Confession: After almost 8 years in this business, I’ve developed an allergy to overcomplicated sales strategies.
I suspect this is 30% because of my fantastic coaches and clients who’ve taught me to value simplicity… and 70% because my brain just can’t decipher extremely down-to-the-miniscule-details ideas easily.
(No, seriously. I once tried to read the copywriting section inside a Russel Brunson book and basically broke out in hives. #truestory)
Don’t get me wrong: 20-point sales blueprints, NLP “take my money” triggers, etc. work perfectly for some super-smart people…
… But in my case, all those steps tangle my neural pathways and hurt more than they help.
I find myself trying to remember every single item and trigger to the letter, and if I don’t?
It throws off my game, turns me into a stuttering robotic mess, and sends a wrecking ball through the natural rapport I’m trying to build with my prospect in the moment.
Fortunately, after years of running my own sales calls and discussing them with my clients and students, I’ve realized (much to my relief) that I’m not the only one.
So the question becomes: What’s an over-complication-averse human who wants to close more sales to do?
The answer is simple. (Shocker, right?)
You don’t need a 20-point blueprint. You don’t necessarily need NLP triggers either.
What you do need is a simple framework to help you do what every sales call is supposed to do: Pinpoint the client’s problem, and let them know how and why you’re the one to solve it.
So that’s why I’m including my uber-simple approach to sales calls below.
It’s an easy way to get your thoughts organized so you can confidently guide prospective clients and customers through the sales conversation and into its natural conclusion (a.k.a. putting down a deposit, starting the on-boarding process, or having them hang up and go somewhere else).
This is the framework I use with my own clients and customers, but I assure you it’s nothing groundbreaking.
Kate Byrne of Betty Means Business and a whole other host of whip-smart leaders in the business-building space will teach you super simple, highly-effective approaches to sales and money-making way better than I could.
However, I’m handing you my own personal steps + scripts right now because A) You’re already reading this. Hi!, and B) I see wayyy too many under-paid creatives running from sales conversations instead of to them. And I want to see that change.
(Side note: Whenever someone tells me “I hate sales”, I try to point out that what they’re really saying is “I hate solving problems for money”. Super annoying, I’m sure. But effective.)
You ready? Here’s my step-by-step sales call framework:
This process is a fit for a standard 30 minute sales call. Sales calls should NOT go over 30 minutes (unless you’re selling something super high-ticket, and even then it should be concise).
I know it’s hard to resist, but do not try to coach your prospect. Do not try to solve their problem right there on the phone. This is about finding the problem and identifying the solution you can provide — not just handing it over.
Step 1 [first 5 minutes]: After a few minutes saying hi, asking where the client is from, and building rapport, tell your prospect how the call is going to go.
People dig direction, and they want to you to do your Fancy Expert Person Thang. So start there, and keep it light and friendly.
“OK so are you ready to get started? [Wait for answer] Fantastic.
This will be a free flowing call, I’m here to listen and I want to know EVERYTHING about where you and your business are right now.
Then after that I’ll share a bit more about my process, and we’ll talk about which next steps will get you where you want to be the fastest. Then, if you feel like we’re a fit, we can get rolling on [thing you’re doing together].
Now, before I say another word, I’d love to hear a bit more about what you’ve got going on.”
Step 2 [next 15 minutes]: Give your prospect the mic.
Let ’em riff. Let ’em roar. Keep them on topic, but listen and smile and ask questions as they tell you what’s poppin’.
You should be listening and taking notes around what their BIGGEST problem is right now, and which of your offerings or packages can best solve it.
Step 3 [final 5–10 minutes]: Present your solution + the way you work.
“Got it, OK! So it sounds like your biggest issue right now is [big fat problem you have identified]. Would you say that’s about right?”
Let the client confirm.
“Great. Now, I’d like to walk you through my process and show you how we can get to your next phase together.
Here’s what I’d love to do next. [present aforementioned suggestions/solutions, and share a bit about your process] Any questions?”
Step 4: Thank them, agree on your next steps, and say goodbye with a smile.
Step 5: Profit.
See? That’s not so bad or scary after all.
If you’re sales-averse and/or over-complication-averse like me, try giving this approach a whirl on your next sale conversation and let me know how it goes.
And just remember: Keep it simple. Don’t throw everything but the kitchen sink at your prospects on these calls.
Your job is to present yourself as the expert with the fix, and the best fit for the job (or, if you’re not, point them in the direction of someone who is). Nothing more, nothing less.
Because when you’re genuinely solving problems, it’s impossible to sell sleaze.
Now, doesn’t that feel better?
I would like to acknowledge that I totally yanked this subject line concept from the amazing Nathalie Lussier of Access Ally from her “How to give good email” newsletter a couple years back.
And if you’re wondering: Yes. She does give good email.
Photo by tanialee gonzalez on Unsplash