You know that sinking feeling you get when you are on a call with someone and you know they are your dreamy ideal client but the butterflies in your stomach have just become angry fire-breathing, doubt-inducing dragons tricking you into believing this person would never say yes, so why even offer anything?
I am Renee Hribar and I help intelligent entrepreneurs slay the dragons using field-tested techniques. I have brought thousands of business and sales newbies through the fire, refining their sales conversations from weak and full of doubt to powerful, kind and maybe even a little bit fun (gasp!) using tried and true systems and a lot of laughter!
When I first brought my business to to Planet Internet, where laughing babies and cute kittens reign supreme, I looked for a business coach. I needed someone that could help me translate my 20 year sales career, including entrepreneurship and executive level management (although at times I felt more like chief comedian and cat herder) to the online space.
After MANY well-meaning “free coaching calls” I felt more lost than ever. Most of them only explained how many calls I would “get” each month. Others spoke in such vague foreign terms I had NO idea what they really even meant. They all assumed I had already gone to their website and read every email they’d ever sent, which was a little presumptive. Overall, they had good intentions and I am certain they were further ahead at navigating Planet Internet than I was, but none of them handled the call properly.
AVOID: (picture a BIG RED X and a danger sign)
1.Don’t make the first thing you talk about ALL business.
Look at the conversation as a way to get to know someone. You are in this for the long run. No matter what the outcome, this person and you WILL meet again. Be kind and clear. What do you have in common? Can you make a compliment?
How do YOU feel when you receive a compliment from someone you have something in common with?
The first coach I ever reached out to treated our call like an FBI interrogation. It was super uncomfortable for me, I can only imagine how she must have felt. I didn’t know any better, so I just answered the questions she was shooting at me and sat very, very still.
2. Don’t try to fit them into something you offer like Cinderella’s step-sister and the glass slipper.
Be open to all of the possibilities of making a new connection. They could become your client, yes, if it’s truly a good fit. They may also be someone YOU want to buy from. Or they could be a potential collaborative partner. They might also become someone who is so impressed with you they refer you, tag you and speak your praises everywhere they go. Remember, everyone has at least 100 people in their immediate realm of influence. You never know where this interaction may take the both of you.
One coach butchered my name (totally understandable) but then didn’t even try to get it right. She asked me one question about “where I was in my business” and then immediately went into the modules of the course she was selling. Uh, no thanks.
3. Avoid any distractions while on the call.
Lock yourself in a closet if you have to but try to quarantine any distractions so you can really hear them. Write down what they say.
Another coach answered her cell phone while we were on the call. It was her friend, she chatted for a second, said “I’m on a call, I’ll call you later” and then resumed her “shpeal” about why I had to do things her way. I’m not saying NEVER take another call, I understand if it was an emergency, but we all have caller ID and can tell if it’s the school and our kid is hurt or just our BFF who wants to chat about last nights’ episode of the Bachelor.
4. Avoid self-imposed stress.
Remember that there are 7 billion people on this planet and this is just one more interesting one. You are remarkable at what you do when you get in the groove and “do your thang”. This new person will see that if you can RELEASE the stress. Take a few cleansing breaths and exhale the bullshit we tell ourselves when the demons are trying to stop us from being awesome.
This brings to mind a coach I had found through another mom that I had met in a facebook group. I was feeling optimistic about this one. Everything went well, except when she offered me a one year program for $8,000 I almost choked. I was new. I had NEVER hired a coach before. I was bringing my business online to create a part-time consultancy business with little start-up or overhead. When I balked at the investment (PS: I get it now, but I did NOT get it then) she went all MAD DOG on me. She basically said (I am paraphrasing here) “well, when I made the committment to start my business I wanted to invest in the best” and then went on to verbally rip me a new one about how if I couldn’t do that then “good luck”….WOAH! That was a bit harsh, right?? I mean, jeez!
5. Avoid leaving it OPEN at the end.
Set up a connection call date and time BEFORE you end this call. Whether they have to “sleep on it” and it’s for the same time the next day or if they are “not ready this quarter” and you set up a time for 3 months from now, set the date. It is easy to let this part slide but when you set the date for the next connection call it gives you a reason and an expected time to reconnect. Again, selling to them is only one outcome of this connection. When you set up a reconnection call you open the opportunities for BOTH of you.
Okay, last story. The main take away from this point: FOLLOW UP! Out of allllll of the coaches I had calls with, only ONE ever reached out to me AGAIN. This person is now a trusted friend and we have both helped each other grow inside of our businesses. Once you’ve had a call with someone, regardless of the outcome, put them on your radar. Consider them someone in your network of people. Be a connector. Be the person who “knows someone” if you can’t help with a particular issue.
BONUS PRO TIP:
Send them a special email about your offer, if you made one (take the time to have this pre-written and up on your email ready to go) with all of the components of a sales page. This email should contain the reason you loved talking to them, why you are the best person to guide them to their specific goals, why your program, product or service is so great (include a story of a past customer who is similar to them who loved it, what results they achieved and why), and most importantly, why taking advantage of your offer by a certain date is encouraged.
The rates and services we spoke about today are valid for the next 14 days.
The services and products we spoke about today are available through Friday at the price we spoke about.
Bottom line, we are all human and no situation will be “textbook”. There are a thousand variables. However, these tips and examples are tried and true techniques and actions you can take to increase sales inside of your business. Plus, I have a story for everything and I love sharing!