TT#048 - My 8 figure sales call framework...Jan 31, 2023
I’ve audited more than 1000 sales calls for high-performance teams, and sold millions of dollars worth of services personally.
And contrary to popular belief, sales calls aren’t about convincing anybody of anything, and they’re not about being charming, or just “performing well.”
Sales calls are not nearly as complicated as most solopreneurs think. They’re actually easier than that if you know what you’re doing.
But candidly, most solopreneurs don’t.
This framework is something I’ve largely kept for my clients. But today, it’s yours.
It’s longer than my usual newsletters, so here’s my promise: if you take notes, adapt where necessary, and start using it today: you’ll close more sales.
SECTION 1: THE OPENING
The opening is everything that happens before you start discussing the actual problem at hand.
Ideally, you want to achieve three things.
1: Build Rapport
Building rapport is not the same thing as exchanging niceties. And it certainly isn’t the same as being likable.
Instead, rapport is about building trust. Trust that you can solve my problem. Trust that you're a professional who’s done this countless times before.
There’s the old adage: people buy from people they like. And this actually holds some water - when it comes to impulse buys and purchases with less complexity.
But when it comes to the things that truly matter (health, business, and emotional problems), likability is secondary.
And too often solopreneurs feel as if they’re charming their way into a sale when they talk football for the first 5 minutes.
But in reality: they’re positioning themselves as a ‘really nice person, but lacking real authority’.
Trust is the aim. Not likability.
2: Establish Credibility
It goes without saying, you’re going to have competitors. It’s unlikely you’re the only person capable of solving this problem.
So here’s what I suggest doing:
Ask them why they got in touch with you specifically. When you do that, you ‘flip the script’. Rather than selling yourself to them, you’re having them tell you what prompted them to talk.
It’s a useful reminder to your prospect that a trusted colleague referred you with a glowing review, or that they loved a piece of your content, or something about your background stood out.
3: Set The Agenda
Now it’s time to set the length and purpose of the call. It’s an effective way to help settle your prospect in.
It sounds simple, but agreeing (out-loud) that you’re on the same page helps establish some mutual ground, and helps eliminate your prospects' anxiety around whether the call will just run on indefinitely or what to expect.
Your goal is to frame the next ‘x number of minutes’ as a process that helps you both make use of your time.
It also allows you to take control of the call.
Here’s some scripting that I find works well:
“I’ve got a process that I run to see if we can actually help. It may seem like a lot of questions but I want to understand your goals. And if there's something here that we can help you with, we’ll take you through it. And if not, I'll tell you right away and I'll give you time back on your calendar. Does that work for you?”
SECTION 2: DIAGNOSIS
The Diagnosis section of the call is all about understanding what transformation your prospect wants.
By transformation, I mean ‘the thing about their business/life that they want to change by working with you’.
In order to understand the nature of that transformation, you need to map out their ‘current state’ and their ‘ideal future state’.
To do this, I make use of really targeted discovery questions.
1: Establish Current State
The following 5 questions are a useful way in. Feel free to adjust and adapt them.
“When people take time to hop on these calls with me, they usually have a problem they're trying to solve or a goal they're trying to achieve. Which is it for you?”
“What’s stopped / is stopping you from solving these problems on your own?”
“Why is this a problem now? Not last week or 3 months ago?”
“What have you tried already to reach this goal / solve this problem?”
“What have the results been? Why haven’t those worked?”
2: Establish Ideal Future State
It’s now time to ask where they’d like to be in 12-18 months. Here are 3 of my ‘go-to’ questions.
“Fast forward 12-18 months… you’ve solved these problems / achieved these goals… what does a homerun look like at that point?”
“How will you measure success?”
“What does solving this unlock for you, personally?”
3: Stretch The Gap
As much as it might be your instinct, your job isn't to make them feel better about the problems that they have. It's actually the opposite.
You want your prospect to be motivated to change so they can actually achieve their biggest goals. So, we have to call out the problems for what they are.
Summarize what you heard to make sure you heard it properly. Then call out the problem as you see it and reinforce the need for action.
After you’ve done that, saying something like the following sets expectations, explains that you’re positioned to help, and transitions into the next section of the call:
“The good news is that you have a problem that we solve every single day. You’ve got a little work to do but it’s a hundred percent fixable. Does it make sense to walk you through the process we have for getting you the results you want?”
SECTION 3: PRESCRIBE + ANSWER QUESTIONS
It’s crucial that you’ve asked for permission to present your solution. On sales calls, you want to lower defenses. And asking permission to share what you do does that effectively.
It’s now time to present your process. Start by explaining - at a high level - how you approach solving problems.
To really knock this out of the park: Describe how that approach applies to them, and how you can work with them specifically.
You want to tie it back to everything they told you was important in the diagnosis. This shows how your service takes them specifically into account.
Otherwise your prospect will feel as if they’ve just spent 20+ minutes answering questions that weren't really relevant.
End this section by asking “So, what questions do you have?” or, “Do you see yourself using this type of solution to solve [stated problems]?”
At this stage: they’ll either ask questions, or they’ll ask about price. Both are actually good.
When you answer questions, it’s best to usually end with another question back to them. A simple, “What other questions do you have?” or, “ So, where would you like to go from here?” usually do the trick.
SECTION 4: CLOSE
When you’ve followed this process and answered questions, closing is almost anti-climactic. If they weren’t interested, you’d know by now.
There are generally 2 ways to close. The first is to ‘Close With Questions.’
That means asking something like “So, where would you like to go from here?”
Alternatively, you can use the ‘Assumptive Close.’
You can ask “Any reason not to get started today?” Or, slightly more boldly, “I can put the deposit on a credit card, I just need the card number and we can get you started today. Which card did you want to put that on?”
SECTION 5: HANDLE OBJECTIONS + FOLLOW-UP
When it comes to objections, remember that your aim isn’t to ‘overcome’ the objection. That’s a little too combative.
And nobody buys when they feel attacked or like they’re in an argument.
Instead, we’re opening the door for them to share what’s actually on their mind.
For instance, if your prospects says they need to think about it or chat with their partner before making any decision, they usually have some other form of objection.
Your job is to figure out the real objection.
The best way to do that is to ask questions that help you understand the real underlying issue. Only then can you attempt to address it.
And here’s the thing: there’s generally only 3-5 of the same underlying concerns. You probably know what they are. That means you can come prepared with a few responses and follow-up questions.
After handling objections, if another meeting is required, I recommend BAMFAM, or “book a meeting from a meeting.” Schedule the next step while you have them on the call.
And remember: We serve by selling. If we can genuinely help solve a meaningful problem, we have an obligation to try.
I’m on a mission to help 10,000 entrepreneurs build a business that helps them unlock the lifestyle they truly want.
Limited Time: Check out my free 5-Steps to Build A Scalable Lifestyle Business training.