When you think about selling, do you experience that feeling of dread? Do you wonder how on earth you can convince someone to be your client?
The great news is that there is a solution to help you become confident AND effective in selling your VA services.
Read on to discover how in this training article…
1. Changing your mindset about selling
Firstly, if you have a negative view of people who sell, such as the arrogant salesman knocking on your door selling you double-glazing, then this is all a myth. You may dislike being sold to, actually we all do.
However, look at your buying habits. What are the factors that make you want to buy something? Is it based on something you want AND need?
Think about people you buy from…is it from people you feel have made a connection with you, have listened to you, have only presented something based on what you said you wanted? I recently went to Clarks Shoes with the mission to buy a new pair of smart shoes. The lady in the shop was just lovely, very welcoming and helpful. She didn’t push me to buy what was on ‘offer’, however she did present me with some ideas based on what I said to her I was looking for. I came out of there with two pairs of shoes, very happy and I never felt ‘sold’ to. I had a great experience whilst I was in the shop. I felt I was being looked after. The sales assistant made a connection with me.
You see, you never have to sell ‘yourself’, instead you present yourself as someone with whom a potential client may wish to work with. So BE YOURSELF, you never have to come across as assertive or arrogant to appear confident and competent. JUST BE YOU. People buy people. So actually, when it comes to selling, remove the mask, remove your beliefs about sales people, allow your personality to come through, and know that there will always be someone who is looking for someone just like you to work with.
2. Boost your confidence when selling
If you constantly worry that you are not performing when selling, or that you constantly find yourself comparing yourself to other VAs, then of course this will affect your confidence. As I said in point 1, by allowing yourself just to be YOU and not put on a performance, people will buy into what you are about. They will buy into your values and beliefs, and believe you me, this is important to people when they look to choose who to work with.
Whatever is going on in your mindset, whatever you are telling yourself or thinking about yourself, will affect how you feel. It will also affect how you come across in your body language and communication. You can tell, can’t you, when someone isn’t quite confident and that’s because of their communication style and body language. If you tell yourself that this person will think you too expensive or won’t want to work with you, then you’ll be sending that message out.
What if they love what you are about, they love your passion and drive to make a difference to entrepreneurs? What if, by working with them, they see you as a great member of their team? What if they love the fact you’ve just launched your business because you’ll have a fresh approach and ideas to supporting them, with room to grow and develop.
So change your mindset and that will have an amazing and positive impact on your confidence. And remember, that with time, you will grow!
3. Step into the shoes of the potential client
When you stop assuming what people are looking for and telling people what you can do for them, first LISTEN!!! The more you ask some great questions and listen, the more information you’ll extract from the person you’re talking to. The more you listen, the more they will put trust in you as you’re showing you’re interested and care.
If, when you go into a shop and, before you’ve even had a chance to look around, the sales assistant tells you what you need and has an item in their hands pushing it into your hands to buy…are you likely to buy it? Probably not. You’ll be heading out that door before they can say “BUY”.
Listen to the wants and needs, challenges and pain factors, what’s important and why, their dreams and aspirations. And only then will you be able to come up with some solutions.
4. Take the relationship to the next level
The way people buy from shops is different to how they buy services, such as from a VA. You may have run a discovery call in which you asked the questions as suggested in point 3. However, that person may want to go away and digest and assess the content of your discussion. They may want to look at their finances to see what they can budget for. They may want to speak to other VAs and ascertain who they wish to work with.
You cannot assume that, just because someone has had a meeting or discovery call with you, that they will buy instantly from you. Now, don’t get me wrong, it DOES happen. However, in most cases, there is a need for ongoing communication before the contract is sent over for signing.
So in building the relationship with that person, you continue to build trust. As my good friend Penny Power would always say, it’s all about allowing people to get to know, like and trust you.
If they are speaking to other VAs, then it’s important to follow up, summarise what you discussed and summarise the solutions you came up with. Connect with them on LinkedIn, through social media, and through your networking. Send them your newsletters, link them to your blog posts, interact with them on Facebook…whatever and wherever they are hanging out. The more consistent you are in keeping in touch offline and online, then when they ARE ready to buy from you, then you’ll be in the forefront of their minds, not another VA. So be proactive!!
5. Make sure people really understand the value of your fees and charge your worth
If you say to people that you’ll offer them a discount, immediately you have devalued who you are and what you do. Forget what other VAs are charging, it doesn’t matter. Of course if you tell people that you charge £30 an hour to do their admin, of course that will sound very expensive.
So you have to learn the art of explaining the REAL benefits and value that you bring to help them in the success of their business. This is why it is IMPORTANT, you follow the points above such as asking great questions, listening, understanding, offering solutions etc. When people can see that you are a boost to their resources and can make a difference to their business, then £30 an hour sounds VERY cost effective.