By michelle_pgs | November 9, 2013

Are you finding sales and selling a difficult process? Maybe it’s time to approach it differently.

Every business needs to be able to market and sell its products or services to its audience. But many businesses struggle to find an effective sales process – one that not only works, but feels comfortable for the business owners and its staff.

Look around and you’ll notice that some businesses’ sales methods are far too rushed and clunky – they ask for the sale before their potential customer or client has had a chance to get to know them and their products or services. It’s a bit like someone going on a date and proposing marriage before they’ve even had the first kiss – they are very, very likely to be told ‘no thanks’ (or something less polite).

To be effective at selling you first have warm up your prospect so that when you ask the question, they are ready to say ‘yes’.

Effective sales processes are all about engaging with your prospect first. On average, a prospect needs to have contact with you seven times before they buy. Think of it like having 7 dates before you propose the next step (whatever that may be….!).

But 7 points of contact doesn’t mean emailing or calling them 7 times to ask they want to buy what you have to offer. We all know how off-putting – and frankly, annoying – that is. No, we are talking about engaging with your audience in a non-sales way.

So how do you engage with your prospects? Well Step 1 is providing them something that will help them know, like and trust you.

Exactly what you should provide depends on your business type, but a great place to start is providing your potential customers or clients with a free information report. This should be about something related to the products or services you offer and which allows you to demonstrate your expertise in your area. For example, if you are a dentist, you might offer a free report on ways to get a brighter smile. If you are a business coach, your report could be about how business owners can get more done each week but still have enough free time to spend with their family.

What would your free information report be about?

What information do you know your prospects are looking for and what would demonstrate your expertise in that area?

Once you’ve decided on a topic, be sure to give your free report an engaging title which will make people say ‘yes please’ when you offer it to them.

To find out more about what you should educate your ideal clients about in your report, read the 3 Golden Rules that I share in my guide The 3 Biggest Mistakes That Keep Most Professionals From Attracting Enough Clients And How To Fix Them‘.

In the meantime, remember that selling is like dating – you need to take it one step at a time!

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