As an entrepreneur, specifically in the training and development industry, I must network and meet new people that can potentially bring business to my company Nevalliance. During a recent network event, I met an expert in the same line of business. We began speaking, and he stated with his raw emotions that after many years of training employees at his previous employment, as an entrepreneur working for himself, he realizes that selling is the most challenging thing you can do. What he said resonated with me. I decided to give you a few suggestions of things that I have used to sell my services. I like to call it "selling myself."
How do I sell myself as a training and development consultant?" Nobody wants to look like a novice. To look like an expert, you must be prepared and have a tight core message.
Remember this: your clients are looking to do business with people they know, like, and trust.
Here are a few things I have done to market myself as an expert.
Each tip will directly or indirectly affect your marketing efforts and overall business image.
1. Have A Magnetic Marketing Message
Prepare a short, elevated pitch that answers the most popular question: "what do you do?" I listened to people talking about their business for two minutes straight, and I thought their intro was way too long. So, if you want to be effective, get to the point.
I am_______I help (whom) to (do what) so that they (can have what)
2. Be Honest About Delivering Results
Many clients expect "miracles" overnight. Don't be afraid, be honest and tell them what is realistic. Explain to the client what is real, explain what you can do, and give an example if necessary.
3. Don't undersell yourself because you are anxious to close the deal.
If your products/services are expensive, you will attract clients who can afford your services. I love to use the term, know your worth. Imagine that you undersell your services, and you didn't make a profit. Presenting your services at a lower rate can make you look desperate for business. It can devalue your service in the minds of your clients.
4. Do a Workshop That Targets Your Ideal Clients
Hosting a workshop is a great way to increase your perceived value as an expert. Being an instructor within your target market improves your credibility, wins more clients or customers, and builds trust in your industry. For example, if you are a wellness consultant, do a workshop on preparing a healthy, fulfilling meal.
5. Understand the why.
Many go into business without truly knowing why. Knowing why you do what you do can help you sell yourself as an expert and stay in business. Understanding my why helps me stay in business and push throw hurdles and prospective clients' objections. Understanding your "why" will also help you understand why customers will buy your product/service.
6. Lead with benefits
"Features tell, benefits sell."
When presenting your services, your clients think, "what does this have to do with me?" The better you communicate what your product/service will do for your client, the more deals you will land. So share how your expertise will improve their lives or business. That will make you the type of expert they want to do business with.
7. Have a niche
I believe you can offer more than one service/product but get known for one when you start and focus on promoting your specialty. The more you show that your services/ products are meaningfully different than your competitors, the less you must compete. Reduce the "Jack of all trade syndrome," no business can be everything to everyone. So, define your area of specialization. By stating your specialization, it will be clear why clients should do business with you instead of your competitors in your prospect's mind. Ex: Apple stores sell different items, but they are known for the iPhone.
8. Have Partners so you can offer a total solution while making money referring business.
Since I don't recommend being a Jack of all trades, I believe in referrals. It would be best to fill in the gaps with key partners that pay you to refer business. Ex: If you're a tax preparer, you might encounter clients who need a financial planner. Create a partnership with a financial planner to give you a referral fee or refer clients to you.
9. Be Well-Prepared for appointments
For me, I can be over-prepared. However, I would rather be over-prepared than underprepared. If you're going into a meeting with a client, outline the discussion and get to the points. It is so easy to get off track with small talk. You might lose the sale if your small talk gets out of control. It is excellent to create relationships but, more importantly, be prepared and ready for business.
10. Show That You're Passionate
Articulate the problems your clients face and how you solve those problems. Have confidence in yourself. You want to connect with your clients. The best way to do that is to show them you know what they're going through and willing to help them. Showing that you are passionate can create trust and doing so can help you close the deal.
There is no ABC to selling your services, and you must prepare, be confident, and remember Why you do what you do. Dr. Neva Helena Alexander