I have come across a very helpful book that has helped me conquer my fears when having to approach people to make a sale or convince them to buy into what I have to offer. Here are some ideas taken from Paul McKenna‘s book “I can make you rich”. The success or failure of every business depends on the following three things, he says:
1. Let them know who you are
2. Tell them the story of what you are offering
3. Convince them it is worth having
These three important things are actually very well-known concepts in the business world, namely networking, marketing and sales.
1. NETWORKING IS ALL ABOUT LETTING PEOPLE KNOW WHO YOU ARE.
The basic idea is about how many people you know and most importantly the quality of your network. These days, it is all about the relationships that you have and the amount of trust and goodwill that exist between people. The question here is actually very simple: How many people do you have in your fan club.
What needs to be done to grow your fan club you may wonder? Well, if you excel at what you do, deliver on what you promise and/or uplift people the chances are strong that you might already have a fan club. Your fan club is made up of anyone who admires you and what you do and would be willing to put in a good word for you if the opportunity arises.
Building your fan club and getting more people to experience your service or product may take a little bit of effort but should be well worth the effort in the long run. A good idea would be to become part of a Networking group and offer special deals or free samples to their members. Remember it is very much about adding value to people’s lives and showing them that you really care.
2. MARKETING – TELLING THE STORY OF WHAT YOU HAVE TO OFFER.
Marketing is simply the act of communicating the story of your product or service to as many potential buyers as possible with as much passion, energy and focus as you can. If you are absolutely convinced of the value of your product or service, the other person will pick up on your enthusiasm and buy into what you are communicating to them.
3. SELLING – ASKING PEOPLE TO INVEST IN WHAT YOU ARE OFFERING.
In a sense everything in this life is about selling. And if you really think about it, selling is really just storytelling. You are telling a specific kind of story – a story that engages people’s feelings and imagination and then motivates them to decide and act, says Paul McKenna.
He actually mentions 5 steps that you can take to get people buying into what you are offering.
A Know what you want/Weet wat jy werklik wil bereik
Be clear on the why or the purpose for wanting to sell something even before you have your sales conversation. To be really effective two things have to be in place:
- Know what you actually want? What will you see, hear and feel that will indicate to you that the interview went well?
- Ask yourself what should or could you do to make that happen/what is in your control? What part do you have to play in creating it?
B. Find out what they really want/Wat wil hulle regtig hê
Step for a moment into their shoes and see the world through their eyes. Imagine stepping into that person and becoming him/her and try to see things from their perspective. Then ask yourself: What do I want? What are my biggest concerns? What do I need to see and hear to feel good about this? What would be the best for everyone?
When you do this, it will really help you becoming successful in convincing them to ‘buy’ into what you are offering.
C. Think it through /Dink you storie goed deur
We tend to want to focus on the technicalities of a product (features) but all the client really cares about is what it will do for them. So, what it really boils down to is, always focus on the benefits!
Paul McKenna suggests that one does the following: Sit down and write out all the positive values (benefits) that your product or service can bring to your customer (not features). Know the benefits very well before even trying to tell your story to anyone. Then, deliberately think of any reason/s why people might not want to buy your story or support you and then find the solution. Now go and tell your story to at least five people who are not potential customers and do that for five days of the week. (This helps you to not act as if you are selling something helps you practice your story and refine the quality of your story) It is interesting that one of the presuppositions of NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) is that whatever result you get from your communication (message) depends on the meaning that was conveyed. So if you story is a bit boring or too pushy, you will get a result that deserves that.
D. Get yourself is a great state /Kry jouself in ‘n positiewe gemoedstoestand
How on earth do you do that? Well, that are actually three things you can do, namely:
- Create rich pictures in your mind of yourself succeeding.
- Speak to yourself in a confident and positive tone of voice.
- Move your body decisively, with a sense of comfort and ease.
E. Tell your story and ask for what you want.
It is indeed a very true saying that the more people you talk to, the more people will buy whatever you are selling. In the end it is the only way to get other to back you and that is to tell them what you want and ask them to act on it. Many of us are afraid to do this because we fear rejection, but it is all about your ‘thinking’ mentality. As Paul McKenna puts it, “Rich thinkers think about it differently” they know that when you ask for what you want, you will always get one of three answers: Yes, No or Maybe. He says that because they believe in the value of their products and that the money, backing and resources they need are out there, they are not too concerned when people do not buy from them, because to them it means that they are either still ignorant about the benefits to them, or it is not really what they want or need in that moment. And further, he says that the sooner you can eliminate the people who do not want or need what you’ve got from your enquiries, the sooner you can connect with the right people with what you have to offer.
Here are some tips that he offers (taken from his book Instant Confidence:
- Make a list of 20 names of people or companies who might want what you have.
- The idea is to get rid of anyone who does not want what you offer. Get in touch with every person on the list and get a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ as quickly as possible – don’t take maybe for an answer.
- Give yourself a score at the end of the day based on the number of names left on your list. Try to get your score to below day each day – so try to eliminate at least ten people from your enquiries each and every day. If you ‘accidentally’ find someone who DOES want to buy from you, take their name also off the list.
- Keep track of you scores and if you can get to zero after five working days in a row, he reckons you will have transformed your business and jumpstarted your accumulation of wealth.