Do you ever find yourself on the word vomit train when attempting to sell anything? You know the one that makes zero stops and is stationed in Awkward Townsville? The one where you’re chatting with a potential client and you find yourself having the out of body experience where you hear yourself doing things like…
Overly explaining what it is that you do to justify your service
Adding on additional promises because you don’t think they’re convinced of the value
Filling silences with discounts or amendments to the process just so they say something
Feeling like you’re a fraud because what you offer isn’t all that special when you say it outloud
Yeah, been there.
If you find yourself doing any (or all) of that, there’s a huge disconnect in your selling process. You know it and your client knows it.
So you convince yourself that you’re just not good at selling.
Or that your market can’t afford to pay you what you need in order to run your business.
Or that you’ll never be able to convince your prospects why they need to hire you.
If you had a tried and true approach to “selling” your service you wouldn’t have to be in this position. No more Conductor status of the Word Vomit Train.
No more feeling icky or slimy or like you’re tricking your clients into hiring you.
Without a reliable selling strategy you're likely leaving thousands of dollars on the table. But more importantly it’s leaving you feeling inadequate about your service and it will 100% be the reason why you end up quitting.
So how do you fix it?
Understand your results
Use the PITCH formula to close the deal
UNDERSTAND YOUR RESULTS
Before you can even begin to serve you need to know the exact role your service plays in your client’s life. Most people sell their service like a product. When in reality it needs to be sold as a result.
Most service based business owners will hype up the features of what their service provides. For example, a web designer might spend more time talking about how many pages they offer in the package, the optimization of those pages, etc. Basically, what your client gets out of it all.
Successful business owners tap into the emotional results of their service. What will life look like after your client experiences your service? What will change? What will be better? What will they have?
As soon as you can create an emotional relationship for your client with your service you’re off to the races.
Now that we’re armed with the true purpose of our service it’s time to PITCH. We’ve already taught you how to get in front of warm and qualified leads.
If you haven’t spent time doing that piece yet, go back. We want you knocking this out of the ballpark and it works best on leads that already know, like and trust you.
This method, when used on warm and qualified leads, will be your secret weapon to closing clients faster and confidently. Just imagine a world where you don’t have to send another awkward follow-up email asking if someone wants to actually work with you or not. *Dream*.
These steps within this method are all played out in a single conversation, ideally in this order. Before sitting down in this meeting you need to be prepared. If we’re wanting to avoid those awkward follow-up emails you need to come ready to close the deal in this meeting. Be sure to print out and bring a copy of your contract and proposal.
Most service based business owners make a crucial mistake by only relying on follow-up conversations to close the deal. The PITCH method shifts this way of doing business so you can close more deals on the spot (and get paid faster).
Step One: Prove That What You Have Is What They Need
This is where your skills of talking about your service as a result instead of a product truly comes in. You don’t need decades of experience, a beefy portfolio, or to even be the expert at what you offer.
You simply need to believe in the power of your service.
Try framing this conversation using phrases that assume you’ll be hired. Let them know how their life is going to be different once they start working with you. Try using a phrase like this:
“...After working together you’ll have…”
This is called “The Assumptive Close” and it’s a tactic that works time and time again. If you’ve played your part well up to this point this specific piece will play a huge part in you landing this client.
Step Two: Iterate Their Words Back to Them
What you’ll want to weave in next is the fact that you understand and hear their needs. This not only helps you understand where you’re role in serving them truly is, but it secures confidence from your client early on.
Try using phrases like:
“...So what I’m hearing you say is…”
“...Based on what you told me…”
After working with many clients ourselves, we know that great communication is one of (if not the) biggest factor in the relationship. Showing them that you understand their desire and need for hiring you on Day 1 is crucial.
This isn’t just a “sales tactic”, guys. Letting your potential client feel heard and understood goes and incredibly long way in starting out your work together on the right foot, and set the stage for a more connected and long-term relationship.
Step Three: Talk Them Through Your Process
At this point you’ve established that you’re the woman for the job and made it clear you understand what they need and why. Now, it’s time to walk them through how this all works.
This is, personally, one of my favorite parts of the PITCH process. It enables you to get in your zone of genius, geeking out on your process. This is another crucial place to use assumption wording. Remember, they’re going to absolutely decide to work with you, so talk like it! Try using phrases like
“Once we get started next week this will be our first step…”
“After you get your proofs back we’ll be able to move on to this part of the process…”
You’re accomplishing two very important things at this step:
Get the client in a world where they’ve already said yes to working with you
Get the client total understanding of every step of the process
At this point your client should be grinning ear to ear, nodding along and agreeing with your statements - clearly excited and ready to get started. If this is happening your final two steps of this process will be a breeze.
Step Four: Clarify The Contract and Next Steps
You think you might be heading into boring or uncomfortable territory, but trust me, this part is just as crucial as the rest. Outlining clear parts of your contract not only protect your client, but it protects you. Both of you need to be on the same page from the start.
We suggest having an actual contract with you that’s ready to sign (we prefer physical, but you can bring it along digitally). Once you’ve outlined your terms it’s important for you to cover the very next step for you client. Even though you outlined the entire process above it’s time to take it back to the beginning. It’s important to use clear language here, like:
“These are the important details of the contract I wanted to point out and here’s what they mean. Once you sign, I can take your deposit today, and here’s how the rest of your payments will process. With that deposit in hand we can get started right away, so let’s look at the calendar to schedule our first meeting.”
Step Five: Here’s The Price
Let me say a quick word about pricing before I outline this step. We believe in pricing transparency every time. That means, no client should get this far into the process without having some idea of a range of what it’s going to cost to work with you.
It does a disservice to your client to not share expectations early on and it can be a huge waste of your time if you don’t. This could look differently depending on your business, but we’ve added a single sentence to our inquiry page and it’s done the trick.
“Client should expect to spend between $XXX and $X,XXX when working with [Name of Business]”
Dealing with sticker shock is a killer to closing client deals for both you and the client. It’s awkward, it’s uncomfortable and it makes both people feel inadequate.
Ok, I’ll rest my case for pricing transparency (for now).
Alright, so you’re at this part of the process. And it’s one where, in the past, you might have been Major of Awkward Townsville. It’s okay. We’re going to fix that.
However long you think this conversation should be...cut it in half. Seriously.
Your only role at this step is to state the price and hush it.
The desire to keep talking after stating the price is because you’re uncomfortable, which I totally get. However, your client deserves this time to process and go through her own mental checklist before you chime in.
Funny story: before I perfected the PITCH method I was trying to land a photography client. I said the price and felt the need to fill the silence with word vomit. I ended up offering her a discount before she even had a chance to open her mouth and say anything about the price simply because I was uncomfortable.
An improvement in your PITCH will drastically increase the amount of clients you land and your confidence in the process. This, like so many things in business, takes a bit of practice to perfect. But by following this method you’ll have a step-by-step system to rely on the next time you’re sitting in front of a client.
By utilizing the previous two steps, Focus and Attract, you’ll be able to craft an amazing experience for you and your client. Remember, at the end of the day, you’re here to serve. We know that’s at the heart of why you do what you do.
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