Do you need to sell your services but feel a little smarmy even thinking about it? Do you struggle with what to say to prospective clients who you meet for the first time? I promise, it’s not that hard! Even the shyest of people can learn how to engage prospective clients and employers through conversation. Read on to learn five simple steps to not only becoming a sought-after, trusted advisor, but to actually securing new and exciting opportunities.
You Too Can Learn How to Build Professional Relationships Without Feeling Like a Sleazy Self-Promoter
I know it’s hard to sell yourself; it can feel yucky. You feel vulnerable, like others see right through you and think that all you are interested is promoting yourself or, even worse, that you’re a fraud.
Here’s the thing, you are not a fraud! And, consider this: letting others know how you can help them may be self-promotion, but it’s not bad! You are the solution to someone’s problem and everyone wants solutions to their problems. Remember that. So, even before starting on the five simple steps, get your mindset in order!
First, identify your self-defeating mindset: What do you tell yourself when you are thinking about selling you? It’s likely some version of:
“I’m not good enough.” or “Someone else knows more.”
Then, figure out what you have to tell yourself that feels empowering. Replace the self-defeating mindset with:
“I know what I am doing.”
“I’m an expert.”
“I can figure it out.”
5 Simple Steps to Transform Prospects into Clients
Now for the five simple steps:
Step 1: Ask Questions; Don’t Pitch.
Use open-ended questions to get the prospect talking about himself or herself and, hopefully, about problems you can solve. Get to know the prospect and show you care. Don’t forget, you need to identify points of pain.
Step 2: Offer Guidance.
Clarify the prospect’s goals and try to help. Once you know the problem is important to the prospect, recognize and articulate how you are the solution. Tell the prospect that you would be honored to solve his or her problem—this is the soft ask. You need to let the prospect know you are ready, willing, and able to help. You’d be surprised at how many prospects wonder if you have time to help. Suggest and confirm a next step—typically a meeting or a call.
Step 3: Make Your Pitch.
This could be formal or informal. Ask your prospect what he or she needs from the meeting; a question like “What do you need to know about me and my services?” usually works. And, don’t forget to bring your “A Game!” Be ready, well-rested, and confident. Be sure to suggest and agree to next steps; come up with something to keep the relationship going!
Step 4: Follow Up.
Ask the prospect whether he or she has questions about your pitch or proposal. Be sure to offer additional ideas and, if necessary, go back to Step 1, and discuss the prospect’s needs.
Step 5: Do Great Work.
Yes, doing great work is part of the business development process. Continue to invest in the relationship; stay tuned in to the client’s challenges. Don’t forget to be responsive and keep on clients’ radar screens.
- Create a concise and compelling brand.
- It’s all about the prospect; treat him or her like a client.
- The 80/20 Rule; talk only 20% of the time.
- Stay committed, but not attached, to any particular prospect becoming a client
- Be both tenacious and patient; desperation is not attractive.
- It’s a numbers game—fill the pipeline.
- Be a resource; be confident, but not a “know it all.”
Do you want to learn more? Be even more successful? Download my 5 Steps to Transform Prospects into Clients and don’t forget to reach out if you have any questions or would like some support!