How to Close the Sale Without Feeling “Salesy”

Personal chef who is afraid of the selling conversation

Personal chef who is afraid of the selling conversation

Many personal chefs feel incredibly uncomfortable with the sales conversation and bringing it to a close.  Have you ever felt that way?

If you have, it’s probably because you hate it when others push their products and services on you.  You want to make sure you don’t come across like them.  A salesperson that is overly aggressive can be a real turn off.  I get this because I have felt totally turned off by and extremely annoyed with salespeople in the past myself.

And why did I feel that way?  It was usually because of one or more of the following reasons…

  1. I didn’t appreciate being interrupted at that particular time
  2. What the salesperson was selling wasn’t what I wanted or needed
  3. The salesperson came across as if it was all about him instead of about me, and I could hardly get a word in edgewise

You don’t have to be an aggressive salesperson.  In fact the aggressive, push-it-in-your face approach is an old-fashioned approach that doesn’t work very well in today’s market environment which is all about building relationships and meaningful connection with others.

So what do you do instead to ask for the business?   Try the following key “closing-the-sale” tips:

Tip #1:  Shift from a Selling to a Service Mindset

You must believe that you aren’t selling anything because you aren’t.  You are offering a service.  A service is something that helps people with a problem they face.  People want solutions to their problems.  This mindset shift can help you overcome your “selling” fears.

Tip #2:  Ask Questions and Listen Closely

Instead of immediately telling others what you do and asking them to hire you, focus instead on learning more about the people with whom you are interacting.  Do this by asking questions and listening closely to the answers.  Be curious about THEM.  Find out about their lives.  Listen for pain points.  Ask them what they want for their lives instead.  See if they have meal planning and preparation challenges.  Do they struggle to eat healthy?  Are they strapped for time?

Tip #3:  Wait for an Opening

As you ask questions, listen to the answers, and seek information, it will become apparent whether the people you are talking to are interested in and could benefit from your services.  If you think your services could help them, ask permission to tell them about how your services can help them overcome the challenges they just shared with you.

Tip #4:  Stress Benefits

If you talk about the benefits of your services as they relate to the challenges the person you are talking to faces, you won’t come across as if you are selling.  Instead you will come across as helpful and service-oriented.  And don’t be surprised if at this point the person who you are talking to asks about price and the details of your service.

Tip #5:  Don’t Attach to Outcome

Allow your prospect to make the decision about whether to hire you.  It’s up to her.  You don’t need to force anything.  Your job is to simply communicate what you can about your service and its benefits as well as you can so that your prospect can make the best decision about whether to use your services or not.

Try these 5 tips the next time you are talking to a potential client and see how it feels.  Do you feel less salesy?  Do you feel more at ease talking about your business? How does the other person respond to you?  I bet you are going to enjoy the selling conversation much more in the future.

Are you interested in having a discussion about topics like closing the sale, marketing and client attraction with other personal chefs in order to get support and to share best practices with one another?  If yes, I invite you to join the “Personal Chef Marketing Network” LinkedIn group.  To learn more and to join visit http://www.linkedin.com/groups/Personal-Chef-Marketing-Network-5072977/about.

 

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Comments

  1. This was a great article! Thanks for addressing this issue, it’s a big one for me. I’m going to try these tips.

    • Thanks for the feedback, Blaine. I’m glad to hear that you are going to try the tips out. Way to go! Let me know how they work for you.

  2. Good article Sandra. We all have fears of the “Pushy Sales Person”, at least I do. My father was in the car business when nobody liked car salesmen. I find that asking questions is huge. And the hardest part of closing, is the easiest, just ask!

    • Great point and so true, David, about just asking for the business. It’s amazing what happens when you can do just that!

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