A couple of weeks ago a had a chat with Daniel Priestley about SALES in business. If you don’t know Daniel, he runs an accelerator programme here in London and in a number of other global cities called Key Person of Influence. He turns over more than a quarter of a million a week – ah, we love money – and I recently have bought some of his products/services. What I’ve found most intriguing is that at NO point of this entire process did I feel pressured, pushed or even sold to. I just wanted his stuff! Daniel didn’t even say to me, ‘Hey, do you want to buy this?‘ – NO – it was me asking, ‘Hey, how do I buy your stuff?‘
So let’s explore this a bit further. For so many speakers in business, it’s a big worry to sell as they don’t want to come across as salesy or pushy.
How do you really sell gracefully without being pushy?
Many years ago, there was a very successful thing you could do which was about creating a sense of false scarcity, like running to the back of the room or buy within 24 hours before prices go up.
Now, with the internet, people know whether what you’re saying is true or not. They can also go online and see what it is you have available. So, I think you need to have a really elegant and honest sales approach. Discuss if there is a limitation or scarcity and look at it from a perspective of why that serves them. For example, why you only take on a certain number of clients a month.
As far as salesy and pushy, I think there’s a normal decision-making cycle that people go through when they want to buy something. People actually love buying stuff and that solves their problems. They love moving forward with their lives and making progress. However, they don’t want to be pushed into a decision before they’ve had the opportunity to learn, research and evaluate whether it fits their situation.
How do you best go about making a sale?
What I do is I build all of our products and services around serving people. Helping them resolve problems or frustrations so they get what they want. I also make it really easy for them to research us and I give people time to discuss and evaluate first.
I break all the rules. Rules like if people don’t buy on the day, they’re never ever going to buy. I often tell people that it’s totally fine if they don’t want to do anything at all with us today. However, if they want to have a conversation with one of our team, they can book one in. If they’d like to request some more information, they can email our office and request it. If they’d like to register interest or pay a deposit because they’ve already done their research they can do that too.
I’m not about pressurising people. Mind you, I used to encourage speakers to do that but times have changed and that’s good.
Why don’t you encourage buying pressure anymore?
Well, it worked particularly well in the 1990s and early 2000s as, back then, it was so hard to get back in touch with people. It was hard to deliver people warm content and information so, if they didn’t buy on the spot, they weren’t going to buy. You’d never see them again.
Now, we live in a world where, if you inspire people, they’re going to want to watch your videos online and listen to your podcasts. They’re going to go on a journey and, actually, most people will get to a point where they say, ‘enough is enough! I’m sick of just listening to a podcast. I want to work with this person.’
So, we’ve built our whole process around the technology that exist today, the media we can put out there and respecting people’s decision-making process.
We have an amazing product ecosystem and an amazing team of people who do follow ups.
Should you ever push for a sale there and then?
Look, I’m not against giving people a real reason to do business with you. I’m not saying you shouldn’t create a moment to act but do it from a place of authenticity and truthfulness. Don’t create some sort of a false limitation that doesn’t really exist.
Don’t do anything that people can Google and find out it’s not true. So, if you say, “the price is normally £5,000 but today it’s only £1,000” and someone can go online and see that’s not the case, that doesn’t work.
It’s also about your authenticity and truthfulness. We only work with 10 clients because, genuinely, that’s the number of clients we can work with and get a great result. That’s also being truthful.
If you set the situation up right, you might be talking in front of a room of a hundred people. You say, “by the way, we have the capacity each month to work with 10 clients, if you’re interested, let us know asap because sometimes people say they want to work with us and then it’s three or four months before they get the chance because we’re fully booked.”
What are three tips people reading can do apply straight away to move a lead from cold contact to buying client?
Firstly, release more content. Have the opportunity for people to read your book, listen to your podcast, watch your video online or do a Facebook Lives.
Secondly, be more consistent in the way you show up. Get into the habit of doing something every day, or every week, but make sure you’re consistently showing up.
Finally, do more follow up. If someone is liking/commenting on your posts, and they are actually signalling to you they like your stuff, message them. Say “can we have a chat? I noticed you’ve been liking/sharing/enjoying the content I’ve been putting out there, why don’t we have a conversation, is there anything we could be doing together?”
Daniel was the one inspiring the rebrand from PONY Express to Speaker Express – says what it does on the tin.
THANK YOU, Daniel. x