Biggest sales mistake small business owners make
Today we're going to talk about the biggest sales mistake that small business owners make. And when you stop making this mistake, sales get so much easier.
We're shopping for health insurance. And I put something in a group in response to somebody's post saying that they were health insurance brokers and asked them to contact me. I had two people contact me from it. And the first person made the mistake. The first person contacted me and told me how awesome they were, how good they are in insurance, and how they love helping people find the right solution. It was just all about them.
How to avoid the biggest sales mistake small business owners make
The biggest mistake the small business owners make when it comes to sales is they talk too much and they don't listen. You feel that you have to sell yourselves to get anybody to buy. The best salespeople in the entire world hardly ever talk about themselves. They're extremely good listeners. So if you want to become a good salesperson, you have to learn to listen.
One of the questions that I get when people finish Bookkeeper Training School and they start getting on discovery calls, coffee chats, or whatever you want to call them. They start to freak out a little bit. Many don't know what to say. It's very simple. You want to get the other person to talk. And you want to say as little as possible on that call. You want to be listening and taking notes.
To avoid the biggest sales mistake learn to listen
When you get on that call is you need to be listening. Okay. And you need to take lots of notes. So you should be getting them to talk. And so here are some questions that you can ask if you are a service provider, whether that be an accountant, bookkeeper, virtual assistant, executive assistant, graphic designer, funnel builder, or anything related to providing a service to another business, This will even work for coaching and things like that.
The first question you need to ask is "So tell me a little bit about yourself. " That's a great question to start with because it's open-ended. Usually, the person's answer is not just about business, but also about family. You can tell a lot about a person by having the answer to that question.
If they don't talk much about their business, then you can follow up with, "Well, tell me a little bit more about your business. What do you do? "
Most of these initial calls are going to be about 15 to 20 minutes long. So don't fill up that call with lots of talking about you. And most people, when you get them talking about themselves, they will talk for as long as you let them.
How the goal of a discovery call helps you avoid the biggest sales mistake
Maybe you are wondering how you are going to sell yourself on the discovery call if you don't talk. The point of the discovery call so that you can determine if you like this person and want to work with them. And if they like you enough to want to work with you. It's not about selling yourself or trying to prove that you're better than anybody else. People want to get to know you a little bit. They want to see if you're a real person.
And so by just chit-chatting and having a conversation, you're going make more headway than if you sit there and talk about yourself for 15 minutes. The other thing is that if you just sit there and talk about yourself for 15 minutes, you're not going to learn anything about this person to be able to put a quote together.
Send a questionnaire before the discovery call
What I recommend that my bookkeepers do is send out a questionnaire before the call so that they can get the vital information they need and then be able to follow up on anything during the call.
Most of the call is going to be chit-chat. Learning about their business and who they are. I do like to ask when I'm on those calls if they have ever had a bookkeeper or accountant before. And if they have then I ask, "Would you mind telling me why you're looking for a new one?"
That is a great question to ask especially if you are unsure if you want to work for that person. It will give you great insight into them. Because if in the last 5 years they've had 4 different bookkeepers, then you know this might be a difficult client to work with.
Don't put together a proposal during the discovery call
Typically you do not put together a proposal on these calls. These calls are really for you to get to know each other and to talk a little bit. And then at the end of the call, you can find out what they are looking to accomplish with this relationship. Or if you have any questions or ideas from the questionnaire, now is the good time to ask them.
You can reiterate to them what you've talked about and the information from the questionnaire. For example, you can say, "Let me review everything that we've talked about. It looks like your wanting to take off bookkeeping from your plate because you're a busy, small business owner. You're a mom and you don't want to use up your precious time doing bookkeeping.
And so I'd love to be able to take that off your plate. I see here that you've got three bank accounts, two credit cards, and approximately 200 transactions a month. So here's the deal, I'm going to put together a proposal for you. I'm going to send it to you in the next 24 hours. And I'd love to have you take a look at it and then we can hop on a call later this week? I'll answer any questions you have about it. And then we can move forward."
Know your goal for a discovery call to avoid the biggest sales mistake
If they still have doubts you can ask more questions and determine how serious they are about the proposal. Your goal is to get permission to send a proposal and then to try to get another meeting together to finalize that proposal.
If the person wants to know how much do you charge, then you can let them know that your pricing is custom based on the number of accounts and transactions. Let them know that you are going to run all those numbers based on what you got and put together the best possible price for them. You can also let them know that your pricing starts at "x" amount per month.
Don't let fear of the discovery call stop your progress on your business
I don't want you to stop your progress on your business because you're freaked out about the discovery calls. So to recap:
- Don't talk about yourself
- Keep the person talking
- Make sure that you summarize everything at the end of the call so that you're both on the same page
- Get permission to send a proposal.
See if you are a good fit to work together during the discovery call to help avoid the biggest sales mistake
You're going to get the information that you need to do the proposal in your questionnaire that you have them fill out before you get on the call. Remember the call is just to determine whether or not you're a good fit for one another. And so if you think about it that way, that you are interviewing them to see if you want to work with them. I think what that does is that flips the call. Because I think a lot of times when you get on these calls, you think that the purpose of the call is to sell yourself to the other person.
Your whole purpose with the call is to determine whether or not you want to work with them. Because some people are just not a good fit. So you are interviewing people just as much as they're interviewing you. As a service provider, you have to do that. Because ultimately, especially in bookkeeping, it's not a short-term relationship. This is somebody that you are going to work with month in and month out, and hopefully for years. And so you have to make sure that this is a good fit for both parties.
I hope that this helps you be a little bit more comfortable with the sales process. And makes the sales process seem a little bit less salesy, or slimy, or whatever word you want to use. But just remember all you're doing is having a conversation.