This is the dream if you hate selling.
You hate all those people talking about those manipulation tactics that don’t align with you.
But with the amount of people talking about those strategies, you think that’s the only way to do it, right?
I thought so as well, and that’s why I hated sales calls and scripted conversations.
But over time I realized that…
Closing any conversation whether on the phone or in text should be effortless and ethical without all those manipulation techniques… right?
That’s why I started experimenting and trying different ways to close in an ethical and effective way.
In this post, I want to share with you the most effective sales process I’ve discovered so far.
This process helped me generate millions of dollars in revenue, approaching over $20 million in sales in a very short period of time.
This Four-Step Close was taught to me by my friend Jesse Elder, and since then, it’s completely transformed how my sales team and I run our sales calls.
In reality, it’s not a script; it’s a flow of being able to become curious.
I believe that effective selling is the intersection of curiosity, vibration, empathy, and coaching, as I showed you in the Social selling 101 post.
See, most people think of selling as pitching. Yet, if your marketing has worked, it’s actually the ability to see the world from the point of view of the person on your phone.
This creates a really interesting effect inside of your sales—regardless if they purchase or not, the sales process is creating a transformative state from where someone wants to be to where they are.
Simply put, regardless if they invest or not, you’ve helped them. I believe that’s important in business and life.
Here’s a quick video from my premium training that explains how it works, then we’ll dive into the details in the rest of this post 🙂
BTW, this is just one part of being able to skip the pitch. If you want to know more about having a fun business and scaling your sales without having a sales team, check out my upcoming live workshop where I go deep into stuff like this. Click here to register.
Step One: Illuminate Your Potential Client’s Pain
Your first step is to help your prospect more clearly understand their current pain so they can really see and feel how much these problems are costing them, holding them back, and preventing them from experiencing what they really want.
The focus is 100 percent on them, their story, and their results so far in this area of their life.
Your job is to listen and reach common ground. Meaning that you understand their situation and where they currently are on their journey.
Ask them about their situation. Ask them how they feel about it.
Sit back as they tell you their story and then simply ask them, “How has this last month been?” in regard to their pain or problem.
This question is one of the most powerful you can ask. It forces them to face the problems that brought them onto the sales call, and it puts a time constraint around it.
They have to think about the pains they’ve suffered during the last thirty days, which puts urgency on why they need to resolve them.
This is how you illuminate someone’s pain.
Then you just keep asking questions. If you’re really great at what you do, you’ll know the patterns, the typical problems, the issues, and the things that are keeping that person up at night.
For those whom I work with, it’s feeling like they are on a hamster wheel, that they’ve made a lot of money but don’t have time, that they don’t have a real business.
The idea here is to be almost like a kid. Keep asking why, why, why. You have to realize that most people will initially give you a well-rehearsed rationalization, but if you dig enough, you’ll find the answer that is the actual truth buried below their rationalizations.
Now, my practice in this area is to start writing down what they’re saying. Your job here is to create an understanding of this person. The job here is to have as much presence as possible.
So make two columns on a piece of paper: pain and pleasure. Specifics rule, be measurable, avoid ambiguity. This needs to be real for the client.
Most people have very few friends. They don’t have many people who get them. Most often, there are less than two people in someone’s life who will really get them.
The most powerful thing in being able to help someone is presence—it’s the act of truly listening and hearing them and allowing yourself to step inside of their shoes. This is true empathy.
Empathy is powerful because it’s what allows you to actually sell something. If you don’t have empathy or you don’t see the world through their eyes, your ability to help them becomes limited to your own perception of reality.
To recap, in this phase, you should ask them about things like:
- Their pain: Make sure to get people to get real about the pain, be aware of what currently exists. The only reason people make swift decisions is to avoid pain.
- What’s going on in your business/life/relationship right now?
- Can you elaborate on that?
- How else is that affecting you? Make lateral connections to the cost of their problem.
- What have you missed out on?
- What has this cost you? (time, money, peace of mind)
- How has this last month been?
This first phase could take ten to fifteen minutes where you’re actively listening and taking notes. You’re curious and asking them more questions to dig deeper.
Step Two: Clearly Visualize the Goal
Pain alone isn’t enough to sell someone a solution.
Your potential clients need to be enrolled into their vision of a better future and believe they are capable of moving through whatever is holding them back.
Now it’s time to ask them to describe their goals, vision, and what motivates them. This is where they need to get honest with you about what they want. The problems they don’t want to deal with anymore, the outcomes they want to see.
A key part of using this strategy is to practice active listening. At key moments, repeat what you’re hearing back to your prospect. Always use their own words to describe their pain and to describe their ideal vision.
Again, you’ll find that most people answer questions based on a rehearsed answer. People rarely know what will give them fulfillment and rarely know how to obtain happiness.
Your job is to understand what they actually want. Do they want freedom or just more time with their wife? Do they want a multi-million-dollar business or just a hired-gun consultant?
Again, you might realize at this stage that this person hasn’t spoken in a real way about this with anyone. Maybe not even their significant other. Further, you might find that the person you’re talking to is covering their true desires and wants with those that sound cool.
Here’s what you should do in this stage:
- Minimize the difficulty of the pain, dramatize the ease of the possession. People lose sales by focusing on the process of acquisition instead of the ease of possession. “People don’t want the funnel, they WANT the house” – Jesse Elder. The fact that they don’t have the components in place in their lives means they have not crafted that vision deeply.
- Bridge to the vision: “Okay, here’s where you’re at. So, what would you like to experience instead?”
- What does it look like if you no longer have to deal with (specific problem)?
- What does that look like for you? What do you see? How much exactly? Get them to be specific, sensory specific.
- Can you describe that for me?
- Okay, let’s say that XX amount of money is coming (or whatever outcome they want), which is very doable, how else would that affect your life?
- We’ve created a gap and we want to make sure they see what’s on the line. Always assume responsibility for clarity. Do not elaborate language, use EXACT language and terminology: “So John, let me make sure I understand you: what you want is (read vision back), is that right?” It feels good to have the vision read back to you.
Step Three: Highlight the Gap
By now, they’ve revealed their pain and their vision. Now you just need to help illustrate in their mind the gap between where they are and where they want to be.
However, and this is important, you have to allow them to describe this gap (instead of you stating it to them).
Although you may be tempted to outright tell them what the solution is, instead ask them what they think needs to change.
A few potential questions you can ask are:
- What do you think needs to happen to change all this?
- What support would help you the most?
- What would be most valuable to you over the next ninety days?
Force them to use clear, specific language.
If you tend to work with someone over a ninety-day period (or six months, a year, etc.) ask them to share what they think they need to do during this period. Allow them to highlight their own gap because, this way, they create their own solution—meaning all you have to do is tailor your offer around their needs.
The important step here is that they tell themselves what they need to do.
Most of us, as humans, know exactly what we need to do; however, once we say it out loud, it changes the scenario because it makes our needed transformation real. Instead of it being in our head, we are faced head-to-head with the reality that we can have it if we so choose.
Finally, repeat all this back to them once again. Ask them if they agree. Ask if you’ve heard them right. Each time they say yes, it creates a micro commitment that makes what comes next much easier.
At this point in the conversation, you’ve probably spoken for just a few minutes, and they’ve spoken for forty-five. The important thing here is that the vibration or energy between the two of you is aligned and that they’ve convinced themselves that they need a change in their life, business, or relationship.
Here’s how this could look on a call:
- We have the vision, now we bridge back to the obstacle. Bring them back to the present pain so we invite them to the next level. Read the pain list backward. We want to deal with the big stuff and baby step back down to what’s easily solvable.
- “So in order for this to happen, here’s what we need to get rid of, here’s what we need to resolve, here’s what we need to eliminate, here’s what needs to happen (pain, pain, pain, pain in greater frequency). Is that right? And you just don’t have clarity on what to do, is that right?”
- Make them describe the gap and what they need to solve that pain and problem. Use the three questions above.
Step Four: Create a Commitment
Until now, your prospects have done most of the talking. Now it’s time for you to speak up. Reveal your solution as the answer to their pains and problems. This is about them and their goals; it’s not about you and your program.
Say something like, “Here’s how I think someone could help you achieve this over the next ninety days.”
This isn’t about how you can help them but, rather, helping them see that this is the help they need. Once you’ve described this solution, ask them, “If you had this, would it be valuable to you?”
Another micro-commitment. Another opportunity for them to make their own choice. Up until now, at no point has this been about you or your program or how you can help them.
It’s 100 percent focused on them and the help they need.
Your job is not to pitch your program; rather, your job is to be able to weave your program or offer around what they’ve said up to this point.
This is important because an offer is more about allowing the person to feel like it’s solving the problem and filling the gap than allowing for benefits or line items.
“If you don’t do this, what’s the cost to you?” you ask. “If you don’t take action on this now, what cost will this have for you, your family, and business in the coming months?”
Asking them this brings them back to their pain and their current situation. They are desperate to change this, so the only question left to ask is: “Are you ready to commit?”
This is when you ask them whether they are ready to work with you. This is when you get specific on your offer and ask them to commit.
No manipulation or scarcity tactics, none of the tricks that give sales such a bad name (and sometimes an icky feeling).
With this, the conversation itself provides illumination and clarity. It is in service to the potential client while also helping get them in a position to make a powerful, motivated decision to take the next step in working with you.
The important part of this entire process is for the person to come to the phone call motivated and with the right marketing beforehand.
When we’re advising our clients, we actually want to increase the amount of time someone has before they have the ability to have the opportunity to work with us.
If someone is on a phone call with you and they don’t know their pain or problem, they don’t know your process or method, they don’t know your authority, or if they don’t believe in themselves, they shouldn’t be on the phone with you.
The process beyond sales should be one where the person should be validating themselves instead of validating you.
When done correctly, this allows someone to look up to you, and they are pitching YOU on the sale versus the other way around.
And regardless if they buy from you or not, they now have clarity in their life, thus causing them to make a choice.
Either change it or live inside of their current reality.
This is a much better way to do sales 😉
If you want to know more about how to skip the pitch and have fun conversations while having a high percentage of sales close, then check out the new Skip the Pitch workshop.