It’s Not Enough To Be The Expert In Your Field – Lessons on Selling for Women Consultants Targeting Corporate Firms
This was originally posted on my Seven Figure Consultant LinkedIn Newsletter. Subscribe today to get insights about how women are building powerful and impactful consulting businesses.
I interviewed B2B Sales Coach and Founder of SmartGetsPaid.com, Leah Neaderthal.
An entrepreneur and three-time business owner, Leah didn’t learn to sell by being a commissioned salesperson. She learned it by building her businesses. She taught herself everything she could about selling, and overcame the natural “selling shyness” most entrepreneurs have, to find the confidence to really go out and sell to new clients. The outcome is a comfortable selling approach that doesn’t feel salesy — and gets results.
We had a great discussion about the shifts that women in consulting need to make in order to sell their services to corporate companies, and I know that this will resonate with so many of you reading.
After all – you became a consultant because you were an expert in your field – you didn’t realise you’d also need to be an expert in selling to make this business work.
And yet here you are, with leads to convert, desperately hoping you can sell in a nice way.
Sell without being salesy.
Convert without being pushy.
How do we find that perfect balance?
I talk with a lot of women who, even when a potential client has approached them, they really worry about being pushy.
We’ve all been trapped by a pushy salespeople trying to sell us something we don’t want.
Nobody wants to be the pushy salesperson.
But have you ever had the OPPOSITE experience?
Where YOU’RE the client and the person you’re talking to, well, they just seem so freaked out by the fact that you’re having a sales conversation that they go into passive mode. They don’t ask you anything and almost seem to be waiting for you to indicate what to do next.
You want to say to them: “I do want to work with you. Can you just take the lead a little bit? Show me how this will work. Tell me what I need to do next.”
Nobody wants to be the ‘rabbit-in-the-headlights’ salesperson either.
You are an expert, and the people you are speaking to will benefit from your expertise.
You’re not pushing some unwanted ‘nice-to-have’.
You are offering an opportunity.
And you need to become an expert in helping people say yes.
In helping them move through the sales process in your business.
It’s really up to YOU to lead your prospective client through that process.
Anticipate the next step for your prospective client, and make it as easy for them as possible.
That proposal, email or meeting request is competing with 55 other things they need to think about – their company is going through some initiative, their boss is breathing down their neck, they’re fighting fires.
Sometimes we can be so focused on our own agenda for a sales conversation with a prospect that actually we forget the person on the other side of the table is feeling a whole different set of pressures. But they are. They’re not as focused on this interaction as you are.
So how can you switch from a passive to a proactive approach?
Don’t say: ‘Here’s the proposal. Let me know if you have any questions.’
Do say: ‘Here’s a proposal. After you’ve had a chance to review it, why don’t we grab 15 minutes for a check in call? Are you perhaps available next Thursday or Friday?’
Make it insanely easy for them to do what you want them to do.
You don’t need to PUSH people through your sales process.
You need to help them pass through by removing as much friction as you possibly can, and showing them what the next step is.
Which way do you tend to lean? Pushy, or rabbit-in-the-headlights? Or have you got the balance just right?
🎧 Want to learn the revenue forecasting technique that will revolutionise your approach to sales in your consulting business? And how to set up your LinkedIn profile so that prospects are ready to say ‘yes’ to working with you before they’ve even met you?
Leah was my guest on the Seven Figure Consultant Podcast and you can listen to the rest of our interview episode here
Thanks for reading! I’d love to hear your feedback and future topics you’d like me to feature.