As a marketing coach who works with thought-leading executives and entrepreneurs, I conduct between 4-7 sales conversations every single week with new prospects.
Some of these folks know me from having heard one of my marketing keynotes, seminars, or teleseminars.
Others are total strangers.
You are probably in the same boat if you're an independent professional, consultant or high-fee trusted advisor...
As a point of reference, my prospects are looking for coaching or consulting around a variety of issues like:
- Self-marketing for non-selling professionals
- Speaker marketing strategy
- Thought leadership marketing
- Live Content Platform programs for business leaders who speak
- Book marketing, packaging and coaching
In all of these cases, I field questions very similar to the questions YOU must get from your prospects:
- What can you guarantee?
- What kind of concrete ROI can I expect?
- Can I get references from people you've worked with?
Here's the Killer Sales Question that will take your prospecting to a whole new level by getting to the REAL root cause of these types of questions...
Are you ready?
Jot this one down, 'cuz it's a keeper...
YOU: "I understand your question and you'll get my answer in a minute. But first, let me ask YOU a tough question... It sounds like you're not sure if this program will work for you. So are you having doubts about ME -- or are you having doubts about YOU?"
More often than not, this one question will turn the entire selling conversation into a much deeper, more meaningful dialogue around expectations, client responsibilities to implement, previous disappointing experiences they've had with other trusted advisors, and so on.
The moment someone mentions a negative previous experience with a trusted advisor of any kind, I stop the conversation dead in its tracks and ask this:
"When you say you were disappointed in your previous marketing coach, how much of that was on YOUR side of the equation, and how much of that was on THEIR side?"
NOW the real truth comes out - they'll admit that they THEMSELVES were partially (or mostly) responsible for the disappointing results.
Either they didn't implement, or they had crazy expectations, or they weren't fully committed to the relationship, or they kept some key information secret from their trusted advisor which hamstrung the work, etc., etc.
You would be amazed to discover how often bad client behavior is attributed NOT to the client, but to the trusted advisor brought in to fix the situation. It's a classic case of "shoot the messenger" mentality.
My answer? I shoot the prospect. I say, "Well, it sounds like you've been pretty badly burned in the past. We're probably not a fit since you have such a bad taste in your mouth from working with other people like me. If I had your horrible experience, I wouldn't hire me either! I don't want to waste any more of your time. Thank you for this conversation and I'm sorry that we won't be working together."
If they push back on this and they want to re-enter the sales conversation, great...
And if they don't, great! Let them go. They are not a good client for you.
That's just the plain, hard truth.
What do YOU think? Use the COMMENTS area below to share your advice, insights and recommendations on this topic...