How to Sell Your Services if You Can’t Sell. Part One

You’ve got a website and of course it’s wonderful, getting you all sorts of enquiries, with the resulting income enabling you to live the life you deserve.  Well, maybe…maybe not, after all Solid Web Strategies creates excellent websites, with great content and fab SEO, so you COULD ask us to do your site for you.  Did we not mention that?

Let’s assume the following scenario, however:

  • You’re an expert in what you do.
  • Your site is pretty good, with effective SEO and great social media links
  • You get enquiries via your website
  • You meet a fair amount of people at networking events,  BUT BUT BUT

You can’t actually sell.  Anything.  You think that you just don’t have that skill and you don’t know how it “works”; you think maybe it’s all a bit vulgar, after all, you don’t sell photocopiers, or used cars, wear loafers and the hard sell – well, Good Lord No.  People just realise how great you are and you don’t have to do anything.   I’ve got some news for you:

Get with the programme.  If noone else promotes your services then who will, exactly?  If you’ve got your own business I expect you’ve noticed by now that you need more than one skill and that includes knowing how best to market and promote yourself.  Fail to do this and never mind, I’ve got some Tesco application forms that I could pop in the post for you because your business sure as hell ain’t gonna last.

Selling isn’t actually selling.  It’s adapting your services to a particular need and creating a compelling requirement for what you do.  You are a consultant, finding out what your prospect needs and filling that gap with your expertise and your advice.  Here’s the first three stages (there are quite a few more, of course and I’ll document these soon) of how it works.

Right.  Let’s assume that you know your market, in fact you know everything about who buys your services and why.  You’ve done your research and you’ve established your unique selling points.  Here’s how to start.

1.  Who is your decision maker?   Find out who they are like this:

Put “managing director” (for example) and the name of the company into Google to find his or her name and do some research on that individual and importantly, the company in question.  Look at their news section or at any other business news on line.  Forearmed is forewarned.  Do not under any circumstances waste your time by seeing a non decision maker.

2. The initial contact

Let’s say, an email is appropriate here (as no doubt picking up the phone is terrifying but I’ll cover this in another post).

Getting an email address could be tricky but not always.  If it’s not obvious, try firstname.lastname@abc.co.uk or various combinations thereof.  Emails could bounce back to you but keep trying different versions.  Or you could call the company in question to check that person’s email address.

You need to give them a compelling reason to see you.  This will mean a way to a) make them  money, b) save them money or c) add value to their organisation in some other way.  Basically, though it’s all down to points a) and b).

You are selling the benefits of a meeting with you at this stage and nothing else.  You are NOT selling your services, so:

Dear…

Please excuse the nature of this unsolicited email, but I was just looking at your website and noticed that  xxx.  This impressed me as, in my business as a xxx I often xxx and thought that I would contact you with regard to setting up a meeting in the next few weeks.

I’m a xxx, with a focus on xxx and have worked extensively within the xxx industry.  I help companies to xxx (benefits, benefits, benefits) and I’m delighted to have loyal, returning clients (or something like that).  Therefore, if you don’t think me too cheeky, I’ve got some ideas that I’d like to share with share with you.

Would you be free on xxx at xxx?  I’d be happy to come to your offices at xxx for a meeting.  Do let me know as it would be great to meet you.

Yours sincerely…

See how that works?  And now…

3. The Meeting itself.  Ask some good questions.  Don’t even think of “selling”

You deserve this person’s time as you are a professional person with a great deal to offer.  Don’t wear jeans.  Don’t be late.  Don’t ever be late.

  • What does your business do?
  • Who do you sell to?
  • What are your objectives for this year? In the Long Term?
  • What is lacking in your business (relate this to what you do in some way)?

etc.  Come back to me if you need some extra help with these questions.

Now, it’s time for you to take your prospect through the process of how you would work with him/her. Gently does it, reign yourself in a bit, be enthusiastic but calm;  explain clearly and precisely, with benefits focused language that underpins your general overall marvelousness and your prospect will be loving you in no time.

Commit to a next action, which is normally putting something in writing and so…a future post from yours truly will take you though the next few stages of how to sell.  See.  Easy?

Susan Beckingham of Solid Web Strategies (me!) has had over 25 years’ senior level sales and marketing experience.  Yes, she really is that old.  Susan helps people with business plans, email marketing, business proposals and even elevator pitches.  She’s really not bad at all.  Give her a call on 07816 684 756

 

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