The Growth Coach offers a simple but powerful model for the selling conversation. We use the acronym R.E.A.D. This stands for:
E.valuate the need,
A.dvance a tailored solution, and
D.etermine a commitment.
The conversation begins with “R,” Relate. The first step in starting a new relationship is the initial conversation. This may happen at a networking event, when given an introduction, or just in a casual conversation during your day.
Always start a new relationship by asking about the other person!
Never start by telling someone, whom you don’t know, about your services or products. Ask them questions about them! Who are they? What do they do? How long have they been doing this? What do they enjoy most about what they do? Who is a good referral for them?
My purpose in this is two-fold. First I want to communicate sincere interest in them! Maybe we have something in common. Maybe I have a resource that they might be interested in. Maybe I could offer them a referral or some other type of lead. I want to know them so I pursue them!
Second, this is part of my qualifying process. Could they potentially be a prospect for me down the road? Could they help me network? Could they be a referral source or strategic partner? They will typically turn the conversation and start asking me questions, so my answers will be shaped by what I have learned about them in those first few minutes.
Do I tell them that I work with business owners? Executives? Managers? Sales Professionals? Or all of these? I will know if I ask good questions and listen! This way my initial conversation is very targeted and efficient! We must always avoid the temptation to start talking about ourselves before understanding something about the person to whom we are speaking.
Once the conversation turns to me, I lead with my unique selling proposition (U.S.P.) If presented well, a U.S.P. will both engage them and lead them to ask more questions. I try to quickly come to a place where I can share with them the reasons my clients hire me. This immediately communicates the value I offer. If the conversation continues to progress I will then tell them why my clients hire me instead of other coaches. Those are the core points of your initial conversation.
So, ask yourself these questions:
If the initial conversation goes well, you will likely have the opportunity to practice the entire R.E.A.D. model. You will establish rapport and make a new friend. Relationships are the foundation for business success!