This is why you're not selling
When trying to figure out what to teach people who struggle with sales and persuasion I started to ponder the conflict. I began running through a thousand ideas, tips and insights in my head of how to help them. Lead sources, email scripts, confidence boosters, etc.
Then I came to the realization the other day that a lot of people just don't know how to pick 'em right and assuming they do pick the right people to work with, they don't understand how to talk to them.
I had a really interesting conversation with my neighbor today who is a famous personality in Puerto Rico. You may have seen her on Telemundo or Univision a time or two. English is her second language and although she is fluent, she (like many) struggles with expressing herself.
So when she came to me with this predicament of how to get a particular job and convey her worth, I had more than just a few ideas.
She's applying for a job where she can teach costume design to kids in NYC, something she is really, really good at. She's worked with George Clooney, Ricky Martin, Johnny Depp and many, many others.
But when I read her cover letter and her memo that accompanied her portfolio none of this was apparent. In fact, much of the copy focused on the wrong things.
Karina, like many of my students and friends, didn't know how to organize the information.
How to get inside the interviewer's head.
How to say what they needed and wanted to hear.
On a metaphorical level she was speaking Chinese to a Brit.
I never understood what was so hard about interviews. To me they were always a sort of gift! They told you what was important to them, they encouraged you to research their company to understand their values and then they asked you how you meet up to those values and characteristics giving you plenty of time to prepare beforehand.
So why is it so hard for people to do this?
Again, because they don't understand what prospects, prospective employers are really saying or asking for!
I told her that speaking different languages, working in different industries and living in different countries all share one thing in common: you're a different version of yourself in all of them.
You speak differently, use different jargon, have different expectations for yourself, etc.
When I speak Spanish, I am Latina Lauryn. I say the same things I say in English, but in cultural Spanish. It's different. I even think differently!
The same goes for sales especially across different industries.
When I approach people about my products or services, the approach is the same but the content and organization is different depending on the industry, job position and company I'm talking to.
The lack of ability to immediately recognize what is important to someone and convey how you can help them is a big reason people don't sell.
So, picking your clients and conveying value to them is a MAJOR part of selling, wouldn't you say?
When Tony and Nate from New Work City asked me to teach a class about sales and confidence, I was super excited but also stuck about what specific aspects I should teach. The subject is so broad and I'm so passionate about that teaching something for 2 hours felt like way too short a time! I need at least a few months!
But I snapped out that, thankfully.
Given that I edit countless friends' copy for job interviews (which is selling by the way) and as a VP of Sales for Squidoo, I am constantly working to convey value in a clear and concise manner while learning who I should and shouldn't work with. With so many people asking me the same types of questions, I realized that a lot of their problems could be solved by improving basic business and sales fundamentals: pick your clients better and convey your value better.
So on September 1st I'll be teaching a 2 hour class on sales. You'll learn how to be good at finding clients and customers, deciphering profitable ones from time wasters, understanding the needs of those customers, how to convey your value and how to overall believe in what you do. In fact, when you leave the class you should understand exactly what it is you do and sell (you'd be amazed at how many people DON'T know this) and who you should work with, where to find them and how to approach them.
We will even have a separate lab where you can test all of this and come back from an intimate question and answer time.
If you're going to be in New York City, if you're a small business owner, start-up or freelancer and if you want to feel better about growing your business by approaching potential clients (via email or in person), you should attend this class (and bring your team).
Click this link for more information. I hope to see you there!
P.S. I'll be teaching classes every month at least once a month here in NYC. There will always be a class around sales and other topics include how to take control of your life (time and passion management), corporate sales, self-confidence, and more. Some of my other classes are listed here if you're interested.
P.P.S The best part is that for many of my classes (not this one though, sorry!) you can bring a friend for free. My goal is to help as many people as possible and this feels like an easy way to do that.