Do you know who Chris Lema is? If you don’t, you definitely need to now.
This is Chris. Chris changes lives.
I have had the pleasure of knowing Chris from the WordPress community and he has literally changed my life. I’m on a quest to better myself, my business and my future. Chris just helps me do that.
Here’s what I learned from Chris Lema:
- The Bridge Framework
- Pitching a Sale = Losing that Sale
- Investment > Cost
- Storytelling vs Listening
None of that makes sense to you now, however, if you take a minute out of your day – this article could change your life like it has mine. These life lessons are not just for sales, they are for your everyday life.
For the quick record – I don’t work for Chris. Although that would be rad! Kidding, I love my job. I am not making any commission off of this article (which would also be rad!) NOPE! This is just something I wanted to share with the world because it has helped me so much.
Let’s talk about life changing stories.
The Bridge Framework
To kick off, I want to talk about sales. I am in the marketing and sales world and have evolved my strategy over the last 12 years as times change.
The evolution of sales has come from cold calling, knocking on doors to throwing events and social media networking. It has come so far! I am super happy that we are moving toward a more human-centric approach as that’s more my style.
There are two types of salespeople in the world. Those that pitch a sale and those that educate and offer assistance. That framework set up front is everything.
Here’s a little story about a milkshake….
Here’s the premise…(I am going to butcher it, Chris does it WAYYYYY better.) *Cringe
You want a milkshake. It’s across a stream. You can’t cross the stream because it’s too deep. You need another way. You keep walking and asking others if they know a way. You need a bridge to get over the stream to get to the milkshake. So, in actuality – you don’t need the milkshake, you need the bridge.
So, do you build a bridge for your clients or do you sell them the milkshake? They already know they want the milkshake, what they don’t know is that they need a bridge to get there. That’s your job.
The bridge framework is about education. The reality is that people don’t know what they don’t know. Sometimes, they don’t understand how to get there!
If none of this makes sense to you – you need Chris in your life. His services have transformed businesses on a whole other level. He’s pretty epic. And as his website says – Reach out, Say Hello. Promise you won’t be disappointed.
Pitching a Sale = Losing that Sale
“You don’t have to accept the framing that a customer brings to you.” – Chris Lema
What does this mean? Simply that there are two ways to start a conversation in sales. You can pitch the sale and talk about how awesome you or your service are. Or you can educate your potential client on how you can help them.
If the services don’t fit what they need, that’s okay! If it’s the right fit, it will work. There is no need to convince someone that they need your product or service. if you are pitching a sale, you’ve already lost – according to Chris.
So how you get your sales pitch across without sounding pushy? That’s easy, framework.
A framework allows you to develop and deploy a philosophy that engages with a buyer in a meaningful way. It allows you to align your point of view with that of the buyer, giving you the flexibility to work with them to achieve their objectives, thus delivering specific business and personal impacts.
Basically, think in the mind of your target audience.
Here’s an excellent resource that really changed my entire perspective around on framework. You can use this book to learn about ways to handle conversations in your business, your personal relationships and your own self-care.
by Oren Klaff
An Innovative Method for PRESENTING, PERSUADING, AND WINNING THE DEAL
I know it says “pitch” anything…and we talked about not doing that – but you have to read it to find out why!
Investment > Cost
This was a cool thing I learned on one of our “Virtual Happiness Hours” at GoWP. We host a Friday afternoon get-together on Zoom with a few (hundred) of our WordPress friends…and it’s amazing.
Chris Lema joins us quite a bit for these and the knowledge drops are priceless!
The problem in question was “what if my client says it’s not in the budget and the cost is too high” – which, let’s face it, happens a lot. It’s always about money, right?
The answer is simple. (Again going back to framework here…) When a potential client talks about cost – you ask them the question – are you building a website or are you building a business? Are you investing in your future or are you “paying for right now”?
If the potential client is not invested in their future they are always going to focus on the cost right then. Thinking of it as an investment is another framework in that they believe their business will last. This is their PASSION. There is no price on the value you place in your future. You can’t argue with that logic.
Next time you have a potential client haggle about money, it simply means they aren’t invested in it. They aren’t passionate about what they do because they can’t see beyond money.
Try a take away! Let them know that they may not seem invested. See what they say!
Storytelling vs Listening
If you know me at all, you know I’m a talker. 🙂
Growing up everyone always told me that I talk too much. I even got ‘excessive socialization’ on my report card in 4th grade (and probably other grades…) Talking is why I am in the sales bizz to begin with, right?
I have learned over the years that there is a balance to it. Knowing when to conduct a story and knowing when to simply listen are the factors. They are both equally important. You are trying to connect with someone and educate them at the same time.
Here’s a little post I wrote on how to sell (without selling) on social media: Selling on Social Media: Major Wins + Epic Fails (2020)
And, here’s a little step by step sales (call) process that I came up with, both from watching Chris and from experience over the years:
1 – Smile and ask questions. Make a connection and be sure to say their name. Don’t be distracted by notifications. Focus and eye contact are key. Do NOT start talking about yourself first.
2 – Ask them to talk about their problems, pain points and why they reached out to you. Keep asking as needed! Take notes here and listen without interrupting.
3 – Answer questions with short, technical responses. Do not go off on any tangents.
4 – Reassure, be understanding, and offer results – not the product. Be relatable and compassionate regarding their problems or pain points. Always end with asking questions about them.
5 – Wrap it up – be mindful of their time. Be helpful, courteous and organized in your closing with next steps action items. Go back to the beginning connection and don’t forget to smile!
The only time that storytelling plays a role here is if they are specifically asking. Do not launch into a story about how you know how they feel because this and that and you you you. Nope. Nobody cares.
This call is considered a “WIIFM” conversation – “what’s in it for me”? Understand that the potential client is only interested in how it benefits them – NOT YOU OR YOUR COMPANY.
Other than that, I would sit and listen to Chris Lema tell stories all day long. And you can too – I recommend tuning in to his podcast.
There is definitely an art in storytelling. There is an equally important art to listening. You have to become the master of both. You may need Chris’s services to do it, but that’s fine!
CBCInked Wrap Up: Lessons I Learned from Lema
These lessons have helped me so much in my life, my work and my self talk! I now take a breath before I respond when asked a question. I now try to listen before I inject. TRY being the key word. I fail sometimes, but that’s okay!
I’m a WIP! And being a work in progress means that I’m working on it. Are you working on being a better you? Are you working on selling without selling? It’s a tough time out there for business, so it’s important to evolve as the times change.
Having a human centric approach to sales is your best bet for success.
But hey, what’s in it for me?
Want more sales and marketing tips? I wrote a little book about it. It’s free. Here ya go….