Why I Felt Like Someone Punched Me in the Stomach and the Sales Process I Now Use to Make Sure I Never Feel That Way Again
About five and a half years ago, I started working in the personal development industry full time with Life Mastery Institute. I was working in sales and one weekend, I worked at a live event. There was a gentleman there looking to invest in our VIP program.
We chatted for a while and I learned that the man was a physician, and it was obvious to me that he was very successful. Needless to say, I was impressed. After talking for a bit, he stated that he wanted very much to invest in the program, but didn’t have the money.
As someone who’s been in sales for over 25 years, I knew that was a paradigm – a belief that had most likely been instilled in him during childhood about money, what he thought he was capable of and what he thought he deserved.
So, my next step was to try to help him source the money, which didn’t work because I let him convince me that he really didn’t have it. We ended our conversation shortly afterwards.
By the time the event ended, I knew I had made the biggest sales mistake I ever made.
Because I had been so impressed by the man’s title and his success, I hadn’t served this man in best way. I had abandoned the sales strategy that I knew worked.
90 days later, I saw that man at another live event, and as we started catching up, I realized that he had forgotten about our previous conversation. He told me that two months after he and I had talked, he had invested in a VIP program with another company.
The worst of it was that he felt like the other company had over-promised and under-delivered. In fact, his investment with the other company was twice as much as ours for a similar program. Now, he really was cashed out.
I felt like someone had punched me in the stomach…
I was shocked because the truth had been that he actually DID have the money, and that someone on the enrollment team at that other company had a completely different conversation with him than I did. As a result, this man ended up investing with the other company.
That day, I didn’t serve this person because I believed in his paradigm – in his circumstances and conditions. I didn’t stop to think that the simple fact was that he was scared to step into the unknown. And the truth was that if this was something that he truly loved, he could have taken just one small step.
Now, if this man had been thrilled with the results and support he was getting with the other company, I would have been thrilled for him. At the end of the day, my goal is to help people grow and get the support, product and service they’re looking for so they can move in the direction of what they want.
That day, I made a promise to myself that I wasn’t going to believe other people’s paradigms ever again, and that I would remember my process moving forward, no matter how impressed I’d be with the client or their story.
Thomas Edison once said, “When you think you have exhausted all possibilities, remember this: you haven’t.”
Sometimes, a prospective client will say “no” in a way that makes you want to give up and go home. However, you still have work to do.
Sales is really about serving. If you stick with your intention to sincerely serve your clients and prospects at the highest level, you’re much more likely to make the sale, bottom line!
So when a prospect indicates that he or she is not ready to invest, don’t get discouraged.
Avoiding a Costly Sales Mistake With Three Simple Steps
Whether you’re a life coach looking to build or expand your business or a professional with the desire to sharpen your skills in sales, you can use the following three steps to guide any prospective client or customer who has a paradigm that’s keeping them from following their goals and dreams.
Your first reaction when you hear an objection or paradigm come up may be to jump right in and respond immediately. Resist this temptation. When you react too quickly, you risk making assumptions about the person and their paradigm. Take the time to listen to the person fully and acknowledge that their reasons for not wanting to invest are valid.
The key here is to train yourself to stay focused on what the client is saying and the problem you are helping to solve. Listen with the intent of fully understanding the prospect’s concerns without bias or anticipation, and allow your body language and verbal confirmations to communicate to the person that you’re listening intently.
Many paradigms hide underlying issues that the prospect can’t or isn’t ready to articulate. Often the true issue isn’t what the person first tells you. It’s your job to get to the heart of the paradigm, and then fully understand it and it’s true source.
To do this, you must ask permission from the prospect to understand and explore the issue. Once explored, restate the concern as you understand it. Sometimes when you restate the paradigm, the person sees the issue more fully, and you get closer to the true source of the paradigm as a result.
Even after the prospect confirms you understand perfectly, ask “What else?” and “Why” questions for clarification. Often it is the answer to that last “What else?” that contains the biggest barrier to moving the sale forward.
If your prospect’s objection is money, a great question to ask them is, “Would this be an overwhelming ‘yes’ for you if the money weren’t an issue?” When your prospect says “yes,” celebrate their answer – you’ve just offered the solution to their problem! Then, and only then, talk about how to make it happen.
Talking about the ‘how’ provides the last bit of rationale that can push a prospect over the edge if they aren’t fully taken by their emotion.
Like it or not, there’s a sale made at the end of every sales conversation.
Don’t make the mistake I did and be sold on your prospect’s paradigms. Many people believe their paradigms their entire lives. Instead, if you really want to serve people, sell your prospect on the idea that there’s always a step they can take if it’s something that they would love.
Remember that when you become too impressed by someone’s circumstances or stories, you become useless to the client.
Would you love to have more tips and strategies for how to build your sales skills so you can help others achieve their greatest dreams?
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