“Plant a tiny seed in the right spot and it will grow without coaxing.
~ B.J. Fogg
Confident, Congruent Sales in Business and Life
Sales is not just about money.
In fact, in many ways sales is hardly about money at all (see my previous blog: “The #1 Life Skill” to discover what I mean). I believe that failing to understand this important truth is one of the major reasons that many people have a visceral anti-selling response. I mean, I don’t know how many times when I tell someone, “I’m a sales trainer and speaker who helps people get more of what they want,” they just about step back with their hands up to ward me off and say with disappointment, “But you seem like such a pleasant person! I was looking forward to talking to you some more.”
The real problem most people have with selling (or at least with closing sales) is that they only know how to do it in ways that they know are not congruent with who they are and how they want to treat people. What I do, is to help people discover how to sell their ideas, plans, products, services, and dreams in a way that is comfortable and congruent with their values and goals so that they can confidently reach toward their loftiest ambitions and gain a horde of excited followers along the way.
Should I Repair, Renovate, or Re-build My Sales Process?
To some degree, the answer depends on what your current sales process looks like.
At the same time, I’m a big fan of using organic growth wherever possible… Especially when it comes to closing sales.
I remember one delightful woman who came to my Confident Closing workshop who hadn’t closed a sale in months! (Luckily, Jenna wasn’t dependent on her start-up to live or she would have starved.) On the first day, we worked through her client avatar and elevator pitch and by 1pm the next afternoon she had closed a sale for several thousand dollars just by rejigging her approach. Over the next week she closed 5 more sales – 2 had been pending for months and 3 came as referrals – just by making small changes.
As we worked together over the next few years, her pipeline grew, the channels that fed it expanded, and her sales increased in both number and value. Today, her sales process looks completely different from those first struggling efforts, but we never set out to rebuild the whole thing in one go.
The 1% Option
In many ways, sales are like habits. You can totally transform your life by starting from scratch and developing new ways of doing everything from brushing your teeth, to exercise, to food, to work… And sometimes that is forced on you by calamity or by a major change in your life. Most transformation coaches, therapists, and trainers suggest that you take more of an incremental approach if you want to create lasting change. That process lets you change one or two key things which lead to a significant outcome, and then slowly add or subtract other habits and behaviours.
I call this the 1% option – and it’s one of the most powerful concepts in many areas of life. In a sales situation (going back to Jenna, the woman I talked about earlier), this means setting sales goals that will help you build confidence along the way.
As I said, Jenna hadn’t closed a sale in months and her previous sale was $1,000 per month for 6 months. We talked about how much she wanted to charge and what her competitors were charging, but it was clear that she didn’t think she could make that jump. In the end, she decided that she could confidently ask for a setup fee of $1,100 + $1,100 per month for 6 months (meaning that her contract value jumped from $6,000 to $7,700).
Her subsequent sales over that week steadily increased in value and the last one of those 5 she closed was worth $15,000 over 6 months.
What Exponential Growth Looks Like
1% doesn’t seem a lot, does it?
Actually, it builds up quite quickly over time as an ancient Indian king discovered when he played chess with a visiting sage. The bet was that if the sage won, the king would place 1 grain of rice on the first square of the board, then double the number of grains on each subsequent square, which seemed like quite a modest wager.
However, when the king lost, he quickly realised that all the rice in the kingdom was not sufficient to pay his winnings and the sage made an agreement that the king would pay back the debt with interest to himself and his heirs.
Of course, that story represents 50% growth, and 1% growth is a lot smaller than 50%, but imagine that every week you added a 1% increase to each of the 7 key metrics of your business… In a week, you’d hardly notice anything, but in a year each metric would show substantial change and your total income and influence transformation would be dramatic – even though it had happened almost invisibly.
The Confident Closing Challenge
I run the 5-day Confident Closing Challenge regularly to help people see how easily they can dramatically increase both the frequency and value of their sales. In just 5-days, you can see the increase in confidence and optimism as sales flow in and participants realise that ‘confident,’ ‘congruent,’ and ‘sales’ really can coexist… And that the art of Confident Closing is something they can master and enjoy.
To learn more about the 5-day Confident Closing Challenge go HERE to sign up for out next challenge.