Figuring out where that sweet spot is where you can create value for your brand and get clients to see and appreciate that value can be tough – but that’s what we’re here to talk about.
I spoke with Leah Neaderthal of Smart Gets Paid to find out her advice on overcoming selling shyness in order to create value for clients. As a sales expert, Leah’s pretty much got all the answers.
6 sales strategies to turn leads into clients
1. It’s not about you, it’s about them
A common mistake people make is trying so hard to sell themselves and their capabilities instead of catering their “sell” to what their client is really looking for.
Yeah, you could go on and on about how qualified you are for a project and talk all about your credentials and titles, but that’s not what’s going to grab your clients’ attention.
According to Leah, “clients only care about what you do in as much as it will affect some sort of change in their own business or their life.”
What does this mean?
Stop trying to make it about you.
If you own a swimwear brand, instead of saying “We sell the trendiest bathing suits and swimwear”, try something like, “We help women of all shapes and sizes feel confident and beautiful in their own skin with our size-inclusive swimwear.”
See how the focus is now on the benefits your customers will see, rather than on you and your credentials? It’s all about the value.
2. Resist the urge to solve the problem
Something to remember during your sales conversations or discovery meetings is don’t give everything you have to offer away in the initial conversation.
Let’s say you’re working through a discovery plan with a potential client for the social media marketing services that you offer.
What you don’t want to do is give them a rundown of everything you would do as their social media marketing manager. You don’t want to say, “I’ll create blog posts for you and post three times a day on Instagram and run a Facebook ad for you and switch this up and fix this…”
You give it all away (for free) if you feel the need to solve the problem right away. You can nod to it, but don’t give it away.
An example of how you can nod to the solution without giving it away would be saying something like, “You’re gonna wanna think about your social media KPIs” – you haven’t told them what to do and what not to do, but you’ve nodded in the direction of how you are going to help them fix a problem.
Another good way to nod to the solution to a problem is restating the problem.
If the client says, “we’re having trouble getting our YouTube videos seen”, you could respond with, “we’ll figure out a way to optimize your YouTube videos to get them seen.” This makes them feel heard and they know that you can do something to help them, without you giving away the actual “how.”
3. Streamline your proposal process
“How can I write proposals that are customized and have solutions that will work for my client – that also won’t take me weeks to write?”
Again, remember, it isn’t about you, it’s about your client. The proposal is supposed to help your client fall in love with their future – it’s not about your credentials, your methodology, your process.
So make sure to cut down your proposal so it feels specific and custom to them (not just a generalized proposal you send out to all your clients).
What to actually include in the proposal?
If you’re struggling to figure out what to actually put in your proposals, summarize where the client is, what the outcomes will be of your work together, and how you will be different and better than anyone else.
You don’t need to outline everything in the proposal before they even commit to something. The proposal is meant to ensure them that you are going to help them get the results they’re seeking – they don’t care about the detailed process just yet – that’s for later.
Don’t waste 3-4 days on a proposal that doesn’t get a yes.
Obviously, you want your proposals to be well thought out, but don’t spend days and days on a proposal if your client isn’t even ready to be your client yet.
How do you prevent this? According to Leah, “don’t skip over the discovery for the proposal.”
As part of the discovery, figure out if the proposal really is the right next step, and if it’s not (maybe they aren’t serious about actually working with you, they’re just in the curious first stages), then don’t waste your time for a client who’s not even ready to say yes.
4. It’s the value, not the scope
Focus on the outcome, not the deliverable.
Put together your set of services that you’d provide to a client and attach a number to the value of those services, not the scope.
Instead of saying, “I will write blog posts for you” on your website, say “I help companies convert hundreds of sales”.
By focusing on the value you provide instead of the scope of the work, you’re already valuing yourself and your services very high, so when you attach a number to that value, everything aligns and that number doesn’t seem so crazy.
And always be confident in the price you set. Don’t second-guess yourself.
5. Give them three options
One of the most helpful tips Leah gave us is to give three options when talking to potential clients.
If you’re figuring out what to charge for your services, instead of saying, “you’ll pay me $10,000 for x services or you will not work with me”, say, “I offer a variety of services, do you want to pay me $10,000, $5,000 or $2,000?”
By getting rid of that “yes or no”, 50/50 option and swapping it out for a 3-option statement, you’re immediately increasing your likelihood of getting a “yes.”
Instead of them saying, “yes/no I don’t want to work with you”, they’re now in the mindset of “which option will I choose?”
I don’t know about you, but I’d rather take that 75% chance instead of a 50% chance of getting a “yes”.
How do you make sure that these three options are different enough and provide enough value so that they’re interesting and worthwhile to your clients?
Once you’ve set your three different options, you’ve got to figure out what each option will entail.
Make sure the first option is something that really stands on its own, has a clearly defined value, engagement, and price. An example would be a workshop for marketing communication.
The second option could be if you want to solve a problem even better. It could include the first option plus an additional set of services. This could be a workshop for marketing communication but with an additional one-on-one help consultation.
The third option will include the 1st and 2nd options but maybe it gives them access to things they wouldn’t otherwise have access to in the other options. Hence, the higher value. This third option would include the workshop, the one-on-one consultation, and maybe access to a free guide of some sort.
In each of these options, incorporate things that are low lift for you, and high value for your clients. This could include guides, resources, or templates that provide additional value to your client but don’t take so much time and effort that you get burned out.
Here at Love At First Search, we’ve implemented this three-option strategy as well. At the first tier, we offer a self-study course, at the second tier, we offer course + group coaching, and at the third tier, we offer a “done-with-you” service which is one-on-one coaching + group coaching + self-study. The content is the same at each level; what differs is how much one-one support you get at each level.
6. Maintain relationships
One question I asked Leah was, “how do you create return clients, and how do you continue to maintain those people as ongoing clients or referral sources?”
Creating return clients can look different from business to business, according to Leah. For some businesses, this could mean having a robust affiliate program and for others it could be more about maintaining relationships with your clients by sending out newsletters, connecting with them on LinkedIn, or even providing them with the tools to refer you to other people.
In some cases, you may want to do ongoing work with your clients even after the service you’ve provided is complete. Maybe a client signed up for a marketing communication workshop and the workshop was a week long. Even after the workshop is done, you may uncover opportunities where they still need the value you can provide them. So, making sure to maintain those relationships is extremely important.
For other circumstances where people are no longer working with you, it’s important to stay connected and continually illustrate the value you provide so your clients can give you referrals.
So we’ve gone through Leah’s 6 sales strategies to overcome selling shyness and create value for your brand that your clients will see and appreciate:
- It’s not about you, it’s about them
- Resist the urge to solve the problem
- Optimize your proposals
- It’s the value, not the scope
- Give them three options
- Maintain relationships
To listen in on actual client conversations, listen to The Smart Gets Paid Podcast!