I have a confession: I am an entrepreneur and I don’t really know how to sell.
But, (obviously) my one-person service business relies on me selling my services.
I’m getting better at it, but most of the time, my sales cycle feels a little awkward.
Quite often, prospective clients want to cut right to the quote. Here’s a real email (made anonymous for these purposes) I got from a prospective client:
I am looking to have a logo created for my company. I am looking for a very simple logo.
I am also looking for a simple website for the company. Basically I will need a home page, about, services page, and resources page.
Also, I have the domain name for somedomain.com and I would like to get a blog started and eventually turn the blog into a website with more information on it to include blog posts, video blogs, advertise & sell products – books and ebooks, etc.
Could I get a quote for all of these different options? I am on a small budget.
After over a dozen emails back and forth (asking for clarification and details, etc.) over the course of a month, she decided to go with another company.
Honestly, it wasn’t a good fit, and I think I knew that pretty early on. But, I spent a lot of time and effort trying to cultivate a relationship that wasn’t going to work. These situations get really tiring and frustrating.
After watching this 16-minute video by Pam Slim, author of Escape from Cubicle Nation, I completely see where I went wrong.
There are three steps you should go through before you ever submit a proposal (initiate, educate, validate). I was trying to cram all of that into a proposal based on a few vague emails.
The first instance you see that the prospect isn’t a good fit, you should take them out of the sales funnel – not drag them kicking and screaming the rest of the way.
I highly, highly recommend watching this video (embedded below) if you’re even slightly confused about your sales process:
Or watch it on Pam’s site here.
I’d love to hear what you think of the video (and the sales process) in the comments.
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