How Changing Your Mindset Can Lead to More Sales

Last week, my husband, Garth, launched his new law firm and I spent a few days helping him get up and running.

As I answered the phone for Garth, I noticed that he was getting a LOT of sales calls. I’m sure this happens with every law firm, but what I noticed was that all of the vendors seemed particularly desperate as they had lost the business of Garth’s boss who passed away several weeks ago.

They all seemed eager to have Garth fill the gaping hole that was left by that lost business.

However, because Garth is just now starting out on his own, his needs are very different from an established firm with several attorneys and staff members. But NOT ONE vendor seemed to acknowledge that.

Every one of them – from the copy machine vendor to the yellow pages sales person – expected Garth to continue with their services at the same level as his boss. None of them were willing to budge on pricing or look for other solutions that might be a better fit.

So, why am I telling you all of this?

Because chances are good that you are making the same mistake these vendors did.

If you want to make more sales, quit focusing on yourself. Instead, pay attention to your customer and their needs.

This means you need to understand your clients’ needs, their pain points and what keeps them up and night.

Then, you need to find solutions to their problems, strive to make their lives easier and look for ways to improve their bottom line.

Show them how your product or service will make a difference for their business.

For the yellow pages sales guy, can you show what kind of results others have experienced by purchasing similar-sized ads? Can you demonstrate how an ad might help someone who’s launching their business? Do you have special pricing for new businesses?

For the copy machine salesperson, can you show how this copier will save staff time and increase productivity? Can you explain why this model will make Garth’s life so much easier than others?

If you don’t understand how someone will benefit from your product or service, your potential client won’t either.

So, take the time to figure this out.

Talk to your current clients and customers. Find out what they value most about your business. Send out a survey, call up some of your best customers or ask questions on social networks.

Then, use the feedback to mold your messaging throughout your business – on your website, collateral materials and yes, on sales calls.

If you do this right, making sales will become so much easier (and your clients will be happier too).

Do you know how do people or businesses benefit from your product or service? Do you struggle with this?

Image credit: Simon Greig

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Laura Click

Laura Click

Laura Click is brand strategist, speaker, podcaster and the founder of Blue Kite. Learn more about Laura and her work at Blue Kite.

11 replies on “How Changing Your Mindset Can Lead to More Sales”

It’s hard for me to call someone up when I haven’t done my homework. I kind of grew into business with that mindset, so I don’t waste as much time. You offer a valuable tip the salesfolk could
 be a whole lot more effective for implementing: no, your husband’s firm
 is not his boss’s firm–or any other, for that matter!

It all goes back to understanding your audience and knowing what drives their business. If someone doesn’t get that, or worse yet, pretends to and shoves inaccurate info at me, I move on.
 I handle marketing for two retailers and three restaurants. I’m constantly bombarded by ad reps (it’s their job, I get it), but I’m always astounded at how little homework they’ve actually done.
 

It’s called, purely, relationship building, Laura. Instead of expecting the sale on the first try, ask for a meeting instead. Get acquainted, learn who your husband is as a business man and then create a model that works — TOGETHER.

So much in sales is the old way; people need to understand that business has changed. Status quo is no longer.

Best of luck to you and your husband; with an advisor like you, success is right around the corner!

It’s all about relationships. It always has been, it always will be. The technologies may change and how we connect may change, but relationships must come first before you can make the sale.

Thanks for the kind words of encouragement! Garth and I both appreciate it!

Laura, great advice for salespeople.

I’ll give an example: I’m in the mindset of eliminating as many of our monthly expenses as I possibly can, preparing for a dream of traveling the country and working from the road. I’m very good at saying NO to anything that adds to our expenses. I don’t care what it is! Reduce, reduce, reduce. That’s my mantra.
 

So when the Better Business Bureau contacted us by phone (and I hate telemarketing!) about applying for certification and affiliation,
 and told me how much it would cost (my first question), my immediate response was, “No, thanks.”
 The saleswoman, though, was well-versed in expressing — without being overbearing — the benefits of being a member of the BBB. If she had been pushy, I would’ve shut right down. If she hadn’t been able to express all the benefits of BBB membership, I wouldn’t have been interested. But now,
 I had to ask myself honestly if being a member of the BBB was worth adding to our monthly expenses.
 

I told her I’d have to think about it, and she completely understood — or at least acted like she did. The saleswoman touched base with us just once or twice over the next couple of weeks, by email, and very gently — not pushing at all.
 

Here’s the takeaway — from beginning to end, the saleswoman made BBB all about OUR business, as though she genuinely cared about US, about making OUR lives easier.
 Honestly, she made me feel like the BBB is a partner with us, not a vendor to us.
 And that’s what sold me.
 In the end, we said yes, & I don’t regret it one bit. I’d like to bottle her sales skills!

What a great story! Thanks for sharing. Just think what would happen if there were more salespeople like her!!!!

You hit on an important word – partner. There’s a big difference with that mindset than one who is just selling you something. It means that they are invested in your success. That’s important. I wish more companies thought like that.

Indeed, Laura! I try to keep that in mind whenever approaching or being approached by a client. “We’re partnering with them.” And we really are!
 

The BBB who contacted us, by the way, is the Boston Better Business Bureau, if anyone’s interested. You can find them at
 http://boston.bbb.org/accreditation/
 along with a list of all the BBB’s benefits, if you’d rather not have anyone call you. I don’t know if all their salespeople are as gifted as ours was, but she had a heart for us as business owners, you know? I learned a lot from that experience. I wish I could recall her name.
 

Great points Laura. The old trope about sales is “find a need and fill it.” It seems like so many salespeople are tone deaf and operate on “find a hole in the conversation, and fill it.” All the best salespeople I know are great listeners.

It’s a shame for the vendors, as they had an opportunity. But it also gives your husband a reason to walk away, look at fresh opportunities, and not feel obligated to those vendors from the previous firm.

Best of luck with the new firm! I am sure it will be a great success.

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