Conversational Selling is about a lot more than good conversations, whether in person these days or on Zoom. Why? What's different about conversational selling in today's virtual world?
I started in the life insurance business decades ago. The first sales track I enrolled in was called: “You’ll Earn a Fortune.” It was a sales pitch to convince people to sell life insurance because you could:
- make a lot of money
- protect your earning power
- save for tomorrow
I didn't like that pitch then and don't like it now. Don’t get me wrong. I believe in the value of life insurance. I've just never felt comfortable with a deep focus on putting the salesperson first – not the client.
That's why a program called Counselor Selling transformed my whole approach. Created by Wilson Learning, it put the client at the centre of the sales experience and showed you how to identify, clarify and intensify what was most important.
This shift was so powerful I left the life insurance business and eventually started my own coaching business. By the 1980s, a new paradigm blurred the lines among banks, insurers, trust and securities.
To compete, agents and stockbrokers – at least the savvy ones – recognized they needed to transform from commission-based salespeople just trying to make the next deal into trusted advisors. But how?
I spent years developing and honing a series of coaching programs showing you step-by-step what to do before, during and after the sale to build client relationships that last. And it was no accident that all of our sessions start with the art of powerful conversations – from the first phone call to the call where clients start pondering their legacy.
Of course, a lot has changed over the years, and our firm has too. Today, our virtual coaching programs – such as Coach on the Go™ and Business Builder Playbook – show you how to create meaningful conversations with clients even on a small screen.
But while the sales environment has changed, one thing hasn't.
To build meaningful relationships, you must master how to ask the right questions and truly care about the answers. When you do, your clients will notice. When you put them first, they are a lot more likely to put you, first too.
Do Common Things Uncommonly Well
So about those Zoom meetings... Have conversations today changed now that they are happening across distance? To be sure, all of us are learning new skills (where is that mute button?). Still, at the heart of a sales call online or off, you still have to do common things uncommonly well. You must still earn the right to serve the people in your Social Circle and beyond.
When you do, your clients will become your evangelists. They will willingly introduce, recommend and refer you. And they will continue to rely on you to help them through great years and tough times.
Helping clients get what they want is at the core of what separates high performing salespeople, and what separates the work we do with them apart. There is nothing more powerful, or important, than knowing how to identify, clarify and intensify what your clients want – whether that's a community legacy or peace of mind for themselves and their families.
In the end, no matter what platform you are using to connect, meaningful conversations still matter. In fact, I'd argue they are more important than ever. In the midst of this pandemic, we know our clients are worried. They're uncertain. They need to talk. And they should want to talk to you.