Some businesses blame the economy for not doing well in sales, or they question their audience for being cheap. In reality, businesses today need to understand that selling is not about pushing and talking more. Sales is about listening and educating.
In this webinar, Vahid Shababi will about what you can do to increase your number of sales by changing your approach to selling. You will learn how, through educating your customers, you can increase customer satisfaction with minimum hassle.
Hello, and welcome to today's webinar with Vahid Shababi on "Selling is Not about Selling, It's About Educating." Just so you know, please like us on Facebook at facebook.com/championswayfans to get the recording and any other updates from us for future webinars and promotions. So today's webinar with Vahid, Director of Sales and Marketing here at Perfect Mind and Champions Way, will go over this: "Selling is Not About Selling, It's About Educating." Without further ado, we will begin.
Presenter (Vahid Shababi)
Thank you. Thanks everybody for joining me today for today's webinar. Before we start, if you can hear my voice very clearly, just please type YES in the chat box. I just want to make sure everybody can see my screen and also you can hear my voice. Perfect! Awesome! I see a lot of yeses. That's awesome. Alright!
So I've been asked by many of our clients, friends, colleagues to have a webinar on sales. Those of you who've been working with me, been trained by me on sales, you know I'm big in sales, but I don't like selling, in a way that push people to make a decision. I try to make it sweet for them, just for them to say yes, and then you leave them by themselves.
"Selling is Not About Selling, Selling is About Educating." What do I mean by this? Let's start from the very beginning.
To me, sales is not an event; sales is a process. It's not like a one-time call or one-time meeting or two-time meetings that "Hey, I could convince the guy to sign a contract with us. He's on board. Let's do it." No. Sales is not about that. Sales is about the process that you go through. Now, how this process starts is the main differentiator between good sales people and bad sales people. Selling is not about pushing; it's about understanding your clients' and prospects' pains and also their needs. Then based on those needs, offer them the best possible solution. That is the difference between telling and selling.
Here's my question: How many times when a prospect walks into you school or walks into your business or gets on a phone, you don't even let them talk. You keep talking and talking and talking and talking about what you like about your services, about why you are the best, but you never actually listen to them.
Selling is not about telling; selling is about problem solving. People hate sales people. Like as soon as you hear the sales guy is coming, you go to Best Buy; as soon as your sales guy is approaching, you try to avoid them. Why? Because the image that everybody has from a sales agent is pushing, pushing, pushing, pushing. But if you can change that image and become a problem solver, this is where you can win the sale. This is when you can win a customer. If you go through the right sales process, you will have that customer for a long time.
Now in order for you to become a problem solver rather than a seller, I have a bad news for you and that's a bad news for any sales agent. You have to shut your mouth and open your ears. That is so tough for sales people because they like to talk. I personally love to talk and it's sometimes hard to not actually talk. But if you want to win, you should listen more than talk. Now when you're listening to them, they always give you hints on what they need. They always give you some uncovered needs that they're not even thinking about. But because you're expert in that area, you can get that. Then you can start educating them on their needs. Don't push them; don't offer them something for free just to get their attention. It may work at the end but at the beginning you have to listen to them and map their needs with the solutions and the benefits that you're offering.
Always talk in terms of benefits. Anything that you want to say, any statement that you want to make, always think: what is in it for them? Never talk about you. Nobody cares about you. Think about them and also see how your services or your product can resolve a pain for them. For example, a parent walks into your school. You're operating a martial Arts school. As soon as they walk in, you start talking about how amazing you are, how amazing your children's program is, talk about your instructor, talk about your fights, talk about how great person you are. But you don't even think: what is in it for them for me being a great fighter? How can I address this parent's needs that they walk into the school for a reason? So let's figure out what the reason is.
In order for you to become a problem solver, you have to review things. You have to figure out what solutions your products and services will provide to your customers.
That comes from the needs. Now you may have different perceptions as far as how you can help them. But it's very easy. I'm going to give you some quick ways to figure out what would be the best way to approach your clients.
Make a list, so you have something as a reference. Like make a list of every single benefit that you think you will give to your prospect. Now the list has to be in terms of their benefits; never write that "I'm the great yoga teacher," but you can write that "I help people to have a flexible body." Never write that, "I'm a hard worker," but you can write that "I help people to be focused."
Now how can you have this list to be accurate? Easiest way: ask your current satisfied customers what problems your product or services has resolved for them. When they walk in, you see that Jenny is a happy person, has always been happy with your services. Doesn't matter what you sell, it's a product or it's a service. If you're a gym or you're selling videos, it doesn't matter what it is. When you talk to one of your clients, say "Since the moment that you talked to us, since you started working with us, what are the problems that have been solved by our services? Can you help me with that? Can you give me five of them?" Right, that's you first list; add those to your list.
Number 2, ask prospects what solution using a product or service like yours would provide them. You've got a web lead, you've got an inquiry over the phone. The first question is: what are your pains? What are the things that you are hoping to achieve by hiring me or my company to provide your service? Write down all those.
Lastly, ask your former customers, when they're walking out of your business, make sure to never ruin any relationship. Don't burn any bridges; let them go. I always say, "Don't save pennies, and are stepping on dollars." If you want to give a hard time to a person who's leaving you, maybe you're saving pennies. But that person is going to tell other people: unhappy client talk to ten, happy client talk to four. That's the rule of thumb. So when they walk out, say, "I'm just going to make this transition very easy for you. In return, can you please tell me, what were you hoping to get from my services? What are the needs that you were hoping to address with my services and you didn't? Can you help me with that?" Then add them to your list. That should be the need and the problems and the solutions that you are helping with the client.
Now let's say that you have this list. What is next? When you talk to a prospect, ask questions. When somebody contacts you, they're calling you for a reason. I think you all agree with me, if somebody calls you or walks into your business, there should be a reason behind it. But 90% of the people, they don't spend time to figure out what the reason is. Again I go back to my first example. A parent walks into your school and they're looking for martial arts lessons for their kids. 90% of the people could start talking when they walk in. How many of you have actually asked this question: "What made you walk into your school?" "I'm trying to find a martial arts lesson for my kids." "What are you trying to achieve by getting into the martial arts?" "I'm trying to get him to be focused, to be disciplined." Perfect, they already told you what they need. You're selling a consulting business, webinars or whatever. Somebody calls you. "What are you trying to achieve by hiring me as a consultant?" "These are my pains: I want to work with this company to streamline my, whatever needs." You now know what the problem is. You don't have to talk for three hours and hoping maybe one of the things that you say makes sense to them. Ask question then listen. The hardest thing for sales people: listening.
Then when you're talking and trying to talk about the solutions that you have for their pains, always focus on benefits, never talk about features. Remember, features tell, benefits sell. If you walk into Best Buy, you're trying to buy a TV and the sales guy starts talking about the 36-inch TV, it's HD, and start talking some technical words, you have no idea what he's talking about. But if he comes in and say, "How big is your room?" "It's this big." "Based on that, you need to have this size of TV. So let's look at the 36inches. What do you watch the most?" "I watch movies and sports." "Perfect. So you need to have HD because of this, this, this." So now I'm talking in terms of benefits because nobody cares about the features. Features will tell but it won't sell. That's the benefits that will sell.
Lastly, never close a customer. Never close a deal. All your mentality should be open - the relationship. I always tell my sales people, the moment that someone signs the contract or gives you their credit card - that is the beginning. Your sales is over when they give you five referrals.
Because they trusted you with their credit card, you better be in that relationship. I don't want quick sells. Sales is about relationship. Build the relationship, help them. If you help people with their needs, they're not going to leave you.
Now based on the list that I set, you have to create. You have to define your offerings. As I said, when they're on the phone with you, they send you an email, they walk into your business - there is always a reason for them. Before you start talking about you, find the reason, address the reason.
They don't really care about what you like about your service or product. I was talking to a friend of mine, who's offering the Voice Over IP phones. And when I say, "Okay what do you offer?" He keeps talking about what he likes about his service. He never told me one success story, that one of their clients got this different result since they joined them. That is wrong. People, they don't care what you like about your service. That's the story of the people who build the website that they like. They don't really care about the viewers. They don't really care about the customers. They don't really care about the prospects that visit their website.
Now when you want to talk in terms of their benefits, always word them in your clients' language. Don't you hate when you walk into a doctor's office and they start using some technical words that we all have to Google when we leave the office to see if you're dying or not. But we love the doctors that actually make it simple. They draw pictures and they make it dummy-proof for us to understand. That's me. I hate it that every time he's talking I have to take notes on my iPhone to be able to Google that afterwards to see what's wrong with me. Never use technical; use simple.
The outcome of your offering should end with benefit for them. It shouldn't be about you. It shouldn't make you the hero of the story. It should make them as, "Hey this is the big picture. If you join me, if you hire me, if you're with me on this service, this is what you're going to have at the end of it." Remember the most important thing in sales: you have to create value. I will talk about the value in the next few slides.
How many of you guys have a fear of hearing "it's too expensive" from your prospect? If you're on the same boat, or if you have this problem with any of your employees, please type YES in the chat box that they have a fear of hearing "it's too expensive." I see a lot of yeses. Okay.
You know why? Because, you don't look at the value, because you don't create a value. In its worth, nothing is expensive. Let me tell you this, nothing is expensive. People expect higher quality with the higher prices. It's not about the price; it is about the value. I always use this example. Every time one of my sales guys comes to me and says "It's too expensive." I'm like, "Can I have 500 bucks?" He's like "Why?" I'm like "For this ten." He starts laughing. Then I ask the exact same question, "Can I have 500 bucks." He said "For what?" I give them my car key. He's like "Are you serious?" I'm like "The 500 didn't change, it's the same thing. The value has been changed because the ten is tangible. You know it's not worth the 500 bucks. Also the car is tangible; you know it's worth more than 500 bucks." At the end of the day, if you feel your service is expensive, that means you haven't seen the value for your service based on the price that you put it. Either you need to modify your service to create value or you need to change the price based on that.
Your price is a communicator of your service and quality. It's all about the quality. Never think about what you're asking; always think about what you're giving. So if somebody walks into your yoga studio and you want to ask for $200 a month and you have a fear that she's a single mom, she has two kids, $200 is too expensive. No, don't think about that. Why don't you think about like if she spent $400 a month and put two kids in your yoga studio, at the end of the day, she's purchasing an insurance for her kids. They're going to be healthy, that they're not going to be into drugs, that they're not going to be into any things. Any parent will spend $400 as insurance for two kids. Think about what you're giving. Never think about what you're asking. The people who think about what they give, they can ask for money. Never disvalue your service. Nobody will disvalue the service because of you. So why do you disvalue your service? If you feel your services are expensive, that's a different story because you don't see the value. Create some value for it.
Before I go to the next slide I'm going to talk about objections. I'm going to talk about the difference between a service and a product. For those of you who are selling service, the impression that you give, the professionalism that you have, it's everything. Let me give you an example. I'm pretty sure we all had it. We love a singer or an artist because we love the music. We hear to their songs. We always listen to them when we're driving. It's been repeating on our iPhone in the office. We love it, we listen to it a hundred times, but one concert is enough for us to stop listening to that person.
I'm pretty sure it happened to everybody because there's one difference - that's the difference between a product and a service. A service is only as good as who's providing them. So maybe that singer didn't act professionally. Maybe he sat by the piano the entire time with no eye contact. So you're like "I can't listen to their tracks, why should I go to the concert? "So if you are offering a service, remember this: a service is only as good as who's providing them. That's you and your staff. So make sure what you're providing is worth the price what your clients are paying.
Now let's talk about objections. Objections are uncovered needs and unanswered questions. That's what objections are. If anybody comes to you and says "It's too expensive," it's because you didn't create value. If somebody comes and says "The time is not perfect," it's because you didn't create urgency. If somebody comes in "I have to check with my wife," it's because you couldn't sell them the value. If somebody comes to you and says "I don't know, I just want to check other places," it's because they couldn't find you unique, that you couldn't answer their needs. So objections will be there only either you fail in uncovering their needs in the initial stage. You couldn't find out what their needs are. You didn't ask proper question or you didn't listen. Or maybe you figured out that part but you failed in offering and educating them on the best possible solutions. It could be either-or, it's no other way. If you can find out the needs and map them with the solutions, it's a done deal.
Never ignore objections. Never go around them, address them. I hate the sales people who are just hoping and hoping and hoping. This guy is not going to answer or ask question. Because if they don't ask you, they're going to ask their wife, they're going to ask their husband, they're going to go home and talk to three other people, they're going to ask your competitor. It's better with them asking you and you answer those objections.
At the end of the day, again it's not about the price, it's about the value. The people who're not confident to ask for money based on the service, that means you haven't sold them the value for your service. I'm going to talk about who you need in your team. Now you always have to consider the buyer's behavior as well. We have four different personalities. That actually works in your life as well.
You have fighters who have a fear of losing. They always want to be in control. You can even see it in your friend; they want to be in control. You have to give them control. Even in buyers, you have to make them feel that they are in the driver's seat. You have to drive them by letting them think that way. Let them feel comfortable with you.
Second you have entertainers. They have a fear of being rejected or criticized. So you have to use enthusiasm. You have to use some examples for them so they get on your service or product.
You have detectives that are all about numbers. They have a fear of being wrong. Use your product, your price, your performance, your percentages, how it affected other people. You can get them.
Lastly you have counselors. They have a fear of change. These people, you need to be patient with them. You have to let them make the decisions slowly by educating them.
I'm going to talk about this education. There are better ways than educating them and pushing them on the phone. One thing though, never give up. Never just say "They didn't answer their phone. I'm not going to give up." 80% of the sales will be done after the 17th call. Make sure to call them.
Sales start from the marketing. That's everything. Edu-selling: educating people to buy something. Why I call that edu-selling is just because the sales will come if you can educate people on their needs, the benefits, slowly nurture them. There has to be an automated process. You have to leverage relationship-selling through education-based marketing.
Don't send them an offer right away. Understand what their needs are. Educate them. If you are using a powerful email system that is fully aligned with your CRM, you have to make sure. Spend some time, create some nurturing. The nurture should be based on the behavior of your leads. It should be if they went to this page, they have this question, send these series of email.
Now mark them, marketing-qualified, sales-qualified, opportunity. If they're marketing-qualified, they're still in the stage that you need to educate them about the benefits. If they show some behaviors they could become sales-qualified, then you can start offering them something. If they're an opportunity, all they need is a few testimonials, they will sign up.
Time matters, don't wait. If you're lucky, if you're one of the people they called. They definitely had the same inquiry from competitor. Whoever contacted them first, whoever educated them first, has a higher chance to close the deal.
Today marketing automation is the king. For all you sales guys out there, make sure to educate people through e-books, webinars, seminars, success stories, before you start the sales process. In order to do that, you need to discover the needs. You need to figure out what are the solutions your services or product can offer them to address those solutions.
Marketing automation expert makes your sales easy. If there's automated marketing system out there that has been designed, that has been quoted, has been beautifully written based on your services, go for it. If it's not, take some time. Get a get good system that has a powerful email system to create all these campaigns for you. Again one thing, make sure to measure your success and you have to make changes based on the numbers. Be a number person; don't go based on your feeling. "I feel this campaign is working.' No, look at the numbers. Numbers never lie. Marketing is huge. Marketing will be a door opener for sales guys. If you educate them, they won't leave you.
Educating your prospect is better than a sales pitch. Here's my question for you: Are you an expert in your field? Do you feel you're an expert? If you feel you're an expert, you can educate all these people. You know all these needs. If you don't feel you're an expert, you have to first educate yourself. Teach your prospect. People respect the one who teaches them. If you educate them on the benefits and your services, that will be equal to retention. People are not going to leave you if they know the fact of what is in it for them, if they know the fact oh how they can possibly benefit from your series and they know what they're getting.
If they feel they don't, they're going to approach you and ask you question. "Hey I was hoping to get this but i don't." The problem comes when people don't know why they signed up with you. At some point they're lost. Now they're going to question. Quitting is a process of thought. Quitting from a relationship, from a job, from a friendship, doesn't matter what it is. It's a process of thought. It's not like we sleep tonight, we wake up tomorrow, and you know what I'm going to quit my job. No, there are some objections that are not addressed. If you educate people, that quitting will go down. You have to look at you clients to see if they are engaged with your services. If they're not, you have to figure out why.
Next slide - I got this question a lot from many of our clients, many of the people that work with me for sales. Who do we need in our team? That's a very good question because as I said your service is as good as the people who are providing them.
You need communicators. We go to Starbucks. All the people who's working there are great communicators. They can hold communication. They have to be communicators. They have to be listeners and educators. You cannot possibly have somebody who's not an educator in the sales department or is selling your services. You need people who believe in your organization and product. If somebody doesn't believe in your product and services, they won't see the value. They are not fit people. Make sure they know the value. You need people who want to be your clients, not to sell them. You don't want people like "I'm great at selling this product. I sold 20."
"Okay so what do you sell?"
"I don't know. I just sold."
"What do you mean?"
" Like how did you help these people? "
You need people who want to be your clients as well. 'Sales' is all about relationship. You need people who believe in that. The people who have no fear to ask for money or credit card, because they know the value. Some people are shy, some people are not made to be sales people. Money and credit card are awesome if you're helping people. If somebody walks to you and say "Hey give me 500 bucks, I'm going to give you $2000 and it's guaranteed." That's great, that's a great deal. There's nothing wrong with asking money as long as you know the value and you honor your words.
A quick test that you can have for your team to see if they're ready to ask money or not is, on a board write from 1 all the way to 5000, like 1…10...20...40...100...200…500…1000...5000. Then ask them "Think about me as one of the people who walks into our school, into our business. Think about what you are offering them. I'm going to point out one of this numbers and ask for that much money." They're going to say, "Can I have one another for this? Can I have 10? Can I have 20?" Most people, their voices start breaking from 100. Those people are not ready. You need to create the value for them.
The more you educate them about the benefits and the difference that you're going to make in peoples life, they can start asking for 200 then 500. The people should be able to ask for five times of your price based on what they're offering. If they can do that, if your simple lesson is 150, they should be able to sell and ask for $750; otherwise they're not ready. If you're selling something for 5000, they should be able to ask for $2500; otherwise they're not ready. So make sure that your people know the value first and they're comfortable to ask for money.
Sales and marketing are all about target and goals. Set target. Have people accountable. Have a board in your office. This is the target we need to have. Make them go to the board, update the board with the number of the sales they had, with the number of the intro sessions they have appointments, however your business works. Just by the fact that they see it every day, they will be accountable.
If they're doing well, that's extra motivation. In front of everybody they're going to go "Hey I'll go and sell." Have a board, write down the target. Make sure the goals are very clear for your staff; otherwise you can't expect them to hit those targets. Keep them and also yourself accountable. Never blame your staff; blame yourself. But keep them accountable. Appreciate when they're doing something great. Make sure to have a very appreciative culture in your office, in your business, that people will like to be part of it. If you feel somebody is not a team member, they're not the best fit. You can have different levels of the relationship with different people in your office. You can be friends with somebody or for somebody else it's just going to be a business relationship. But at the end of the day they have to be clear on what they need to do. They have to be praised when they're doing something great but at the same time they have to feel accountable. And get them to the point where they keep themselves accountable - they don't wait for you.
The moment that your staff is doing that, that's the moment that your business will grow. Be a leader, don't be a manager. A leader moves first, managers sit back and start ordering people. Lead by example, never blame other people. Blame yourself. When something succeeds, thank everybody. That's a leader. Reward them and reward yourself. Say, 'hey if this week we get to this number,' let's stick to a realistic SmartGOAL. 'If we get to that number we are all going to do that.' If they do it, do it for them. Let them be motivated. You have to share your goals. This is the goal of our business. I had a Webinar on goals. People need to be clear on the direction of your organization. Talk to them about the goal of your business. Then they're going feel a part of it. They're not going to feel that they're only working for you.
System and Process is important. You need to have automation - for yourself, people, for your marketing, for your retention. I'm not sure if you are using the system or you're not using the system. If you're not using the system, the biggest investment that you can have today is just having the system implemented, set up and proper.
Never make your client or your prospect repeat them again. If they already had a conversation with you, it has to be in your system. You email has to be triggered based on that. Anybody who picks up the phone in your organization has to know all those.
You need to have a marketing automation to educate all your leads. You need to have a task and to-do list for every single staff. Keep them accountable to finish those tasks. In the morning make sure they're clear on why they're going to do those tasks. If they're not clear, make sure to sit down with them, explain them, be a leader. What I would suggest is always have a quick meeting to review the goals and achievements. In the morning, ten-minute huddle. At the beginning of the week a half-an- hour huddle. At the end of the week or at the end of the day, 'Hey these are the goals that we set. Did you achieve them? Why didn't you?' Try to help them to achieve their goals. Nobody will win if you only blame them.
But if you go now, 'Well you were supposed to book ten appointments. Why didn't you?' He/She's going to talk about the problems that they have. Try to help them. Don't give up on people. If you feel he's not a team player let him know. 'Hey, change your career.' I've done that with many people. I've said like, 'Sales is not your thing because of this, this, this." But help them to find out what their thing is. You will always be rewarded if you care for people. Yes many times you will be disappointed but the 1 out of ten times that you will be rewarded is worth it. Care for people so people will care for you. Care for people so people care for your business. Don't just look at them as transactions.
That was the entire presentation I had about sales. Now if you have any question, you can type it in the question bar and I will be more than happy to answer your question. Feel free to add me on Facebook or LinkedIn if you have any other questions. My email is vahid@PerfectMIND.com. Send me any question that you have and I'll be more than happy to answer it. Now I'm just going to go over the questions that have been asked and go over them one by one.