This article was written by Neil Fellowes at Total Wellness Club.
If you began running a therapy practice with little or no sales experience, you are not alone.
Without experience, it’s not untypical to recall a bad sales experience and use that as a benchmark for how a sales conversation goes. If that’s you, you may have anxieties about having such conversations.
It can be hard to pinpoint good examples of sales conversations, because good salesmanship seems natural – like an easy conversation.
To sell or serve?
It may help to define what selling really is.
From its Germanic origin, the word sell means to give up or hand over. You could say, by selling I am; Giving this service to gain that money. It highlights that you will provide a service.
This means through selling, you serve. If you start the conversation with that in mind, the sales conversation begins with service – what can I give you? How can I help? What do you need?
When you sell with a desire to serve it’s all about the prospective client.
Where sales conversations get ugly
If you try to shoehorn someone into a service or product they don’t really want it won’t feel nice. If this happens you are manipulating the client and likely endeavouring to serve your own needs, not theirs. Try to persuade someone about something they don’t agree with and you will likely feel a tightening in your gut.
At the same time, if the other person you are talking to is visible (in front of you, not on the phone) you might see them lean back or away from you. These are cues to slow down, back off and give the prospect time to think and breath.
In a sales conversation where you feel a tightening in your gut or you see a movement away from you, ask a question and sit back yourself. If you feel exhausted or feel like your energy is draining away during a sales conversation, you have given too much and the other person might be feeling that too.
Keep in mind that being in service is about giving in the right proportion. It’s like drinking water, drink too much and you’ll feel like drowning. Give too much and you’ll feel exhausted!
When the sales conversation feels good
When you feel relaxed and giving, your prospective client will be more open. When you hear their answers and choose a solution that is right for them it’s not unusual to feel a tingle down your spine – sometimes called truth bumps. If the prospect is interested you’ll see them lean or move forward and they’ll ask good questions like ‘How does this work?’ or ‘What will it cost?’ or ‘When can you fit me in?’.
Here are some quick sales conversation pointers. Good sales conversations include:
- Asking good questions
- Putting your needs to one side and giving
- Directing the prospective client to a solution that serves their need
- Asking if they would like to work with you
Total Wellness Club is like TripAdvisor, but for the health industry, helping the public find the best professionals and services.
Total Wellness Club also help therapists get better at marketing, offering specific training courses (many free of charge) on topics such as improving networking skills and giving presentations.