Small business owners, imagine taking a hidden skill that you already have and turning it into a launch pad for successful sales.
Do you sometimes feel a “spark” when you’re talking to someone for the first time? What if you could create that spark consistently, and have it lead to a closer connection with that person? What if you could do that with each and every prospect in your pipeline?
That spark is what I call “The Magic Click,” and it can provide a solid, trustworthy foundation you can use to boost your business beyond what you ever thought possible.
Sales Is a Process
The dictionary defines sales as a one-time event where money is exchanged — but we all know that there is more to it than that. In fact, selling is a process that starts with solid preparation, progresses to a sincere connection, and culminates through diligent follow-up.
In the work I do with my clients and in my book, Stop Selling…Start Clicking!, I outline a 10-step sales model that starts with preparation:
- As the sales professional, you first get clear on who you are and what you have to offer.
- You’ll list each problem that your business solves so that you can easily tell prospects what you do.
- And then you’ll create a marketing image for your prospects to see and hear.
When your Preparation Phase is complete, you’ll move on to The Connection Phase. In this phase:
- You’ll be meeting and greeting potential customers everywhere.
- You’ll also be crafting what I call your “Care and Share” so that you’re completely comfortable with what to say to others at networking events. And please take note, the Care and Share model works for all personality types. You do not need to be an extrovert to excel at connecting with others.
Once you meet a potential customer, you will have your chance to really connect and create The Magic Click — that wonderful spark that occurs when two people are talking for the first time and find something that they can connect through. Perhaps it’s a sports team they both follow, or a vacation spot they both enjoy, or a region of the country they both grew up in.
When you feel The Magic Click you’ll know it. Your ears will perk up, your heart may race a bit, and you may feel a level of excitement that makes you want to know this person better.
Listening for the Click
Creating The Magic Click is at the core of my heart-based sales model. Here’s an example of how you might create such a click by telephone:
Molly, a sales professional: Hello James, so good to meet you. Where are you calling in from today?
James: Hi. Good to meet you too. I’m calling from Florida.
Molly: Oh, where about in Florida?
James: Vero Beach.
Molly: Oh, I just love Vero Beach. Is that little taco shop still on the corner of Main Street?
James: You know it is! They have the best tacos in town.
Molly: Well, I certainly look forward to meeting you in person soon. Maybe we can enjoy some tacos together!
Molly has created The Magic Click!
Taking It to the Next Level
This click will set the foundation for a strong relationship. As a sales professional, Molly will build on this connection and use it to take the prospect to the next step.
Once a connection has been made, she will move into what I call the “Commitment” and then “Living Together” phases:
In the Living Together phase, the sales professional will be deepening the relationship and strengthening it. This means treating the customer with integrity, empathy, and openness. It also means tackling tough issues with care, treating the customer well at every opportunity, and allowing the customer to leave the relationship with clarity and closure.
Finally, when a customer relationship does end, your job is to create a soft landing. Honor the customer for the time they’ve spent with you. Stay in touch for a long, long time. And know that when that customer needs you again, you’ll be easy to access and ready to serve.
Flo Schell, EdM, is former vice president of Franchise Development for Sylvan Learning Systems Inc. and founder of Franchise Coaching Systems. She has also written a book, Stop Selling…Start Clicking!, that explains her successful sales process. To learn more about the services offered by Franchise Coaching Systems, visit FloSchell.com.