You do realize there are three things you are selling when you sell your services, right? And I think we all work so darn hard getting a yes and for the credit card to be pulled out that we miss the boat with those last two (and even more critical things.)
Because if you stop ‘selling’ when you get the yes, your prospects miss out on the real thing they are buying. See, they aren’t buying YOUR services. They are after THEIR transformation.
But even though they want it…they still have to be sold on it.
Let’s start by taking it from the top.
The #1 mistake business owners make is trying to sell their services. Sounds crazy, but what you are selling really has nothing to do with you. It has everything to do with solving problems and serving at a really high level.
So instead of focusing on what you are selling, the shift is to begin to understand what your prospects are buying. This is one of the exercises in my Fearless and Soulful Selling program. We look here to start establishing the value you bring, because if you haven’t gotten this one nailed…you are going to be losing money! Period. It isn’t pretty, but it’s true.
Let me cover the things you need to be ‘selling’ other than your services.
1. Sell yourself on your own value. We touched on it above, but if there’s a little smidge of doubt that you deserve the $ you are asking for or wish you could receive; you will likely have a breakdown here. Ways around it? Get your best clients to tell you what they got as a result of the work you have done with them. Ask others, because if you are like most, you are under valuing yourself and are leaving a ton of money on the table and missing opportunities to help more people.
2. Sell them on the tangible transformation they receive from your work together. After you believe in your work, the goal is to help your prospect understand that they are not just buying xyz services. They are buying a transformation. Whatever biz you are in, you should really dive down and discover what is possible in terms of this. An interior designer? You could be transforming living spaces so there’s more peace, fun, and laughter in a home. Chiropractor/naturopath? You are transforming health so there’s increased energy to enjoy life and family. Business coach? Transforming someone’s business so it’s profitable enough to live the life desired. Instead of selling by the hour, or by the service, sell the transformation and you’ll get much further.
But here’s the thing with transformation…sometimes it’s messy!
Very often there are breakdowns, regressions, and it seems like nothing’s happening. That’s why #3 is so critical.
3. Sell the journey. Hey, we all want the fast, easy, get-it-right-the-first-time version. But that’s not how things go. I can unequivocally say that every single business I work with gets put through my DIG-EXCAVATE-RENOVATE™ process. That means that between the owner and the business, we have to dig up old things that are not working like beliefs, or systems, or business models. We then pull those blocks out to examine and rework them. This could mean that we have to re-do the website or look at marketing that isn’t matching them any longer. Very often it means that I’m pushing new parts and new skills that feel undefined so there’s a lack of confidence that shows up. Finally, we renovate and rework it so the finished product is a good one.
But here’s the thing. I always explain the process. I explain that growth doesn’t happen in a straight line, and usually we go backwards to go forward. I sell the journey and advise that it may feel worse, get worse, and push them in a way that they haven’t been pushed before. (Think childbirth here!) If I didn’t explain and set this up as NORMAL, I’d have some unhappy clients! But because I set up the expectations in the beginning, when it gets a little hard or they are doing things outside their comfort zone, I don’t give up and won’t let them either. Knowing that the journey is what it is is very necessary in your client care, so think about how you could sell this part of the process in your own business. Look at the trajectory for the clients you work with. Are there stop/starts that happen? Regressions that naturally occur? Foundational work that needs to be in place first? Healing crises? Make sure you educate on this because one thing I always say is, that you have to teach people how to be clients and what to expect!
Once they have made it through the journey, there’s one final thing that you must be selling. Because if you don’t, you might not be getting hired for much longer!
Have you ever noticed that very often people are in a different place and they don’t realize how much they have changed? It’s like we are different but still stuck with the old identities or ideas of what we are and what we can achieve. That’s why #4 will justify keeping you, and allow the client to see their progress. You need to:
4. Sell the change. Too often the client is the LAST one who see the changes. Sure, if you are measuring things like increased income or number of new clients in the door it’s tangible and measurable. But we all know that most success has elements of the intangible as well. If your clients are very outwardly focused, you will want to constantly remind them of the tiny little shifts/victories/successes that they have achieved. Ideally…tie it to working with you.
Many healing practitioners get very frustrated because their work is so subtle that often it takes months and months, and by then the client has moved on or found someone else, so the ‘credit’ isn’t ascribed to the right person if you will. This part of the ‘selling’ is to help validate the great work you have done, but mainly to get the client to own the new things they now have access to. I always “mark” things for my clients by pointing out that six months ago they would never have been able to do xyz. The folks in my Mastermind know that every call they will be asked to share a win or victory because it’s my commitment to always help them integrate/internalize the changes they are making.
Why is this so critical? Identity. We get tied to our old ways of being and have a hard time realizing that indeed, we are now different! So instead of assuming the client is seeing all the amazing growth, you need to punctuate it. Highlight and celebrate it! Because once you do, they will, and that’s the greatest gift you can give someone.
Your coaching challenge would be to look at the 4 places you really must be selling in and start making these shifts. This is where clients will get better results, you’ll be retained longer, and feel really justified in charging the money you would like. I’d love to hear your perspective on this, so comment on the blog, or shoot me an email sharing your ideas about selling.
About the Author:
Therese Skelly a Mindset expert and Business Coach who works with mission-driven entrepreneurs.
She shows them how to clear energy and money blocks, get authentic visibility, and learn to sell so they can own their value, make more money, serve more people and have a business that makes them happy.
To Therese, there’s nothing more exciting than helping her clients get their great work out in the world in a soulful way.
A former psychotherapist, combined with years of marketing/strategy and consulting, Therese offer’s the perfect blend of both “inner game” work and very tactical, real world strategies that allow her clients to see the results they desire.
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