In this GSDdaily episode, we’re going to talk about selling professional services. Last two weeks we ended up talking about creating products, creating digital products, and packaging ways, packaging things to sell your knowledge and expertise, whether it is high-ticket professional services, whether it is a mastermind, whether it is a digital product, or membership site, or whatever. So that was the last two weeks’ worth of material. We talked about creating SaaS software, we talked about a lot of different business models, but we didn’t necessarily cover how to sell it.
Today and this week we are going to talk about how to sell that stuff, in particular high-end shit. The baseline, $1,000. Anything that is above $1,000 and is a complex offer, then you need to sell it through a strategy session or a consultative sales call. Through the course of the week, what we’re going to do is we’re going to talk about qualifying your buyers and different sales models that you can use to get people on the phone. Ultimately, you’ll have that sales conversation with them, that consultative sales conversation.
Throughout the week, I have a couple of guests coming on to teach you their strategies for selling expensive stuff. One of them uses Zoom. He’s been using Zoom pre-pandemic, but he uses Zoom to sell things up to $100,000. All through relationships that he builds virtually through sales funnels and Zoom, and all that other stuff.
What we’re going to talk about is automating your sales, your lead acquisition piece to a degree, automating the lead acquisition to the point where they’re scheduling a call with you, and then pitching your professional services on the phone or through a Zoom call, or doing some sort of consultative thing.
Basically, this is having high-ticket sales with strategy sessions, a great way of selling professional services, so you can go over and click on that, and Genevieve says hi, so hi, Genevieve, how are you doing? I hope you had a fantastic weekend. And then there’s another blog post, I’ll drop that in a minute. But basically, so consultative selling, how to get high-ticket sales with strategy sessions.
2 Kinds of Marketing Acquisition Processes
Here’s the thing. In your acquisition process, there are two kinds of marketing acquisition processes, one of them entirely outbound. So you have your business development reps, you have your sales reps who are cold calling. They’re picking up the phone and boom, boom, boom, boom. Its higher goal is to get somebody to agree to a call, or agree… so they have to work through the gatekeepers, and this is all the cold calling bullshit that you read in books and dial until whenever, and that stuff is fine. It works.
There are very, very high-ticket companies that do very, very well. I’ve talked to software companies where their average ticket is $75,000, their average enterprise-level customer. And they have a team of BDRs, or business development reps that that’s what they’re doing is they’re outbound. So they’re just going through a phone book or just mining databases, whatever, and just cold calling, to get agreement for their professional services and products.
And if that’s you, that’s awesome. There are some local companies here, I was actually just telling a partner of a local company that I know of that has a bunch of sales reps, and the sales reps are getting maybe a deal a month each.
In an inbound strategy and an inbound process, your sales reps should be lining up six or eight sales calls a day. No outbound, it’s all entirely inbound, so those people are scheduling a call on your calendar and then you’re just literally picking up the phone when it’s time to then go pitch this person, and you already know about them because they filled out an application to book a call. So that’s one of the reasons why this appointment setting, this appointment scheduling is so important.
Now there are a couple of different models that we use to book appointments, so the first is, we have… there’s a great example of it right here. Almost any page on the website goes to this page. It is a sales page for getting sales funnels done, so basically you can watch that video. Here we have an application.
FQL Regeneration Form
This application here is what we call an FQL regeneration form, so it’s conditional logic. If we start to fill out that form, notice how some different questions pop up, and those questions are triggered based on that email address. As soon as you enter a character in that email address, then it’s like, bam, the rest of those questions fire out. Now once you go through business, so I’m just going to enter some random stuff here.
Now, as soon as I check any of these boxes additional fields come out, tell us about your business, yearly revenue, email size, blah, blah, blah. Then the next step, schedule a call. When they hit that button, now they’ve applied. They’ve filled out the form to talk to somebody on my team. We know how their business is doing. We know enough about their business that we can go do some research on them before they book their call.
In your business, this questionnaire is going to be different, so it’s going to be different based on the information that you need to have for your clients. You’re going to have different questions, you might have different logic, whatever. But at the end of the day, you want them to give you a little bit of information. Then they click the button, they go over, schedule a call on your calendar. So it’s the scheduling, it’s not even an assistant who is trying to book a call on your calendar.
All you have to do when it’s time, and literally, my calendar is just lit. My entire week is already booked now to talk about professional services that can be offered. I think I have some spots on Friday. But basically, the week is set. People start filling in next week. I’m just picking up the phone and calling when I’m supposed to pick up the phone and call. So that’s the process behind the consultative selling piece. That’s why this process, that’s why this strategy works so well is because people, raise their hand and say, “Yes, I want you to call me.” It’s not an outbound thing.
I want you to call me. And the best sales funnels have some education in there, so they know before the call is even set what they’re going to be pitched. They have an idea of what the offer is. They might not know the price, they might not know the logistics, but they have an idea of what it is they’re going to be buying.
People went to your website, they clicked around. I can always tell when somebody is a buyer because they are clicking on the website, they’re visiting all the pages, they’re watching the videos… All as it relates to our professional services. I read a metric once that, and Aaron Parkinson and I have talked, for every 30 minutes of a video somebody watches, then they’ll spend $500 with you, or $1,000. I have found that right before somebody schedules the call then they tend to go and watch a ton of video.
They’re clicking around the website. I have seen people, they’ll eat up two or three hours’ worth of video, just to make sure the message is congruent through all of it before they book the call, but in doing that, they’ve already sold, so the sale ends up happening quick. So the more material you have, the better.
Supporting Materials of Your Offers and Services
Now that also means that you have to have material. You have to have some supporting videos of your professional services, you have to have a Facebook group, you have to have something that people can kind of dig into and see that you are who you say you are before you can sell that $10,000 thing, you know what I mean? Now, why is appointment scheduling important? So with appointment scheduling, they’re raising their hand and saying yes, they want you to call them.
Then in that appointment, in the scheduling piece itself, a lot of times we’ll send… well, we used to just send a conference call number or we would call them directly, anymore though, it’s a Zoom link or GoToMeeting link. I don’t know, somebody just ripped on me for being old-fashioned because I wasn’t using Zoom and I was like, hah, Zoom’s not secure. Because we used to use GoToMeeting, but it also is a standard. I’ve had a GoToMeeting account, I think, for 13 years now or something.
You can optimize your sales conversion with appointment scheduling to chat about your professional services, so you can end up placing conversion pixels on your appointment scheduling pages so you know how people are moving through the process, and then you’re also able to close a sale faster with appointment scheduling. So that’s kind of the nuts and bolts behind why consultative selling works and how appointment scheduling works out for you. Now here are some tips on how to qualify prospects better, so I’m just going to kick over here.
This is how to qualify prospects better. First of all, as I said, you want that form because you want their contact details. You need to know, a, what their name is, email address, phone number, cell phone, all that stuff is.
You need to know how to get a hold of them. Even if you send a Zoom link or a GoToMeeting link or whatever in the calendar invite, which is, a lot of the calendaring tools are kind of set up that way. Calendly, you can have a Zoom link and it’s just a meeting link, and then inside Zoom, you can lock down the room. So in scheduling, in sending those calendar invites you to want to make sure that you have their phone number. Not all of them are going to show up. You’re going to have to pick up the phone and call some of them, and sometimes the ball’s just going to happen on the phone. It won’t necessarily just happen in Zoom for your professional services.
Know your prospect’s information before scheduling a call
Make sure to grab their contact information in that first form, this form right here. Whatever their first application form is, you want to make sure that you grab their contact information. You also want to ask them why they’re booking a time to meet. So I’ve trained a lot of sales reps over the years, and sometimes they think that it’s obvious why this prospect is booking a call when it isn’t.
The better understanding that you can get about somebody before they get on the phone with you, the better job you’re going to be able to do to prepare to pitch your professional services. Even if that’s just five minutes of preparation, just getting your head straight so that when you get on the phone you’re dialed in and you know how this call is going to go. You’re not flying blind. Even now on sales calls, if I’m flying blind, I can make do. I’ve been on thousands of them, so I can make do and move around pretty well. But it’s way, way better if I just take five minutes and just do a little bit of discovery before I jump on the phone.
Just go to their website, click around, see what they’re selling, see what they’re doing well, see what they’re not because, at the end of the day, everybody likes a compliment. So one of the things that I do personally and I have my guys do, is when somebody schedules an appointment with us, whoever gets that appointment needs to send an email and say, “Hey, thanks so much for scheduling an appointment. We’re looking forward to it. I checked out the website and the website looks, the design’s great, the flow’s great, the copy’s great. Your products look awesome”, whatever compliment. “But it looks like the sales material’s a little bit broken, but it looks like you’re not collecting email addresses.”
There was a movie, I think they called it a compliment sandwich. I don’t sandwich it with another compliment but I do ask a question at the end, so compliment and then problem and then question. And the question is usually something simple, so the question will be how expensive is your offer, or how are you getting traffic, or what are your plans for the future, or whatever. So you ask a question that is in line with the reason they’re reaching out to you.
If they reply, awesome, and if they don’t reply, they at least knew you took an initiative. It’s going to increase your show-up rate on the call itself. So that is super, super important in terms of booking strategy sessions and getting people in the door.
You want to do discovery. Where are they coming from and what have they tried. Usually, I just have an open paragraph that says, “Let me know the things you tried in the past that worked and the things you tried in the past that didn’t”, or, “Tell me about your business”, or, “Tell me about your goals and aspirations”, that kind of thing. Armed with that kind of knowledge you’re able to more effectively get them what they need more quickly. The call might be 45 minutes, half an hour. Some of them are shorter, some of them are long. Some of them go an hour and a half or two hours if you have the time. You want to make sure that you’re able to give value for the time they’re on the call. That’s the consultative part of these consultative sales calls. You want to consult.
Guided collateral, do some future pacing, dollars, and cents. I try to ask a money question to a degree, and I usually, when I’m working with clients I’ll have them ask a money question. It doesn’t necessarily have to be how much are you willing to pay. Or what is your budget for these professional services, but it does need to be something money-related. One of the ones that we’ve asked for a long time is, what level of professional services are you looking for. Done for you, done with you, or just online training? I don’t think I have it on this application. I think I took it off a while ago. Yeah, it’s a yearly revenue, because we started dealing with bigger brands, so it’s not necessarily just startups. Startups, however, you should probably ask that kind of a money question on it.
After they schedule their call, then what happens? Pick up the phone, call them. Do a little bit of research. I have an e-book somewhere that breaks down our strategy session selling process, so I’ll dig that out and we’ll give it out tomorrow. But the sales process itself, first of all, you get on the phone. You call them when you’re supposed to. Then usually there’s some sort of rapport building, where you from, what’s the weather like there? Right now, you guys staying safe, what it’s like pandemic-wise? Are you guys locked down, or whatever. So it’s nice to bring in some sort of recent, not a recent event, but weather and location are always great questions to kind of start with. They also build some rapport because that person might have been in your area.
I’m in Erie, Pennsylvania, and everybody has a story about Erie, it’s a cousin who lives here, it’s them driving through between New York City and Chicago, it’s, I stayed in Erie for a night because my grandma was sick, for whatever reason, and likewise there are some hotbeds. I’ve never been to New Zealand or Australia or UK or anything, but there are times when I’ve been where they are, where I have family members or friends there or whatever, so that’s always kind of a nice rapport-building point. But it has to be genuine, too. I mean, if it’s not genuine, then you just don’t follow this model because you’re not going to sell anything.
That’s the other thing about this is phone sales, especially video sales, Zoom call sales, you have to truly believe that the money you’re charging is what it is what it’s worth. They’re going to get 10 times the value when they work with you.
Because if you don’t believe that, it’s going to read in your face, it’s going to read in your language, your body language. I mean, they might not be able to see you because you’re on the phone if you’re on a phone call, but they can hear it in your voice. So it’s something you just need to believe it. That’s one of the biggest things that separates good sales guys from bad sales guys.
So after you build a little bit of rapport, then oftentimes it’s just asking questions. You figure out what you’re selling and then you’re just asking questions, figuring out why they called, why they’re interested, what brought them to you. Sometimes you just start at the beginning of the journey. So what led you to me? Was it a Livestream video? Was it a search? Did you see a piece of content? Did you download something? What were you looking for when you came to find me?
Because oftentimes that will start the conversation, which then helps them kind of unwind some of their problems, troubles, challenges, fears, aspirations, and then it’s just like having a good conversation, having a good conversation with them. I’ve never followed a script. I’ve written some scripts for some folks, and the scripts are fine, but scripts never, ever, they never do as well as they do just a straight-up conversation does.
If it doesn’t necessarily feel like natural language, it’s going to convert worse than natural language. Some scripts are great, scripts are fine for training new people but eventually, you’re going to have to kind of let them do what they do. To establish some rapport, then you just have a conversation about your professional services! You ask some questions.
Why you make the call?
The goal of the call is to get them to go where you want them to go. That’s the point of a good sales conversation, so you want them to arrive at the solution that you are selling, ideally, at the same time as you are, you know what I mean? So if you have 45 minutes for a call, then you start kind of getting it in there about 35 minutes so you can talk about the offer a little bit, and that’s the part that takes the practice.
When I first started doing sales calls, I was so weird about it. It is because it was like, sometimes I would hit it just right, sometimes I wouldn’t. I’d start winding into the offer and kind of start winding out. You know what I mean, but it’s fueling the ebb and flow of the conversation about your professional services. Moving in the direction that you need them to go. And there are all kinds of really, really interesting things that you can do.
Yes, ladder stuff, you can follow Grant Cardone’s sales training, so there are all kinds of sales guys out there. I’ve read all Grant Cardone’s stuff. Some of it I agree with, a lot of it I don’t. To me, it’s more just about offering solutions and offering value and being a good human being and arriving at the decision with the prospect. Is this a great thing, or not?
Send a Proposal
We get a yes or no on the proposal, and that’s kind of a whole different Livestream. Send a proposal, we get a yes or no on the proposal, and then we start with just onboard. Now I have been through building a lot of sales funnels and offering professional services. I have seen a lot of other types of fulfillment and sales funnels, called state of sales strategy. For us it’s call, proposal, call usually, and sometimes there’s a couple of calls. Then it’s a yes or no, or it’s a yes or maybe, usually. The maybes oftentimes turn to yesses a couple of weeks later, a month later, whatever, especially right now in the pandemic.
I have seen other strategies where people will grab a credit card on the phone. Then that’s the down payment. If they’re charging $25,000 for a thing they will charge $2,500 as a down payment. Set up the payment plan with that credit card. I’ve seen that happen, too. One thing about high-ticket offers that you need to consider is that oftentimes a credit card isn’t going to charge the whole thing. You might need three or four credit cards. Also, you might need to take payments for your professional services. There might need to be a wire transfer or a contract or a 10-month payment plan.
There are lots of things that you need to go about. Things that you need to take into consideration when you start working with some of these upper figures. This is because somebody can’t just put it on a credit card. They can write a check. They might have to break credit cards up over a couple of days, it just depends.
So the pitch itself, you can take a credit card on the phone, you can set up a payment plan. There are funding and lending experts who will finance that amount for you. Then you can pass them off to the lending folks, the working capital folks. There are a couple of places that will finance and PayPal Credit will do it. There’s PayPal Credit, so you send a PayPal invoice then somebody can finance their purchase through PayPal.
There’s a lot of ways to collect the payment. One of the interesting ones, I was through a funnel about six months ago and the sales rep didn’t make a pitch verbally. They didn’t say anything on the phone, so I listened to a recording of it. They didn’t say anything on the phone. Their pitch on the sales call was, “If you get an email at the end of the day with an invitation to join us, then there will be a link that you can click and then go enroll.”
Of course, everybody got the link to enroll, unless they were just plain out unqualified for it. I heard it was doing pretty well. I’ve heard that particular strategy. It doesn’t even have to be kind of queasy or weird about pitching and talking money on the phone. I’ve talked to a lot of businesses that are. They don’t like pitching, they would rather somebody else sell.
To me, it’s like, your world revolves around the cash flow of your business. Why aren’t you okay with pitching or selling? Sometimes they want the sales to do the selling for them. But if you’re uncomfortable making a pitch on the phone, which I was when I started. When I started like seven years ago pitching, doing high-ticket sales on the phone. If you’re uncomfortable, then sending a link might be a way to do it.
You can send a link, just drop a link in an email. Say, “Hey, here’s the link to purchase and enroll, go there.”. With us, we always talk about the price. We send a proposal reinforcing the price as opposed to letting the proposal surprise them. I don’t like to do that, but other people do. Iit’s just about finding your mix, finding your thing that works. That’s one of the things. This week we have a couple of different experts coming on to talk about high-ticket sales and how they do high-ticket sales, so you should be able to find a strategy that you like in them, and then kind of go from there.
For Questions and Guide
I think that’s about it for today. If you have any questions at all, go to doneforyou.com/blog, and if you would like to book an action plan call with me where we kind of go through and talk about your business, design a sales funnel, the whole deal, go to doneforyou.com/start.