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“You know what plan never fails? No plan. With no plan, nothing can go wrong.”
That’s a quote from Parasite, the Korean film that just won Best Picture at the Academy Awards. I watched it over the weekend with my wife – it’s fantastic. That one quote has been bouncing around in my head since I saw the movie.
This quote is disprovable in so many ways that I won’t begin to address it, but I understand why the character felt this way. I understand why you might feel this way.
I’ve talked to a lot of consultants and business owners over the last few years and I’m struck by the fact that, often, they think they 1) don’t do sales, and 2) even if they did, there’s no way to have a process around it.
But here’s what I know: if you’re looking to get better at sales, then you need a system. Because “better” only happens when you can repeat success, and predict an outcome. That doesn’t mean you’ll be right every time, but you’ll get more and more accurate as you practice. Nothing’s perfect, and therefore everything can be better.
You’ll develop a stronger gut feel. You’ll be right more often about the clients you win and the clients you choose not to pursue.
As you may (or may not) know, I’m working on a book that’ll help you sell more of your high-ticket services. The thing about buyer services is that they come with higher levels of risk as compared to products, and, therefore, a higher requirement for trust in order to mitigate that risk. Selling services is hard – that’s probably why you’re reading this.
Take everything you’ve ever heard about selling product, and triple the amount of risk mitigation and trust building required. Now you’re equipped to sell services.
You can think of it like a pyramid that builds on itself, giving you more of the outcomes you want: more opportunity, more predictability, and more rapid improvement.
Here’s the basis of an effective sales program, whether you’re looking to improve yourself, your team, and your company:
- Why: your motivation for selling your service (i.e. your company’s reason for being, or at least your service’s reason for being)
- What: your approach to helping your clients make the important changes they need to make in order to experience the benefits you deliver (i.e. your sales method)
- How: the steps you’ll take in order to help clients make a decision (i.e. your sales process)
- Feedback: assessing your relative success in executing the previous step
- Improvement: ongoing practice and reflection to address feedback you collect
Putting it all together, it looks like this:
I’ll dig into each of the layers in the coming days and tell you why each is so important.
Question for you today, and I’d love for you to hit reply with your response:
Which parts of the pyramid do you need the most work on?