19. How to Get Comfortable With Sales Conversations
Love your animal-based business, but hate the cringe-worthy feeling of closing a sale with your clients? This episode is for you! This week, Kim and Cara tackle the topic of sales conversations. Get ready to flip your sales conversation management skills from awkward to confident and become the problem solving expert your business needs you to be.
Our Big 3 Takeaways
Don’t think of it as selling, think of it as conversations
Be helpful. Be kind. Be focused. Most importantly, be a person first! No one wants to talk to a salesperson so work to have an authentic human to human interaction with your clients pulling from what you already know about their needs. This is a great place to start establishing trust by doing the things you say you will do and remembering what your client is telling you about themselves and their animals.
Ask open ended questions and tailor your responses accordingly.
Ask open ended questions to determine the “why” or the problem that spurred your client to contact you in the first place. Let your customer tell their story and as they do work to keep them focused, organized and directed towards their ultimate needs. By being a guide through the process you allow your customer to be the hero to their story by making the final decision to purchase and solve their problem… with your business!
Guide the conversation toward an assumption of the sale.
Let the consumer tell you if you’ve gone too far. This is not about being pushy, but it is about getting the consumer to pull the trigger on the purchase so you can have the revenue you need to support yourself and your business.
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Transcripts are autogenerated and may contain typographical and grammar errors. This transcript is copyright©2021 Kimberly Beer and Cara Taylor Swift. DO NOT COPY in whole or part without written permission.
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Jaz 0:01 Welcome to The Business Animal podcast. saddle up for a gallop to the top of the animal industry, where you’ll learn how to tame your wild business beast, with tips, techniques, and tools that will take overwhelm to obedience school, and have you wagging your tail with joy. And now your hosts, Kim Beer, and Cara Taylor Swift. Kimberly Beer 0:23 Hey there business animals. It’s Kim with Be More Business Cara Taylor Swift 0:27 and Cara Taylor Swift with Fast Horse Photography. Kimberly Beer 0:29 And today we’re here to talk with you about how to start and manage sales conversations. I know this is a really tough subject for a lot of people selling is really hard. I happened to be really twisted. I actually love sales. I don’t think that that was a relationship that I started out loving sales of but over time I’ve really gotten attached to it. And I’ll tell you selling now for me is so much easier than it used to be. I’ll just make a little confession ages ago. I used to do telemarketing. So I think I got my sale. I didn’t know that. From telemarketing. Yes, I am full of little secret surprises. You will never believe what I sold. Carpet Cleaning. Cara Taylor Swift 1:13 Oh, I was going somewhere else. I was like no carpet cleaning like going door to door carpet cleaning salesperson Is that what you were worse than that I Kimberly Beer 1:27 was the phone salesperson. It was telemarketing. It was cold calls. So they were they were almost cold calls. And guess what it was for a lawncare company? It was for Chem One, I actually worked for the lawn care company. And I don’t know they had this bright idea, I guess because you know, we live in the Midwest, and you don’t do lawn care for like four months out of the year or five. And they thought well, how can we like make money during those four or five months. And so they started a carpet cleaning division. Oh, wow. And so I actually worked as a customer service rep for the lawncare company. But in the wintertime, what we would have to do is this cold calling for carpet sales. And so I was that horrible person. And then I’d always have to explain, you know why I was selling carpet cleaning for Chem One. But I learned a great deal about some of the things that we’re going to discuss today in my telemarketing days. And then in addition to that, I’ve also spent a lot of time at horse expos selling a variety of products for various companies. So I’ve done a lot of in person sales as well. So over all of that experience, I’ve gotten really where I actually enjoy sales and selling. I actually love the horse expos, I don’t want to call call people. But the sales and selling part is kind of fun for me. I realized, though it’s not for everybody. So what we’re talking about today is to how to make that a little bit more comfortable. Cara, you want to take us through our big three? Cara Taylor Swift 2:56 Absolutely, I would have to agree with you that in person sales, for me is something that I’ve grown to enjoy as well. And I’ve never done any phone sales before. But a lot of the work that I’ve done historically has been face to face conversations. And it has been 100% a growth process, you know, something that I’ve had to grow into. So I’m really excited about this topic, because I feel like there are so many people out there in the animal based business sector that maybe feel like I used to feel very anxious about it very nervous about it just kind of, you know, super not into the idea of having to like actually talk to people and make sales. So let’s roll with this. So guys, our big three, today, we’ve got three good ones for you. We want to encourage you guys not to think of it as selling but think about it as having actual conversations talking to people. And this is going to be a no brainer here be helpful, be kind be focused. So we’re going to go into that in more detail. We also want to ask open ended questions and tailor your responses accordingly. The big part of that is the open ended questions side of that. So we’re going to jump into that. And then the third of the Big Three is, from the very first interaction with potential clients, you want to be guiding that conversation with the assumption of a sale and guiding them towards the assumption of the sale. So let the customer tell you if you’ve gone too far, that always needs to be your stopping point. So let’s roll into this Kim. How do you want to start I want Kimberly Beer 4:25 to start with a little story about a product that I sold at expos at horse expos. Okay, so I worked for a company as a consultant and marketing consultant for them for CSI saddle pads, which is a startup company here in Missouri and it’s a very popular company. Now a lot of people know who had CSI saddle pads are but I started with helping them out with their marketing way back in the beginning when no one knew what a CSI saddle pad was. The saddle pad is very unique. It has a plate in it that disperses pressure from the rider and it’s got a whole bunch of features that are really important. And it’s also a very expensive product to purchase, especially if you consider that you can buy a saddle pad at Tractor Supply. That’s just basically a rug for what 25/30 bucks, I think they’re a little more now, this product is multi hundreds of dollars, right? So when I got involved with the company, I actually went to expos with them. And I even traveled all over the country with them helping sell saddle pads, and I actually loved it, it was so much fun helping people get their horses saddle fit. But in the beginning, what I noticed when I was in the booth is if people walked up to the booth and they looked at the saddle pad, then they usually will ask like, how much if you just sit there and don’t start a conversation? They’ll say how much and when you gave them the price, you could just see it, they just they shut down and left. Right, it just was you answered a question and they were gone. They just weren’t out of there. So what everyone in the booth started doing was instead of just answering questions, or asking if they had any questions was when a person would come into the booth, we would all ask what type of writing do you do? Well, right there you have a conversation, people start telling you, well, I do trail riding or I have a reining horse, or I do show jumping, or whatever it happens to be that they’re doing. Now they’re talking about their horse, and you get to them talking about their their writing, well, they’re standing in an orthopedic saddle pad booth, right. So they’re obviously there for a reason they came in for a reason. So you start asking questions to find out, you know, what’s up with their horse? Is their horse showing signs of behavior issues? Are they concerned about their saddle fit, you know, then you can talk about the features of the product that apply to their unique situation, the truth is, is that the product sells itself the price doesn’t matter. Because when it comes to ending up in a hospital, because you have poor saddle fit, and it hurts your horses back and they end up throwing you off a couple $100 for a saddle pad is is a no brainer, right? So it’s just a matter of having a conversation. It’s understanding your your target market, who they are talking about what it is that they’re interested in, what is the problem that they’re trying to solve, and then you tailoring your unique sales conversation to what your product or service does for whatever is happening for them. That’s where true sales, it becomes a conversation. It doesn’t become a sales pitch, I think we are very in tune as consumers to people’s sales pitches, and we tuned them out. But when we’re talking about us, when we’re talking about our own horses, our own dogs, our own experience, our own problems, our own challenges, then all of the sudden selling, it doesn’t feel like sales, it feels like solving a problem. What is your thought around that? Cara Taylor Swift 7:59 What I heard you say was that you were doing so much more than that idea of just asking open ended questions to get to the pain point of your client or your potential customer right at the barest version of that you were being a person first, you were having an authentic human to human interaction with somebody, you were sharing the fact that you both have horses, maybe are you’re talking about horse behavior, you’re talking about horse issues, you’re being conversational, you are really kind of starting that process of establishing trust. And it sounds crazy that in a position like at a trade show, like you’re talking about where you’ve got to standing, there was saddle pads. But it really does start with something as simple as having human to human interaction. And then you go from there. And I think that’s amazing that you were having those kinds of conversations and getting them talking. And it sounds like your team was super smart. Because sitting there waiting for them to come up. Like I have never found that when someone contacts me and they say, you know, Hey, can you tell me what your availability is and what you charge, like if my response to them is I have availability next weekend, and my charges X, Y, and Z, my prices, X, Y and Z, I’m not most likely going to just make a sale there. Because my price point for my industry in my local area is higher than everyone else’s. So what happens at that point is I’ve done absolutely nothing to build an authentic relationship with this person to build trust. So you have to start with Well, tell me about your horse. Tell me what you hope to achieve from a session with your horse. So you start with those open ended questions and you build that relationship first. Kimberly Beer 9:34 Absolutely. And the thing is, is that you are creating the bar at which you’re going to be measured against your competition, right? And if you are more expensive, and don’t have as much availability as your competition, and that’s the only information the consumer has, when they’re making a decision. They’re never going to choose you. So when you have the conversation and part of it’s about building, you know, people don’t want to do business with a nameless, faceless company, we all resist that there are some times that we have to, but those tend to be the companies that we least like doing business with. We want to do business with people who understand us. We want to do business with people who get who we are. We want to do business with people we like. And that’s the equation here is that not advocating that you like, make friends with these people and go on trail rides with them. But what I am saying is that take a human interest. And if you take that mindset shift, and you shift from thinking, Okay, I’m selling you something to I’m solving a problem for you, then you’ve made a huge shift in how you approach people. And let me talk one moment here to our artists like yourself, Cara, people that are selling art, because they show up in my core classes all the time. And they’re like, yeah, that art doesn’t solve a problem. Well, yeah, does when people are looking for art, or they’re looking for something to hang on their wall, they’re looking for a connection to creativity. And maybe they can’t find that because they don’t have that innate talent in themselves. Or maybe they don’t have time or you know, for whatever reason, they’re seeking for that connection, and you as the artist provided. So you do solve a problem. And it’s really important for that mindset. I realize sometimes people are like, yeah, I can understand how a saddle pad solves a problem. But how does a photograph solve a problem, it solves a problem, trust me, if you understand your consumer well enough, you’ll understand what problem that solves. And then that’s the conversation that you want to start having. Because no matter what the price is, no matter what the competitor is doing. If you make the connection better, you’re going to end up with the sale. Cara Taylor Swift 11:48 Absolutely. And I have some other things I could add to that. What does art solve problems, but I’m going to hold on those right now. What I do think would be important though, is I want to get some folks some tips right now on establishing trust that I have had to really acquire in my work. So I would encourage people from those early conversations, when you’re building that relationship to take notes, I am the worst at remembering names. I mean, I think a lot of us can say that. But in this world where our minds are so like torn between the different social medias and our phones and everything that’s happening around us, it’s so easy, just forget names. And I will tell you, I had a client call me last year and say I have booked a session for my daughter for her senior portraits. And every time we have talked to this person, they cannot remember her name. And I am just calling you because I want to get some information. And that triggered something in my brain to be like, it is essential to this person that I remember names, right. One of the things that I like to do, and I’m throwing this out there for other people is take notes while you’re having those early conversations. So you’re asking those open ended questions, jot down things like breed of animal breed of horse, what is the animal’s name? What is the people’s names? Why are they coming to you at this time, you know, for me, it might be senior portraits or it might be that they’ve got a horse that needs a remember me session because they’re, you know, experiencing their last days or they’re Ill remember those conversations and write them down. Because these are things that you will need throughout that relationship building process. That has been one of the biggest things that once I implemented that really helped me with the relationship building side of that, establishing that trust and building authenticity around my product and my brand. Kimberly Beer 13:33 Absolutely care. Before you go on. I want to ask you a question. Do you record that in your CRM? Cara Taylor Swift 13:38 Yes, I have a form that I use. And I keep all of that. Absolutely. Because that’s Kimberly Beer 13:43 what CRMs are for this is when you talk about customer relationship management. That’s what CRM is stands for. It’s for taking those small little details, because let’s face it, when you have, I don’t know, I must have 1000 students in a year. I can’t remember all of them. But if I take good notes in my CRM, and I pull that person up, whether it’s on my phone, or on my computer, when they call, I have those details in front of me. And it’s almost like I’m psychic. And also let me give you something else. If you don’t have a CRM and you can’t remember, here’s what I do. I’m always like when they call, and I can kind of remember a few details, but I can’t remember them all. And I don’t want make any idiot out of myself. So a lot of times is what I’ll do is I’ll say you know, I’m so sorry. I am busy. And that’s the truth. I am I have a lot of things going on. I’ve got a million things spinning around me. Can you please remind me of our last conversation and just let them know you care and ask the question, because they’re usually happy to remind you about what you last discussed. But if you ask it in that way, because it helped me out, helped me out and help me remember that last conversation. It’s so much better than you trying to fake it through the whole thing and not remember their daughter’s name or their horses name. I remember everybody’s horses name but I forget that So and I’ll tell them right up front, I’m really good with horse names, but I’m terrible at people names. Cara Taylor Swift 15:05 I was just gonna say one of my favorite work life hacks is as simple as your phone, when you put their phone number in, if you’d save their phone number in your phone, there are several lines there, I will write the person’s name, their children’s names, their Animals Names. And so when their number pops up, it’ll say, Vicki horse Poncho located at and it’ll and it’ll just say what their barn is. And so when I pick up the phone, I can be like, hey, Vicki, how are you doing? And I’m dying to know how Poncho’s doing, you know, like something like that? Kimberly Beer 15:39 Look at you. But it’s a Cara Taylor Swift 15:40 very simple way. I mean, I can’t tell you how many Bella’s I photographed last year, but knowing that that horse is connected to that rider in it’s a really simple way. First of all, it helps me personally ingrain into my system. But what a nice way to be able to answer your clients phone and be able to let them know right off the bat that they’re not forgotten, Kimberly Beer 16:02 and that they’re cared about. Yeah, and their animals are cared about. I mean, I honestly care for all of the horses that I photograph. And I care for the horses that are coaches in the businesses that I work in. And I want to be able to know that but I also know my brain has limited capacity. Cara Taylor Swift 16:20 Right? Yeah, I mean, to forget these things, it’s not our intention. And so use those tools that are out there to help you be a better human being when you’re interacting with people. Kimberly Beer 16:29 Absolutely. So go on with your next tip. Cara Taylor Swift 16:31 Okay, so Kim, I’ve got some extra tips too, outside of the phone hack that I think everyone should use. Nice. We got a couple other ones. So a couple other my favorite tips are ask open ended questions. Now Kim mentioned this at the beginning and how important that is. But what you’re trying to do is determine the why right, you’re trying to determine why they contacted you why they stopped at your booth, why they asked a friend for this type of service, really what spurred them to contact you in the first place? Because this why that’s going to be your sales in helping answer that why for them before you go Kimberly Beer 17:03 on. define what an open ended question is, Cara Taylor Swift 17:06 okay, what would an open ended question look like for me? When clients contacted me for Horse Photography, I would say something very simple to get the conversation rolling, like, tell me why you contacted me today. And that’s when I hear all the amazing stories about how their eight year old is into horses, and they want to remember this time in her life, or they’re senior horse is going to be put down in two weeks because it has cancer or, you know, they just won this amazing award and they want to document it. That’s when you hear the why because that why is the motivation behind everything? Kimberly Beer 17:39 Yep. And it’s what’s going to connect you to them. Do not ask questions that can be answered with a yes or a no, that’s the big key to open ended questions. If you have a question that can be Yes, or node, rephrase it to where it’s something else like asking the person that came into my booth? Do you ride? That’s a yes or no question. Asking them? What kind of writing do you do? That’s an open ended question where they have to give a more detailed response. And if you keep asking those open ended questions, then it gets to the heart of what Cara is talking about with the why. So then, then you can really start having the conversation because that makes it flow. Cara Taylor Swift 18:20 Absolutely. And if you are sitting there having the conversation, and you find that you’re the one doing most of the talking, then it’s time for you to step back and take a break, you need to shut up, you need to stop talking. I don’t know how else to say that. Because you need to be asking those open ended questions and letting them tell you their story. letting them go through their Why tell you about the experiences that they’ve had in the past. These are opportunities for you to learn what your client really needs. And I would just encourage people be thinking about, are you doing all the talking? Are they doing all the talking, you know, you’re really going to be the guide. Along the same lines, I would say don’t be too passive, you have to find that middle ground. So let your customer talk. But we’ve all had those clients that can get kind of off topic. And the next thing you know, you’re talking about something totally unrelated, right? So you need to be their conversation guide. So let them talk but keep them focused, help them be organized around their needs. And then you are the one that directs them to that absolutely perfect solution that only you can offer as an animal based business owner, right? Kimberly Beer 19:30 Yeah, that’s where sales gets to be fun. That’s where the beauty of selling comes in is being able to get that conversation going. So here’s a couple of tips that I have to kind of help you with open ended questions. Think of ones that you can ask around your business and write them down and rehearse them in your car, talk to your mirror, talk to your steering wheel, talk to your phone, talk to your significant other, make sure that you practice those questions come up with a good List of them, so you have a few to pick from. So you can choose them from the situation, if you want to write them down or put them in your phone, put them on a note card, that’s a great way to help. Another thing that you can do to make sure you’re guiding the sales conversation along really well is to remember your sales points for whatever it is you’re selling, whether it be a product or a service. So memorize and rehearse the different sales points. There was a time when I was selling saddle pads with CSI where Donna who’s the owner of the company, and I would be in a booth, and we had our points, so well rehearsed, that I could actually listen to her conversation and tell a customer my points. It was it was really entertaining, because then we’d we’d swap stories about I heard you talking to that guy about this. And yeah, I heard you talking about that. But if you rehearse them that well, they come out on autopilot. And it’s much easier to keep that conversation flowing in the right direction. And make sure you stay focused on what the benefits and the features are of your product or service. Those are two tips that I have to kind of help guide your your conversation a lot and make sure you practice talk a lot. Cara Taylor Swift 21:20 your equine based business has unique needs. It’s your job to tell the story of your horse brand. You know what you want to say. But creating or finding powerful storytelling images that grab the attention of your ideal client can be a challenge, especially when you’re busy running your business. That’s why equine industry business leaders turned to Fast Horse Photography, and a library featuring 1000s of searchable images available for businesses just like yours. And guess what 100% of those images are horse related. Now finding the right horse images for your website, social media, and all your other needs is easier than ever find the perfect images for your equine business right now at FastHorsephotography.com. That’s FastHorsephotography.com. And there’s nothing wrong with having a like some kind of sheet like I use a worksheet with every client that I hold in my hands when I’m having sales conversations. And you can do the same thing with your CRM, like you’ve got guiding questions that help keep everybody focused, you’re getting all of your questions answered. But it’s not like I’m sitting here quizzing them or giving them an interrogation. It’s stuff that as the conversation flows, I can be documenting. But it also makes sure that my scattered brain doesn’t forget to make sure that those open ended questions are coming out. So Kim is right. You want to practice how you ask questions and the types of questions that your customers need from you in order to get their story and to get their why. But it’s okay to have some guides with you. Like I said, I have a guide that I use on the phone and in person that helps me make sure that I get to their why. So that then I can then give them the solution that they need. Kimberly Beer 22:57 Yeah. And one more thing that I want to kind of stress here because I know that there’s another group of people out there that are like, Okay, this is all great. I know that I need to have conversations with people, but I just don’t even know how to start. I don’t even know how to ask that first open ended question or when because it feels awkward to have a sales conversation. So here’s my rule. When I’m in an expo or a booth, if somebody breaks the line to walk into the booth, or if they make eye contact with me, I will start a casual conversation. And if they touch the product, or nod my direction and kind of act like they want to have a conversation, then I’m going to start in with the open ended questions. If you are, you know, just having a conversation with somebody and they expressed an interest in what you do, maybe offer them a sentence of some kind that kind of describes it. And then ask them a question around whatever it is did you provide ask your first open ended question? So there’s a natural way to do this. But when I was first learning sales, one of the things I did for myself was I made myself rules, like the breaking the line in the booth when people walked in that, okay, if they take one step over this imaginary line, then I’m gonna have the sales conversation with them right? Then I’m going to start the conversation. And then pretty soon after you’ve trained yourself, make up your own little set of rules. And then after you’ve trained yourself around those rules, it becomes organic, it becomes natural to have those sales conversations. So if you feel awkward at first doing this, don’t beat yourself up. We all did. I can’t tell you how awkward I felt the first few times I read a telemarketing script over a phone. So it’s just a process and the more you do it, the easier it gets. And the more you do it, the more fun It gets as well. Cara Taylor Swift 24:47 I think that awkward Part too can move us into our big three number three. Kimberly Beer 24:51 Yup. Cara Taylor Swift 24:52 Because here’s why you feel awkward. It’s not just the awkwardness but sometimes there’s actually fear that’s associated with making sales, right. And for me, the way that manifested was fear of rejection or fear of sales rejection, I used to be so wrapped up in the idea that my product or service was something that defined who I was. And I would take it personally, if I was rejected. So the idea that, you know, you, as a person, you know, are valued by your product. And I think that some people are really fearful of when someone says no, like, what does that mean? And how does that affect us personally, and it has been a big mind shift over time. And I know you have a lot of things to say about this Kim too, but I would encourage people to start to get comfortable with not everybody being right for your business, and not every sale happening. And one of the ways that I’ve done that is I’ve started looking at the no’s as good things, because that meant that for me, that was somebody that I successfully identified as not being right for my business at this time. And someone that has now made room for the next Yes, and made room for me to be able to fully engage and provide an awesome experience for someone who is my client. So that is a huge mind shift for me something that I had to work on for a long time, and every now and then I have to refresh my brain on it. So try to like flip that script for yourself. Kimberly Beer 26:24 Absolutely. flip the script. I know that it’s not just the no, for some people, it’s also the idea of being critiqued based upon whatever it is you provide, particularly for our artists, like people feel very comfortable walking up to your art and giving you a critique. And you have to let that go immediately. Do not form attachments to other people’s opinions. They’re not valid because they’re not your customer. If their critique is something that they don’t like they need to move on. Because Cara is exactly right. Not everyone is perfect for your business. But there are people that are perfect. And every time one of those people that isn’t perfect walks away, they make space for someone who is and you cannot get attached to it. Now as far as the no’s are concerned my business mentor Mark, he’s big into sales, he that’s a lot of what he’s done in his background. And what he offered me his little piece of wisdom around this was give yourself some kind of a reward for the no’s. Like if you collect 20 no’s in a day, go by yourself something nice, you know, put a put $1 in a jar every time you get a no, make the know a positive association as well as the Yes, a positive associations good idea and challenge yourself to say I’m going to keep calling people or I’m going to keep sending out emails or I’m going to send out letters or whatever it is that you’re doing, or talking to people at an expo until I get X number of no’s today and then if I get that many no’s, if I meet my quota, then here’s what I’m going to get that’s cool. So set it up as a game for yourself, especially at first so that it feels positive instead of negative when you get that no, it helps you rewrite that script physically, like subconsciously in your body, it helps you rewrite that script. So you don’t get so concerned about the no when they do happen, Cara Taylor Swift 28:23 we need to remind yourself that rejection is not a sign that you individually are a failure, or that your business is bad or that the service and experience that you provide is bad. It just means that at this time is not right for that person. And that’s okay. Another thing that comes up a lot, especially in my industry, and probably many others, is the idea of pricing and charging the idea of… I hear all the time charge what you’re worth, charge what you’re worth. And that’s all well and good as a concept of helping people, you know, really feel confident in raising their prices. The problem with the idea, and that language of charging, what you’re worth, to me comes when people don’t like your prices, right. And your pricing is tied to your personal worth as a human being that so that connection is to me can be unhealthy. So I would challenge people instead of the idea of charging what you’re worth, then I would encourage them to think more about charging what your product, what your service or what your experiences worth based on the actual numbers, your cost of doing business based on your market even and even that sometimes, sometimes your services may be a little bit different and your pricing needs to be different or the product that you’re using your goods are different and you need to have different pricing, but most importantly charge what you need to be successful as a business and not tie that to your personal identity and worth Kimberly Beer 29:49 well and I think that this also is another place to kind of flip the script a little bit to say when people reject something based upon the price. I don’t think That’s a rejection of you, I think that’s a statement of who they are. So for them, it may be too expensive, but for your right customer, it’s not. So it’s not a reflection of your value, it’s a reflection of what the consumer is valuing. And if they don’t value what you have to offer back to that what we just have been talking about, they’re not your customer, they’re not your person. And it’s okay, because that’s a representative of who they are. There’s nothing wrong with that. And it’s not judging you, is just a simply a statement of who they are. Cara Taylor Swift 30:36 Yeah, and I would say along that lines is you as a business owner. And and I know we can take it personally because we put our blood sweat and tears into our business. So it’s, it is hard sometimes not to take it personally, when we’re not a right fit for someone, right, because we want to be the right fit for everybody. You know, that’s what we want to be. But on the flip side of that is, you really have to believe in your business and your product and your service, I really feel that you have to in order to really sell it, well, you have to believe in it. And that part of that means knowing where your value comes from, and where your costs come from. And it doesn’t mean you have to sit down and explain it to people, but you do have to understand it and know the value of it in order to argue it Kimberly Beer 31:18 absolutely, you have to understand it, you don’t need to validate it to somebody else. But you have to understand it from your point of view. And I think this brings up a good segue into a couple of things. One of one of which is objections, which is another thing, people, I think they don’t like to steer business owners don’t like to steer that conversation towards the close, because that’s when the objections come up. And pricing is one of those objections. But in tendency, the objections tend to fall in one of three categories, money, obviously, but also time and fear. As a sales person, knowing how to navigate your way through those particular options, when somebody brings them up is really important. And I think Cara did an outstanding job here. She’s got ones that are, you know, what would people say and what really is the underlying meaning behind that particular objection. So this is too expensive. It doesn’t mean it’s too expensive. Yeah, it’s just what we’ve been talking about, it just means we can’t afford this. It’s their specific place. We can’t afford this right now. I mean, that translates into I feel, you know, this one to my core, but my budget doesn’t always allow me to do it. So and then there’s where we fall into a bad habit of wanting to discount things, which you know, you shouldn’t do, as well, Cara Taylor Swift 32:26 yeah, you never want to jump to a discount right away. I mean, if that’s something that you want to have as an option, then you need to know your bottom line and what you’re going to be comfortable with, and what you’re not going to feel icky about at the end of the day. But to me, when someone says this is just expensive. To me, this doesn’t, this doesn’t necessarily mean that we can’t afford this, it just means that that person isn’t valuing it, or they don’t perceive the value of it in the way that you need them too. So don’t be offended by this statement, it’s very easy to be like, Oh, I’m too expensive, or you know, it’s very easy to be offended by that and start to, you know, for those of us that didn’t have a lot of money growing up and things were too expensive, like you You can get in your way, again, with the money, you know, but I would say don’t be offended by it, think about things, you know, and start creating those statements that can come across as argumentative. While I don’t think so. Or Well, I’ve certainly paid more for this product. You know, just go back to the why, again, remind them of the benefits of the product, all of the amazing features. And once again, how your product or service or experience answers their Why? Because if their Why is strong enough to them, a lot of times folks will figure it out. So I would just try to get them there. And then if it’s too expensive, it’s too expensive in the end, but I always try to look at that question as doesn’t mean that they can’t afford it just means it’s being perceived as too expensive, Kimberly Beer 34:14 and the discount won’t help them buy that’s the thing that I think business owners sometimes get confused about and you’ll learn over time of being a business owner, you can discount it down to free and if it’s not valuable to them, they won’t do it. As a matter of fact, the things that I give away in my business are the things nobody does because they don’t value them. I have free courses on my website and people will not complete it because there’s no value in there for them. Now if they actually sat down and did it there is value in the course I packed it full of it but the reality is is because they have no perceived attached value to it. They rarely if ever complete it and I don’t know if you full confession it right now in your own vehicle or tractor or wherever you happen to be at Have you done that? Have you taken things that were less than you thought or was Wow, that price is so awesome. But because it was discounted, it somehow didn’t show up in your life quite the same way as if you would have paid full price. Every small business owner wants to gain traction in their marketing. After three decades of working with small business owners just like you, I have developed what I call my four by four marketing method. In just 190 minute session, you’ll discover the four major focus areas of a successful marketing plan. And together we’ll uncover where your business is getting stuck, you leave the session with an action plan of next steps that engage your revenue engine drop by BeMorebusiness.com to request your session today. That’s Bemorebusiness.com. See you there. Cara Taylor Swift 35:56 I can tell you 100% of the time when I have gifted a session, like as part of a fundraiser or something, it is never enough has been awarded to someone it has never been used to this day, because to the person who want it, it has no perceived value Kimberly Beer 36:10 I gave away. So one of the virtual conferences I did last year, they asked us to give away a whole bunch of stuff, I gave away like four really good sessions, not one of those people that one has reached out to me to book their session. It’s because it has no perceived value. So go back and go back and take advantage of that if you get the free stuff. Cara Taylor Swift 36:30 On the flip side, some of these objections that are kind of common, I think, for folks to hear. The last one we just talked about was this is too expensive. The other way you might hear that is we can’t afford this right now, which is different than that first one. And I personally feel this one to my core, because there are times in my budget, that it just doesn’t allow me to have all of the things that I want all of the time, right. However, I try to remember once again that they came to me for a reason that this client has a problem that you have the solution to, and they will eventually need to solve. So they’ve come to you for a reason, right? And there is a problem there. There’s a why. And even if they can’t afford it right now, eventually, that problem still has to be solved, they still need a solution to their why right? This is a really great time to pop up the value again, and really remind people about how this answers their problem, how this fixes things, or how this answers the why. And it’s a really great place for me, where I have reminded people that I offer payment plan options, or there are other ways to get there, you know, and maybe they can get there in a timeframe that works for them. So start thinking about some of those other alternative ways that you have that they don’t have to say no right now that doesn’t involve once again, offering a discount or doing something for free. Kimberly Beer 37:51 empower them to say yes, without disempowering yourself. Cara Taylor Swift 37:55 Sometimes I would imagine that people hear this challenge as well, I can get this cheaper from somewhere else. So if you run a product or service, you know, think about those things, Kim, you’re talking about your saddle pads, absolutely, you can go down to Tractor Supply and get an $80 saddle pad. But does that pad have all of the functions and features and value that a pad that you were selling that you sell for hundreds of dollars. So this is what I would say if they can get the exact same product or service and experience somewhere else, well, maybe you do need to take a look at your pricing. And maybe you do need to see what’s going on in your market. But chances are you offer a product or a service or experience that is totally unique. And you need to just talk to them about what that is. And as Kim would say, at some point, if they can go down the road and get it they think they can get it somewhere else for the same price, then this might be a time when you need to as Kim would say bless and release and let them go and let them have that experience. But I would say bless and release in the most positive, the door is still wide open for you to come back when you want to kind of way because what I have found is that cheaper option down the line might not give them the service and the experience that they were really hoping for. Sometimes it is a case if you get what you pay for the cheaper option isn’t always the best option. So if you keep your door open, and you’re welcoming and friendly and non judgmental, when they do call you back up, you know just think of all of that trust that was built there. Kimberly Beer 39:26 Exactly. And I’ll tell you what the saddle pads This proved out to be the truth. So over the years of doing expos and going to the same Expo five, six years in a row, the people that very first came by and when they heard the price, even at the end of the sales conversations, they kind of put their hand up and we’re like I’m out of here, and we would see them later in the day walking by the booth with a less expensive saddle pad under their arm. I mean, you work in the trade shows and you watch them go by and I would watch them like year after year. Try different things that were less expensive. And then finally it was to the point that they would come and purchase one from from us. And that’s a sweet moment don’t gloat. Cara Taylor Swift 40:15 not inappropriate response, Kimberly Beer 40:17 not inappropriate response don’t gloat but but you know, kind of go I don’t know, behind the curtain and celebrate. But it’s it’s a big deal. And as far as the ones that can’t afford it right now, I had people in in the expo selling saddle pads that would save up and they would be so excited when they were able to come in and write the check for the full amount. Of course, that company CSI did I don’t know, if they still do, they have grown beyond me at this point, they’re out there being very successful, but they did for a while take payment plans as well. So there’s a lot of ways around the I can’t afford this. And there’s a lot of blessing and releasing around, I can get this cheaper somewhere else. Cara Taylor Swift 40:58 And I have one more that I want to share that I think probably is a common one for a lot of us. And it’s when someone says, Well, I need to go back and talk to my husband, I need to go back and talk to my wife, or my boss, or somebody else before they can pull the trigger, right. So there are three possibilities for what this really means. In my opinion, this is either a simple, procrastination, they just need more time to think about it. Or it is a kind way of saying no. And they just maybe just don’t want to say no to your face. So they need to leave and go back and think about it. But there are some things that you can do to determine that you can ask, you know, what information can I give you to support this conversation. And that’s a nice way to kind of figure out if it’s a kind way of saying no. And then that third piece is if they say I need to go back and talk to my husband, my wife, my boss, whoever that person is, it could just be that they really aren’t the financial decision maker, and that you’ve been talking to the wrong person the whole time. So one of the ways I get around that is I always make sure I have a conversation with Okay, at this meeting, we need to make sure that all the financial decision makers are present. And of course, if you’re at a trade show, there’s not going to be an easy opportunity an option. But when you have a sales meeting coming up, and you know the focus of that meeting is going to be sales, it is okay to ask that they bring all of the important people that hold the purse strings. Kimberly Beer 42:24 Absolutely, I have a have a cute story. And I swear this is going to be a short one. When I was selling saddle pads, I was actually selling saddle pads and a bunch of other things, horse stalls. And there was a block of things that kept algae out of your tank and all kinds of stuff. But I was at the Denver Stock Show. And because of the booth was like multiproduct we somehow got stuck in the cattle barn. So everybody that walked past my booth were cattle owners. So the The fact is, is that they come I give my sales pitch. And they would walk on by and be like, Yeah, I would love to have that as someday if I ever own a horse, I’ll come back. And if you’d like or so I started asking them right away, you know, what kind of horses do you write when they walked up to the booth to find out if they actually had a horse, but that qualifying conversation is really important to make sure you are talking to the right person, and that that person could be your client before you dig into the whole sales thing. So in your questions, think of of your open ended questions, think of open ended questions that can qualify if that person really is the right person for your business before you dig all the way deep down into it. And then definitely asking to get past that gatekeeper if you want to. To close up our session today. I want to also give people a couple of tips about actually finishing this conversation. Because when you approach sales as a conversation, I’m going to tell you it takes longer having a conversation with people and understanding where they’re at is not a short sales process. It’s not like delivering a sales pitch and walking on it’s not 20 seconds. If you do it right. It can take a while in the booth when we were selling saddle pads, it was a minimum half hour to service a client. But that’s an important half hour right, there’s a time that you have to start closing that sale. So there’s a couple of ways that you can do this with open ended questions. So if you have a small product and you’re in an expo, let’s say like you’re selling art photography at a at an art show, what you might ask if you have somebody that you’ve had a long conversation with, and you kind of feel that they’re really ready to buy and they’re looking at a specific piece you can say would you like for me to wrap that up? So you can take it home today? Or would you prefer that I come and deliver it and hang it up in your house for you? That is an open ended question because it gets them to say Well, yeah, come hang it in my house. Cara. I’d love to have you do that. Bring your hammer and let’s have some fun or, you know, or no, this is not for me. And so it closes up the conversation in a way to where it brings it to a conclusion. So you’re not just like running down a rabbit hole for the entire time. When I sold saddle pads, a lot of times, I’d say which color would you like? They would go, Oh, you know, I want the brown one, or I want the, you know, blue one. So think of an open ended question that can kind of bring that sales process to a conclusion. Now, here’s another tip know how to finish the sale. I worked a lot of artists, I dearly love my artists. But sometimes they are befuddled about actually how to close the sale. So practice that part of sales as well. Like, where are your forms? Are you going to get their information, make sure you get their email address, by the way, you know, know where the credit card machine is, Cara Taylor Swift 45:53 is your credit card app up to date? Yeah, I just had that the other day it needed to be in the middle of my sales process, I have their credit card in hand, and my app is like you need to update. Kimberly Beer 46:06 So yeah, make sure that you can actually close that sale out and provide that end of the service. So that This experience has a continuity, you have to be professional and caring as you close the sale out. I think that’s my ultimate goal with that, Cara Taylor Swift 46:23 I just really hope this gets people thinking a little bit about it, and gives them a little bit of confidence to take some of those next steps in terms of the sales, I’ll wrap up our big three real quick just to remind people, so we just want to ask you guys, you know, try not to think about it as selling, you know, think about these as conversations about talking to people being human having those human to human interactions be helpful, Be kind, be focused. And then number two, don’t forget to ask the open ended questions and tailor your responses accordingly. Kim and I talked a lot about, you know, examples of open ended questions. So for you and your business, start thinking about those in advance, write them down, commit them to memory, and just get comfortable with wording and how you say it. I always tell people practice out loud if you can, so that when the time comes, and you need to ask those questions, you’re ready. And then the third of the Big Three is always be guiding that conversation down the road towards an assumption of a sale. For me in my business, the very first conversation that I have, I’m asking open ended questions about, you know, what people are going to do with their images so that I can let them know that the idea at the end of this is that they will have a product that they will be paying for. So always from the beginning of that conversation, and then let your customers be the one to tell you no and that you’ve gone too far. So those are our big three. We wish you guys the very best and having your sales conversations this next week, and we’re excited to hear what you guys think about this episode. Kimberly Beer 47:51 Exactly. And I hope that you fall in love with sales just as much as I have and how much fun it can be when you definitely make a mindset shift from selling people something to solving a problem for them and helping them out to have a better life and a better experience. Please tell us if anything in here helped you and we’ll see you next week on The Business Animal. Jaz 48:15 Thanks for listening to this episode of The Business Animal. Be sure to subscribe so you never miss an episode. And if you learn something today, leave us a review. To learn more. Find us at TheBusinessanimal.com we’d love to hear from you. Until next time, keep your business well trained with The Business Animal Transcribed by https://otter.ai
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