Opening doors and getting new business – The art of soft selling
I had a great meeting with an old client of mine this week, where amongst chat of rugby and motorbikes, we discussed why it is that Solicitors (and other professionals for that matter) don’t like to business develop.
Interestingly, we both felt exactly the same way and came to the same conclusions. Good lawyers are good lawyers. They are technically excellent, they provide with clients with fantastic advice and an efficient service. They solve their client’s problems. That is what they train for and that is what they aspire to. To be excellent in their field.
What they aren’t taught and trained to do is to sell themselves.
In my years in professional recruitment I can’t actually remember a client of mine in a professional services firm asking me for a candidate who couldn’t bring in new business. They all want rainmakers. And, I am yet to meet a professional who doesn’t want to be a rainmaker.
There is a fear amongst the professions that if you move a conversation from small talk towards sales, then you will be seen as less that professional. Dread the thought that you might be seen as salesy!
The thinking is this: “We are professionals, we are not salespeople.” Not true. We all sell ourselves, and we do it all of the time, we just don’t think about it that way.
No one like to be sold to
None of us like to be sold to. We don’t like to be pushed, we like to collect the facts and make an informed decision. The second hand car salesmen of the past have a lot to answer for.
I believe that selling is part and parcel of a professionals role. Meeting potential new clients, presenting yourself in the very best light, persuading them that we are the right business partner for them, transacting their business and ultimately being paid, is all a sales cycle.
We can dress up the language in whatever way we like to make it more acceptable to us, but at the end of the day it is just sales.
Selling Softly – a consultative approach
Soft Sales (or consultative sales) is not about talking and endless boasting about how good you, your firm or your service is. Consultative sales is about listening and understanding the needs of your client or prospective client. It is about formulating a sensible and cost effective solution, that your client will want, and will want to buy from you.
Once you appreciate this, and then learn a soft selling process, you will be amazed at how easy it is, and how natural it feels. It must feel natural if it going to feel professional to both you and your client.
Sales really isn’t complicated. Meeting more clients, winning their business, developing those relationships and leveraging on them to do it all again is easy. But its only easy when you know how.
I can work with you to learn how to build, develop and grow your natural potential. I can get you past the initial reservations and stumbling blocks and take you and your teams/businesses on to grow.
If you would like to have a chat about how I can help you or your staff to build, develop and grow the natural potential to become someone who opens more doors, please do give me a call or organise to meet for a coffee. I would be delighted to help.
For more on developing yourself, your staff and improving the profitability of your business, please do get in touch. You can email me at email@example.com, use the contact page on my website www.jamesnathan.com or call me on 07736 831151. Follow me on Twitter at @jamesnathanxp, connect to me on LinkedIn, or follow me on Facebook.
I look forward to speaking soon.