What do you think is the number one strategy that I use to make sales in my business? Whether it’s selling a group program like the Take Off program, or selling a VIP package to work with me, what do you think gets the most sales for me in my business?Heart-Centred Business Podcast consent-based sales

You might be surprised to learn that even at this stage of my business, my number one strategy is sales conversations.

My number one sales strategy is talking to people one-on-one (whether it’s in writing or on a Zoom call), making sure that I understand what it is that they’re looking for, what they need and what they’re struggling with, and then helping them to work out what the best next step might be for us to work together…

And we do that on a sales conversation.

Hearing that might make you feel a bit EEEEEKKK because as a buyer, you may have experienced one of those pushy sales conversations, or as a seller, you may have felt a bit awkward when doing sales conversations.

It’s something that a lot of people try to avoid very clearly in their business. They don’t want to face up to having to hear the rejection one-on-one. Or they find it really awkward and uncomfortable because they think they need to be pushy or they need to be switched on and in sales mode.

But that’s not the case.

In today’s episode of the Heart-Centred Business Podcast, I’m going to walk you through my consent-based sales conversation structure.

The reason why I want to do that is because:

1. When you see it all laid out, you’ll see why it’s so effective.
2. Having that structure will help you to feel more comfortable in having sales conversations yourself.
3. Seeing the consent-based approach to sales conversations really highlights the difference between consent-based sales conversations and those pushy aggressive sales conversations.

That will help you as both a buyer and a seller.

I’ve got the step-by-step process broken down for you below, as well as some really great free resources.

Let’s dive into this super practical episode!

consent-based sales Tash Corbin podcast

Here for the links referenced in the show notes?

Search for ‘Consent’ in the podcast to learn more about consent-based marketing – tashcorbin.com/search

Episode 274: What should you do if they say “I can’t afford it”? – tashcorbin.com/274

Core Messaging template free resource – tashcorbin.com/coremessage

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Do you find it yucky to do sales conversations? Maybe you find yourself completely resisting it and coming up with very strategic ways to opt out of having to do sales conversations yourself.

When I first started my business, I thought the last thing I’d want to do is have one-on-one conversations with people about buying from me.

I thought the best way to make sales would be to make good sales pages. That would mean people could just read about the product and buy it, and I wouldn’t have to worry about making sure I got my pitch exactly right every time.

But very quickly in my business, I discovered the joy of consent-based sales conversations.

I discovered the joy of having a one-to-one conversation with someone first to really ascertain what it was that they were looking for and what they needed help with.

And I discovered the joy of sales conversations being super high conversion.

The thing that really got me excited about learning how to do great sales conversations was that even when I sucked at them and I didn’t know what I was doing, about 30% of the people that I spoke to ended up purchasing.

I could see the numbers in plain sight that showed me I wouldn’t need as big of an audience if I just used sales conversations.

To make three sales of my VIP package, I just needed to have ten sales conversations. And to have ten sales conversations, I just needed ten people. That’s it!

It was a really powerful opportunity for me to see the numbers behind the sales and marketing strategies that I had available to choose from.

When it comes to growing your audience, the most expensive and time intensive part of your client attraction process is that early reach and audience growth.

I could see that if I got really good at sales conversations and encouraging people to jump on sales conversations with me, I wouldn’t need to grow my audience as big. Therefore, I wouldn’t have to spend as much time and money growing that audience. Therefore, I wouldn’t have to spend so much time on marketing – I could focus my time on delivery and serving my beautiful clients.

I became a diligent student of sales conversations.

If you’ve ever been in a sales conversation as a buyer, you’ve probably experienced feeling pressured, manipulated, or even bullied.

When I say bullied, I mean bullied.

I was once told that if I didn’t buy something for $25,000 on the call, I wasn’t a financially independent, strong woman… that if I decided I needed to talk to my partner about that $25,000 investment, then there was something wrong with me.

I found that absolutely appalling and atrocious, and I absolutely did not buy from that person.

It’s very common for us to experience that in a sales conversation.

I want to reassure you that sales conversations are my number one strategy, but I do them with consent-based marketing practices.

Everything that I do is consent-based.

I’m sure you’ve already heard me explain the theory of consent-based marketing, but if not, I recommend you go search ‘Consent’ in the podcast here: tashcorbin.com/search

I also highly recommend you check out this previous episode of the podcast – Episode 274: What should you do if they say “I can’t afford it”?

When you read that episode, you’ll realise the difference that content-based marketing has, and how amazing it is.

Do that first if you’re not sure about consent-based marketing.

Rather than explain any more of that theory, in this episode, I’m going to give you the exact structure that I use for sales conversations, so you can see how powerful it is, as well as the difference between consent-based sales conversations and those pushy, aggressive ones you’ve probably been told to do before (or you’ve been subjected to).

Overall, there are seven steps to a consent-based sales conversation. Those seven steps are:

1. Connect
2. Qualify
3. Confirm
4. Recommend
5. Ask
6. Refine
7. Close

I’m going to go through this consent-based sales conversation structure step-by-step and talk you through exactly what happens at each stage.

One thing I will say is that this is a sales conversation where someone’s jumped on the call specifically to talk to you about a product or service that you offer.

There’s a different structure that I use when someone is on a marketing or coaching call with me where we’re working on something together, and then I’m qualifying into a sales conversation at the end. That’s a different structure that I use.

I do teach both of these structures inside the Take Off program.

This one gives you the basics of when someone tells you that they’re interested in something that you offer but they want to jump on a call to discuss it first.

This is the sales conversation structure that we’re going to focus on for today’s podcast episode…

Step 1: Connect

I don’t know that I need to even say this, but at the start of a sales conversation, it’s important that we are human, we connect over that humaneness, and we’re clear on what’s going to happen.

In the connect stage of a sales conversation, first of all, connect in with the human:

“How are you?”
“Where are you located in the world?”
“How’s your day going so far?”

(If there’s a dog in the room, we of course connect over that as well.)

Just do a little something to connect with the human.

That puts everyone at ease, and it reminds you that there’s a human on the other end of the line, not just a potential client.

Potential clients are humans. Treat them that way.

It’s also important in this stage to make sure you’re both on the same page about what the purpose of the call is.

If they’ve asked to talk to you about working together, then you would say something like:

“We’re here to discuss how I can help you with my package that focuses on X.” Or,
“We’re here to discuss how I can help you with XYZ outcome.”

Whenever I say a statement like that, I ask for agreement. “Have I got that correct?”

It’s important to clarify this because if they think that they’ve come to this call to get free coaching from you, but you think you’re on the call to see if they’re a good fit to work together in a paid product or service, you want to make sure that you’re both on the same page and you’ve got that clear from the outset. That helps you avoid a weird interaction 15 minutes into the call.

Make sure that you’re on the same page about the agreed purpose of the call.

This also stops that sales conversation from turning into an accidental free coaching session, which is also something that can happen if you’re not clear at the start of the call by setting that boundary.

Then the final part of the connect phase is how you’re going to do that:

“Here’s what we’re going to do on the call: I’m going to ask you some questions so that I get a really clear idea of what it is that you’re working on and what you’re focused on. And then I’ll be able to recommend what I think might be the best way for us to move forward. And if we both feel like it’s a good fit, I can let you know how you can get started in doing that with me. How does that sound?”

You don’t have to say that word for word (I’m just making this up on the fly) but do something where you’re expressing exactly how you’re going to structure the call.

In my sales conversations, I always ask lots of questions at the start.

If I’m not sure of how much time the person has available to talk to me, I will double-check that at the connect stage of the call as well.

“The booking that we set in was for 15 minutes. Do you have to go right on the 15 minutes, or if we need to take a little longer is that okay?”

That also makes sure that they can see I’m respecting their time.

Step 2: Qualify

This is one of the most important parts of a sales conversation, especially in consent-based marketing.

You’ll see that through the connect phase, we’re asking for that consent to move forward.

“Are we on the same page?”
“Does that sound about right?”
“How does that sound to you?”

You’re able to then gauge how they’re feeling about it all and if they’ve got any questions before you even start.

In the qualifying section, this is where we’re going to start asking those good quality questions about what it is that they’re currently facing, what their goals are, and what they’re looking for help with.

Your job is to work out what they want and whether you can help them to achieve it.

Depending on your topic area, here are some examples of good questions to ask:

  • What is it that you want to achieve in this area?
  • Why is this important for you?
  • What else have you tried?
  • Why don’t you think that worked?
  • What attracted you to working with me in particular?
  • What’s really annoying you about what’s going on?
  • If I could wave a magic wand and fix one thing that’s painful for you in this space right now, what would that be?

You can ask those questions to understand what’s going on for them.

As you practice doing sales conversations, you’ll learn which qualifying questions do the best for you in terms of your niche and the messaging that you’re going to need to focus on when you’re then presenting your pitch.

This stage is all about making sure you’re confident that you know:

  • What they want
  • What they’re struggling with
  • Whether or not you can actually help them with that

Ask lots and lots of questions.

If it’s not about a specific offer (ie. they haven’t told you exactly what offer they’re interested in, they’ve just said that they’re interested to hear how you could help them), then I would also recommend asking some questions about their delivery preferences.

  • Do you have an idea of how regularly you want to do sessions?
  • Are you looking for that done-with-you support? Or were you looking for someone to do it for you?
  • Are you hoping to get some coaching and mentorship through the process? Or are you just looking for someone to tell you what to do?
  • Are you someone who likes to get things done quickly and you’ve got time and space in between to implement and get it sorted? Or do you need a long gap between our sessions so that you’ve got time and space to implement any changes we discuss?

Really understand what their operational preferences are, how they would like to work with you, or if they’ve got a preconceived idea about what’s going to be best for them.

For me, I offer half-day or full-day VIP sessions where we just get everything done in one day. If this person is interested in working with me as a VIP, then that’s something that I would ask in that qualifying section.

“I do have a range of ways that I work with people. Are you looking to be really focused and get everything done in one day? Or are you looking for more of a long-term mentorship opportunity?”

People will generally have a little idea about that, or they’ll tell you that they’re open to anything.

Either way, whether they give you a clear idea or not, it’s really important information.

If they say they have no idea because they’ve never done anything like this before, then you know exactly where they are in their journey. Because they’ve never done anything like this before! They’ve just given you that powerful insight.

If they don’t quite understand the value proposition of what it is that you do and they’re still playing at the surface, then you need to bridge that gap.

Let’s say someone’s on a sales conversation with me and they’re saying that they need to know how to grow their audience on Facebook because they’re not making any sales.

That then means that I need to bridge the gap to the lightbulb moment for them.

Because yes, getting more followers and reach on social media is great. But the reason why people work with me is because they want to turn those followers into paying clients.

If this person is coming to me and I can see that they’ve completely misdiagnosed what their problem is, I don’t invalidate what they’ve said. I validate it and bridge it.

“I love helping people get extra growth on social media! Facebook is definitely a platform I’m familiar with. AND something that I specialise in is ensuring that we don’t just get you cold followers who engage with your content but never buy from you… we really want to ensure that the people you’re getting to engage with your socials are deeply interested in investing in working with you, and you’ve got the strategies behind that social platform to ensure that a big portion of that audience is moving closer and closer to buying from you, and you know how to convert them into paying clients.

Does that sound like something you’d want to work on? So you don’t just want to get followers, you also want that to convert into sales? How does that sound?”

What I’m doing there is bridging from what they’ve misdiagnosed into what I can see is underneath that. And I’m validating the whole way.

It’s a really powerful way to create that connection and excitement and to demonstrate my expertise in the area simply by clarifying that I can help them with what they originally wanted, AND I can ensure that it actually contributes to the bigger goal of making sales.

Step 3: Confirm

Confirm that you have a shared understanding of the value proposition.

One of the ways you might word that is to say:

“Just to confirm, if we could achieve X and fix Y, then that would allow you to Z. Does that sound about right to you?”

What we’re doing there is making sure we’re on the same page about what is important to them and why they want to be able to do it.

“What I’m hearing from you now is if we could get you to be attracting leads and making sales consistently, you’d feel like that’s creating confidence in the long-term sustainability of your business. And in order for you to be able to attract those leads, we agree that what we need to do is fix your messaging. Is that correct?”

That confirmation statement ensures you’re on the same page.

There’s lots and lots of different ways that you could word it. But it’s finding that common ground where you are clear on what it is that you’ve agreed on.

I would recommend that you don’t move forward in a sales conversation until you are on the same page.

If you’re not getting enthusiastic confirmation from them, then I would continue to qualify until you’ve got that confirmation and you’re both really clear and in agreement.

Step 4: Recommend

Remember: you are the expert. You want to recommend what you think is the best path for them to achieve the goal based on their situation and what you’ve just agreed on in the confirmation statement.

You might recommend a number of sessions or how often you’re going to be meeting. Tell them a little bit about the basics of your process.

“In those seven sessions, what we will cover is X, Y and Z. And the investment for that would be $XXX.”

Here are the key things that I share in then recommend part of my sales conversation:

  • What is the product or service that I recommend?
  • What are some of the basics around that? (ie. number of sessions and how often I’d recommend that we meet)
  • What’s the basic process that we’re going to cover?
  • What are some of those key milestones?
  • What is the investment?
  • And what is the price for that?

Step 5: Ask

The question you need to ask is: How does that sound?

Once you’ve asked that question, be quiet.

In the Take Off module where I teach sales conversation structuring, I just have a slide that says “… And now shush”.

As soon as you’ve shared the investment, the first thing you should do is be quiet.

Provide the details, your recommendation, and how much it’s going to cost. And then ask how that sounds and be quiet.

From there, if they have questions, answer their questions. And then ask them again how that sounds.

Step 6: Refine

If there’s an adjustment that you need to make (ie. meeting less regularly) then make that adjustment, confirm if that changes the price at all, and ask again how that sounds.

If they need to think about it first, then I make sure to agree on when I will follow up with them. I’m taking responsibility for following up. And then we move to the close section of the sales conversation.

If they can’t afford it, I acknowledge them for looking after their finances and close.

As I said at the start of this episode, I do have a podcast specifically on that which you can find at tashcorbin.com/274.

If they say that they’re not interested, then ask them why. And then thank them for their insight and close.

There’s no problem with saying, “No worries at all. For my own understanding, may I just get a little bit more information about why you don’t think it’s the right fit for you right now?”

Generally, people will volunteer that information anyway. But it’s nice to find your words of just getting that little extra clarification.

If it’s a yes, share your excitement and then move to the close.

Step 7: Close

If it’s a yes, take their payment on the call or send them a link or invoice to make that payment immediately, and explain the next steps to them.

“Once the payment comes through, I’ll send you a link to book your first session.” Or,
“I’ve got the payment that’s come through now so let’s get the next session booked in and I’ll send you some pre-session information.”

Whatever it is that you’re doing, just let them know what happens next.

If they need to think about it, set an agreed time in which you will follow up with them.

Be clear on how you’ll follow up with them.

I also like to say: “In the meantime, if you decide it’s definitely a full yes for you and you want to jump in and get started, just let me know.”

If it’s a no but not never (ie. there’s something they need to do first, or it’s just not yet the right time), then make sure you ask about touching base with them again in the future.

“That sounds like a really good plan. How about I check in with you in a couple of months time to see how everything’s going and we can see if that’s something you’re still looking for?”

You’re getting the agreement on the follow-up process.

If it’s really not what they’re looking for, then thank them for their time.

If it feels like there’s not a problem with you, it’s just a problem with the service and it’s not what they need, then let them know to refer people your way if there’s anyone they know who would be a fit.

And then for all of them, regardless of whether it’s a yes, maybe or never, make sure that you know what their best email address is for you to do that follow-up if there is some follow-up to be done.

Check and see if they’re on your mailing list and following you on socials.

Even if it’s a no or a maybe, you can just have a quick check to see that they’re still going to get your content. That is going to help continue nurturing that relationship with them as well.

That is the structure of my consent-based sales conversation.

You can see it’s a really simple and straightforward thing.

Notice how nowhere in there have I told you that you need to force people into something, you need to pressure anyone, or you need to manipulate them into investing when they can’t afford to invest. That’s gross, we don’t do that stuff.

It’s a very consent-based and beautiful sales conversation structure.

Just to quick recap, my consent-based sales conversation structure is:

1. Connect
2. Qualify – ask those questions
3. Confirm you’re on the same page
4. Make a recommendation
5. Ask how that sounds and then BE QUIET
6. Refine if necessary
7. Go to the close

Seven simple steps, and it’s going to get you really effective, really consent-based sales conversations.

As I said, make sure you check out my podcast episode on what to do when someone says they can’t afford to work with you: tashcorbin.com/274

I also recommend you check out my Core Messaging freebie.

That’s going to help you to ensure that in that confirmation statement where you are confirming that you’re on the same page and understanding the value proposition, you can then take that information and put it into the value proposition part of your messaging.

That freebie will also help you to bridge the gap between what someone thinks the problem/solution is, and what the actual problem/solution is.

If messaging, bridge messaging and value proposition are things that you struggle with, make sure that you go and grab that freebie: tashcorbin.com/coremessage

Until next time, I cannot WAIT to see you SHINE.

Tash Corbin Business Mentor and Strategist