Landing Sales

CPC Business Development

By Stephanie Clark.

I’ll admit it; “sales” is not my strength. I love to write and was lucky enough to discover that I know how to interview and am a skilled strategist. But selling is another field of study, and a talent that I was not blessed with.

Yet, if I am to keep my business going – sell I must. So sell I do.

A large part of the art of sales is attitude. (This is also exactly what I tell my interview coaching clients.) Don’t fear rejection. An enquiring caller is looking to book someone – why shouldn’t it be you? Change your mindset. As opposed to “selling,” approach the caller as if you are making their decision easier them. Simplify it, lessen the time he or she must continue phoning, evaluating, and deciding. Then, ask for the sale—the worst the caller can say is “no.”

Here are a few tips to lead the caller to a “yes”:

Establish credibility by throwing in a few key words. Keep a key word book by the phone and be sure to ask for the caller’s profession early in the call. Some callers feel that only a person in their profession can write an accurate and factual resume. Be matter-of-fact in stating that if that was indeed the case, they would likely be asking a manager to write their resume. Educate the caller that your job is to take a lot of information and distil it into valuable nuggets of information, something that you have done for hundreds of clients various fields.

Reframe the experience by convincing those who insist on in-person work of the benefits to a virtual relationship. Sell them on not having to leave the comfort of their own home—no travel time, traffic or rushing involved. Share how useful it is from your perspective: no distractions, resources handy to check into something, easy-to-read typed notes. Here are a few script ideas:

“I am 100% available to listen and question with no distractions. This leads to a superior product.”
“My clients tell me that they really appreciate how much time it saved them.”
“My clients have been amazed by the final product.”

Overcome price objections by sweetening the deal. Lowering the price is to be strictly avoided. But, you can offer a little something extra. Have a product ready, a report on how to ensure a smooth start to a new job, or how to collect material for an accomplishment file (to make the next resume “easy-peasy” to compile).

The one secret to career practitioner sales is simple: own it. Own your method, your accomplishments, and your prices. Don’t placate, over-convince, or over-promise. Those for whom you might be tempted to adjust prices, or dispense of your guidelines, are likely the ones whom you should let go. These are the ones who may turn into a career practitioner’s nightmare: the problem-client.

Now there’s a worthy topic for the next blog. Look for it!

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