Salvaging an interrupted sales conversation

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You've met your ideal client, you have a great conversation about how you can help them.  They're pumped.  You're pumped.  Sparks are flying. This is ON.  They're ready to sign on the dotted line, and you're ready to work with them.  What do you do?

  1. Get back to them with an offer the next day or week, because you don’t have an official system or package to offer.
  2. Mention you can work on an hourly basis until they get the results they're looking for.

It's like you're on a great date, then saying "I'll have to check my calendar" (which is on your smartphone right next to you) when he asks to see you again soon.  

Or do you let them know about an amazing package that delivers expert results fast? (hint - this is what you should do!)

Last week, I helped a client create a package to market to her ideal client.  The thing is, she already had met the client, and talked about a few ideas with them.  She also mentioned an hourly rate… without having a package to back it up.  

She interrupted her own sales conversation by not having a package ready to offer.

That’s when she brought me into the picture – to help her package and price her expertise in a way that her clients can’t wait to work with her, and she gets paid for the awesome result she delivers for them.   

When you’re talking with a potential client, you need to strike (make an offer) while the iron is hot, before they get a chance to talk themselves out of needing your help.  What to offer?  A package of sessions, or information or a program that you take them through that solves their pain point.

Otherwise, what should be a sales conversation is just a nice conversation between a person with a problem (potential client) and a person with a solution (the expert).  The person with the problem gets to ask questions about their problem from an expert.  The expert (that’s you!) shares a few nuggets to help them along.  

But to keep the conversation balanced (and use the sparks to your advantage), the expert (again, that’s YOU) also needs to ask a question – “I can help you get (this amazing result) with (fantastic program A or phenomenal program B).  Which one would solve your problem?”

In other words (if it’s not clear), you’ve just asked how you can help them.  And get paid to do it!
If you don’t ask them to work with you, the answer will always be no.  And you can't ask if you don't have a package to offer!

A surefire way for things to fizzle...  what not to do when meeting with prospective clients:

  • Do not show up empty handed without a package or program to offer them some help.  It might not be the exact format for the solution they were looking for (you can always come back with a custom package), but at least they have an idea of how you work and your pricing.  Side note:  don’t get stuck in analysis paralysis or think it needs to be perfect…  You can always tweak your packages for the next client.  Better to move forward with imperfect action than get stalled searching for perfectionism.
  • Do not talk about price before talking about results.  Clients will be focused on the investment, not the results, when you lead with how much it costs to work with you.  
  • Do not mention your hourly rate of $100, then say it’s a 5-hour program, so it costs $500.  When you refer to hourly rates, you commoditize the value you provide.  Rather than focusing on the results you could provide (you’ll look great in a few months for your beach vacation), your clients think “I can lose weight with somebody else for only $60/hour, not $75/hour.”  You give your clients the chance to price shop, and you’re not promoting the actual results of getting into the bathing suit!  Your clients aren’t comparing toothpaste prices at three different stores.  The service you provide, and the way you provide it, and your pricing structure, is unique to you.  

Keep the sparks flying!  These need to be ready to go before your sales conversations, you ask?

  • Package your talents together in a way that gets focuses on results for your clients.  Consider the steps to receive the transformation, the format (such as number of sessions), the delivery (face to face, phone, recording, etc), the bonuses, etc.  Any confusion on these items tells your client that you’re not confident about how you’ll help them get the results.  Confused clients don’t buy, so you need to have a clear way your peeps can work with you.
  • Price your package to sell.  Take into account the amount of time you spend with your client, behind the scenes, and the transformation that they will receive.  Be sure to consider ALL the time goes into working with them (face time and office time).  I actually keep track of my time per client, just to make sure that my pricing reflects my time and the results I deliver.
  • Payment plans are your friend – come up with the numbers before-hand.  You want all your information to be presented seamlessly and confidently during the conversation.  It’s helpful to have a price sheet (for your eyes only) to refer to with your packages, prices, and payment plans.   
  • An easy way to accept payment – if you get a YES from your new client, make it easy for them to pay you up front. 

And finally, how to rekindle the flames?  The next time that you speak with this potential client, you need to have another sales conversation.

  • Remind them again of the pain that they're experiencing, and how you experienced it too (and found a solution) or how your professional expertise is exactly what they need (to find their solution).
  • Let them know about your amazing, results-based, pain-solving packages, then let them know of the investment after you get their agreement.  Bring the same high energy to the second conversation, to light that fire again!
  • Follow up!  If you get a yes, great!  If you get a no, follow up in a few weeks.  By that time, they'll have realized they likely don't have the expertise or time to do what you already know.  

How do you salvage an interrupted conversation?  I’d love to hear!