First, understand the good news – You are an expert in your particular industries product or service delivery!
The secret to overcoming the fear of the sales process has a great deal to do with how we view sales and sales people. We all have had that bad experience with a sales person who is focused on dominating the conversation, power presenting, power telling, sales techniques (often executed poorly), manipulation, hard closing techniques, focused on their needs and not appearing to care much about ours. That picture frightens me a lot, as well. You find yourself saying, “I am not like that”, “I am not that slick, bold, well versed, pushy and it offends my sense of Integrity to think about manipulating someone else, so I can take their money.”
However, a “Consultative Sales” approach brings about an entirely different picture, once we are clear about the intent and process steps of this type interaction. The underlying theme of this Sales approach is much like the golden rule, “Treat others like you like to be Treated” and How can you take care of people by bringing value to this individual or their business, solving their problem or need and helping them to attain their goals. This philosophy of selling is much less frightening!
You will need to challenge yourself in regards to your own Personal Branding and understand its importance, perhaps work on a few things, in order to be effective. The old phrase, “you only get one chance to make a good first impression” is very true. So ask yourself – What first impression do you make? How do you dress, speak? Do you communicate effectively verbally & non-verbally? What picture comes to mind when: People interact with you? When they ask your clients about you? When they ask your associates about you? Do you add value to their lives & their businesses?
Once you feel comfortable with your own Personal Branding and how you show up, we can look at the steps in a Consultative Selling interaction, the steps are not complicated:
- Build Rapport (Did you make a connection)
- Perform a needs analysis (good open ended questions & Active Listening)
- Develop & deliver the solution (proposal)
- Close or follow up on the proposal to close
The thing about selling is “People love to buy, they hate to be sold” & that “Selling is not telling”, so there is not a lot of emphasis on power selling or telling in the consultative model above.
There is however, a Delivery Test, in the consultative selling model, if you are going to retain clients, build & maintain a positive brand.
- Did you do what you said you would do?
- Did you deliver what you promised, under the terms you promised?
- Did you continue to build the relationship?
If you focus your view of selling, using the consultative sales model, then I believe you will experience much less fear of the sales process, you will feel more confidence in your ability to build your company and appreciate how your experience as an expert in product & service delivery positions you well to solve your client’s problems and help them to achieve their goals.