And why it is OK to be imperfect on a sales call
Today I signed a new long-term 1:1 coaching client. I hadn’t expected that at all when I woke up this morning, feeling tired and with a headache. I normally prepare well for my calls, get a little nervous even, wanting to make the perfect impression, so I make the sale. This morning, I hadn’t given it much thought at all, and was really low on energy. I thought, if I manage to get through this call without looking like a fool, that will be a winner. This is what happened next and what you could learn from being imperfect on a sales call.
I felt rough this morning, and I would have preferred to rest and not work. Now I could have rescheduled the call, but it was booked for 11am, and so I decided not to cancel on my client last-minute. Instead, I made myself a coffee, got dressed, and I gave myself permission to go into the call like “You know what, I will do my best with what I’ve got today. I may get a sale, or not, but I will show up, and that is enough.”
Stop talking too much
We started the conversation, I asked questions, she talked. Then I talked a little and we generally had a pleasant conversation. I mentioned my offers, explained how I work, and then stayed silent for a moment. I expected nothing. Perhaps a one-off Power Session of 90 minutes, but nothing else.
And then she said ‘That all sounds brilliant. I think six months of coaching is just what I need.”
I didn’t see that one coming! I was obviously thrilled, but also slightly surprised. On some of my free calls, I have great conversations (I think), I prepare well, I do my very best to explain everything into detail, people look very interested, and then…nothing.
So what went well this time, then, despite having less energy and a different approach?
Being tired, instead of talking too much, I mostly listened.
I was calm, kind, showed empathy, and just felt relaxed and without any attachment to the outcome. No pressure on myself. We had a lovely chat, I gave her some helpful quick wins, and then she booked.
That was it.
How to sign more coaching clients
The lesson in all that? We often think we are not good enough if we don’t share all we know. We believe people will not buy if there is a silence during a conversation. We expect people to walk away when we don’t give them heaps of information.
The opposite is true.
When someone books a call, they want to be listened to, first of all. They want to share their story. So stop talking so much about yourself and your offers! Ask more questions. Truly get to the bottom of your client’s problem before offering them your solutions.
Listening is gold
All you have to do, is listen and ask the right questions that will give you the information you need. Take plenty of notes during the call. Look at your notes after a while and summarize the issue for them. Repeat back to them what they have said, using their own words, and how you think you can help them.
Often, we over-complicate things. We believe we need to go on more sales training, or shy away from call booking systems and do it all via more anonymous email, hiding behind a screen. Just be human, and show up, in all your imperfection. You are totally capable of having an informal chat with a new client. They are just people who need help. Go and help. Or say, ah, sorry, I cannot help you with that, and move on. That’s it. Simple.
If you want to have a relaxed informal chat with me about your business, go and book a call for next week, it’s free. I usually have some availability, and I’d love to see you.
PS: another lesson I learnt: my new client found me on LinkedIn after seeing one of my unpolished, laid-back, no-nonsense videos. I was human, it resonated. You do not need to be perfect. Just start. Just post.