Why you're struggling with sales and what to do about itFeb 22, 2022
It took me a while to get comfortable with the thought of “sales”. I’m unsure why but looking back I think it’s due to the sleazy connotations that come along with it. My perspective around sales started to change as I was practicing clinically and realized I was selling all day… selling new exercises, plans of care, changes in training volume, changes in training schedules… it was all sales.
As I evolved and went out to practice on my own, I realized it was now an “eat what you kill” mindset (very “macho”, but also kind of scarce minded). And honestly, that worked for a while, but it never felt like me. So, what would resonate?
Throughout my time in the fitness and rehab field, I’ve been exposed to many sales “tactics”. And here’s what I learned:
- Trying to replicate someone else’s process made sales feel like a lot of “work” or a very high energy task for me. I became hyper focused on the outcome aka “the close”. This mindset had me so blocked from understanding how I could help the person right in front of me that it led me into a mindset of “winning” or “losing” the sale. Here’s the problem with that, on a societal level we are taught to win, not lose. What this meant in my process was that the thought of winning superseded the thought of helping the person I was interacting with. The conversation became about the outcome, not the process of helping.
- How others view a successful sale was not how I viewed a successful sale. I think this one is easier said than done. We live in a performance-based culture. Literally everything is calculated as a score or KPI (key performance indicators) and while those things can help guide improvements or attention, they shouldn’t guide morality. Unfortunately, that’s a difficult sales-paradox. When I let others determine what was “success” for me, once again, it didn’t feel authentic.
- Too much of the sales process is “predetermined” to the anticipated product outcome. What I mean by that is we already have an idea of WHAT we want to SELL before we know what the client needs. An example of this is going into a sales call or convo with the anticipation that we are going to sell an “X” visit package (and then loathing in the subsequent dissatisfaction when we don’t). What if that person didn’t need that many visits, but it’s our best deal or offer? Another paradox. I think of this process similar to a chemist (yes, like I talk about in coaching) where we are manipulating variables to create a reaction for a client. In this case it’s about figuring out what is that client’s unique formula of the service we provide to help them on their journey.
- Our businesses aren't Netflix (or any other massive corporation) … Yikes a stark realization. In many circumstances, your business is just you! Why does it have to be anything else? It doesn’t scale? Ok… Why does it have to? – Because we are focused on performance and that’s what businesses are “supposed to do”. Have you considered what happens when you do scale? Maybe or maybe not, neither way is wrong, but everything has hidden costs. This is a concept of evolution over scale. If we are solopreneur oriented, scale might be finite, but evolution is infinite. A slight change of perspective, but a massive sense of relief.
Developing a sales style that is uniquely fitting for you will unlock a whole new version of yourself for this experience. Easier said than done as it can take a lot of practice and learning moments, but another eye-opening realization. People can feel what is forced, you can feel when you have to convince, and we get subpar outcomes when we convince.
So, what can you do?
Ask more questions – “what do you mean by that?” - is one of my favorites.
Listen more carefully to what they are really saying. – Is it that the offer is too expensive or they don’t understand the value?
Genuinely care. – No tips for this one, but if you’ve bet on yourself, you care!
Ask for the sale when you think they are ready to say “yes”. – We ask too early. Just like it fitness, if we are committed to the process we need to meet our clients where they are at.
And just be you, it’s why they inquired in the first place.
Interested in learning how to apply this to your clients?