there is one question that I’ve found will not only set the scene for a productive, focused conversation where you can increase your chances of making the sale, but you’ll instantly qualify your prospect and find out what their biggest challenge is in order to solve their problem.

This is a tactic that I’ve used for years in my own sales approach and as soon as I started implementing it, I saw an instant boost in my win rates that’s sustained ever since.

The question that I begin every sales conversation with (after a quick introduction and spot of small talk), and recommend all of my clients begin a sales conversation with is:

“Prospect. It’s good to be speaking with you today... The majority of my clients share a couple of big challenges:
  • Challenge 1

  • Challenge 2

Is that something that you can relate with? Is there anything that you’d add to that list of challenges?”

99% of the time, this sets a potential client off in agreement with the two big challenges they have (that YOU solve) and how they’re experiencing them in their own world.

By asking this question you get the prospect talking about their biggest pain points and bringing to the surface the biggest challenges they face.

They feel the pain of those challenges. They prime themselves to take action on solving their problems. They provide you with invaluable information that you can use to tailor your solution to their needs.

Now of course, this requires you to know the biggest challenges your customers tend to face.

But come on, you know that better than anyone. And with a little thought, I’m sure you can arrive at those challenges pretty quickly.

When you start implementing this approach, you can build trust and rapport with your prospects. It's also a good test of how effective your lead generation is, if people agree with the challenges you present then your lead generation strategy is likely on point. If you consistently get confused answers and responses then maybe it's time to revisit your lead generation strategy.

Either way, it sets the tone for a productive conversation so that you can increase sales.

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