My palms were sweating.
I was about to pitch my first client on why he should move all his marketing from an established competitor to my new, not even started, real estate marketing company.
I was 19 and as I sat in the front seat of my Honda Element rehearsing my talking points, I watched the clock slowly count down.
I was nervous and rightfully so, I had to land this client, or the following week I'd be submitting my application for a position at Subway.
This was my "make or break" moment.
As I walked into the president's spacious office, he brought up the football game from the night before.
(I didn't watch it. I'm not a sports guy and I was WAY too nervous about this meeting to relax.)
I mentioned that I had missed it and slowly eased the conversation towards business.
As I began my slide deck my hands were shaking uncontrollably.
5 minutes in the pitch seemed to be going well.
10 minutes in my slide deck ended and I struggled to keep the conversation going.
13 minutes in I was out of things to talk about and I froze.
The next few minutes where a blur... and while I still don't have a clue how I closed the deal I learned a valuable lesson.
You must learn how to ask for the sale.
Today, I love listening to sales pitches.
I love hearing the logical and emotional arguments, the storytelling, and the case studies... but without fail the part I find most interesting is how people ask for the sale.
To be honest, this is the part most people struggle with and it doesn't have to be nearly as complex as most people make it.
With that in mind, here's a simple script you can use to ask for the sale without feeling slimy.
While there is tons of advice online about the best technique to ask for the sale, I love this script because it's simple, easy to remember, and genuine.
Script: I'm really excited about this project, how can we get started?
The best part is that it works really well if your business is B2C or if you work with and small to medium sized companies because everyone likes to buy, but no one wants to be sold.
In many of the emails I get asking for advice, I find that most people who don't like sales have a "Sales = Bad" mentality.
While this is the same mentality I had when I first got into business, I've found that by reframing the sales process can make all the difference.
Today when I walk into a sales meeting, instead of thinking of myself someone who is there to sell something, I try to think myself as "trusted advisor" who is there to help them.
This subtle shift of motives makes all the difference and it's inline with new research that shows much of modern selling is about being an advocate/consultant for your potential customers.
Excited to see how you'll use this script to increase your sales so try it on your next sales call.
Always on your team,
PS. Do you have any common scripts you use when talking with clients? If so, drop them in the comments so others can level-up their sales game.Photo Credit: Steve Snodgrass Published: 2014-11-19