LinkedIn Lindsey’s ABCs Of Sales: Part 3Jul 27, 2021
Becoming a sales pro takes practice, patience, and a whole lot of resilience. Over the years, I’ve encountered good sales advice and some not-so-good advice. I boiled down many of the best tidbits to share with you in my ABCs of sales. While I’m no advocate of quick fixes, I think my ABCs of sales are applicable to anyone—no matter what you sell or how long you’ve been at it.
I’m rounding out my three-part ABCs of sales series with a topic I think is so important—clarity. (In case you missed it, go check out my first two articles in the series on audience and boldness.) Clarity differentiates a mediocre sales process from an excellent one. While clarity doesn’t necessarily steal the show when it’s present, your prospects will know immediately when it’s lacking. Nothing shuts down a sales conversation faster than confusion. So with that in mind, let’s talk about how to cultivate it.
Communicate your what, where, when, how, and why.
It may sound obvious, but no one will sign on the dotted line until they know exactly why they’re hiring you. The more you can distill, not just how your distinct value proposition alleviates your prospect’s pain, but also what to expect by working with you, the better off you will be.
Early on in my business, I took a fully custom approach. Every one of my clients received a personalized scope of work with different deliverables and timelines. While there is certainly a time and place for intricately detailed custom consulting work, packaging my services dramatically enhanced the clarity I could provide in the sales process. Of course, everything I do is tailored to my clients—whether I’m transforming a client’s profile to achieve unique goals or curating a speaking engagement for a specific audience—but I have developed a solid process and structure for recurring needs; this allows my client’s experience white-glove service with every engagement. Having executed the exact same deliverables with many clients, I am able to communicate to my prospects what they can expect from me.
Maybe your sales process clarity is suffering because you’re trying to be all things to all people. If so, you may have an opportunity to enhance clarity by paring down your offerings. The more intimate your knowledge of the what, when, where, how, and why the better you’ll be able to communicate what lies ahead with certainty and specificity.
Transparency is key.
Salespeople get a bad rap for bending the truth and neglecting to disclose hidden fees. No, it’s not fair, but it is important to understand the reality that some of your prospects may bring a level of cynicism to your sales conversations. Transparency helps build trust and convert even the most cynical of prospects.
This is especially true when it comes to scope and pricing. I’m an advocate of having candid conversations about the investment as early in the sales process as possible. That way, there are no surprises down the road. I never mind when a prospect poses a question like, “What could something like that cost?” When you embrace these sorts of conversations and respond honestly, you’ll find they offer an excellent opportunity to create more clarity.
Transparency is clarity when it comes to describing your deliverables as well. Depending on what exactly you’re selling, it’s often useful to spell out the intended outcome of your work with a client. In doing so, try not to confuse brevity with clarity. I have found that, in an effort to speak to a prospect’s mind efficiently, it can be easy to forget to speak to the heart, too. Clarity is not the absence of emotion. Reminding prospects not only what but why they should hire you can create decision coherence and traction.
Prepare a path.
Your sales process sets the tone of your post-sale client engagement. So, the smoother your prospecting conversations, the more your future client will be able to trust that working with you will be orderly and easy. Consider what you can do to create an even more frictionless sales funnel. Perhaps your tools and systems could use an upgrade. Are you using CRMs, email templates, and other resources to help you stay organized? LinkedIn Sales Navigator might be the perfect addition to your toolbelt. (You can read more about it in my recent article.)
Simply by being a human and interacting with other humans, things won’t always go as planned. But by equipping yourself for the possibilities, you’ll be more likely to handle any bumps in the road with grace and confidence. Sometimes, it takes an outside perspective to find the friction points that are inhibiting clarity in your process.
Which ABC of sales needs your attention right now? Audience, boldness or clarity?
Do you or your sales team need training on how to incorporate these pillars into your prospecting process? Book a discovery call with me, and we can scope out what your objectives are and if I'm the right person to help.