I am so excited to have a guest post on my blog today by my friend, sales expert Tiffany Peterson. Tiffany blew the audience away at our first Business Boutique last November, and we were thrilled to have her back in our rock-star speaking lineup for our events in Phoenix and Dallas! In this post, she gives you some practical advice on how to overcome your fears of selling. Enjoy!
— SPECIAL GUEST POST BY TIFFANY PETERSON —
Life is sales. Whether you have a formal sales position or not, life is indeed sales—in every form. Getting hired at a job is a sales experience. Getting married or getting engaged is a sales process. Getting your children to do their homework or eat their vegetables is, at some level, a sales process too.
The reason many people struggle or get in their own way is simply that they don’t stick with the sales process long enough. They give up too quickly because they haven’t made a fast sale. Life is sales, but sales are simply relationships. And any great relationship takes time.
You’ve probably heard it said before that people like to buy from those they know, like, and trust. That has influenced me and you, and will continue to be a massive influence for the sales to come in any industry. It is the power of relationship. And any great relationship takes time.
The Law of 4 Interactions is based on research done at Notre Dame University. A gentleman named Herbert True conducted in-depth studies of thousands upon thousands of sales interactions. In the observation of that data, they concluded that 60 percent of sales transactions purchase after a fourth interaction. Consider that number—60 percent. That means the bulk of your business will purchase after a fourth interaction. All that simply reinforces is that people, again, buy from those they know, like, and trust, and therefore, there is a relationship established there. This more your price point increases for a product, service, or program, the more critical relationship leverage will become at influencing that sales transaction.
Now, some relationships are going to need more time, and some will require less. But if you can understand that concept—that the majority of your business is found after a fourth interaction—you can continue forward with persistence and confidence that your results are coming with time.
Something else I’d like you to consider, something that goes along with that same study, is that 44 percent of all salespeople will quit after a first contact. That’s you and me. Whether you’re a business owner, a vice president, an executive, a network marketer, a coach, a healer—whatever titles you have—we are all in sales. Your ability to influence, persuade, communicate, and most importantly, serve, is going to be found again in that relationship.
That’s almost half that would give up and quit right out of the gate. And that’s if they even get started! They would make one contact: one phone call, one voice mail, one e-mail. And if they don’t get the response they want, they’re done and off looking for someone else. If you’re in the business of developing massive wealth and influence, then you’re going to need to be a little more persistent than that. View it from a bigger perspective: You’re nurturing a relationship.
To finish up that data: 44 percent will quit after a first contact, another 24 percent after a second contact, another 14 percent after a third, and another 12 percent after a fourth contact. That means that 94 percent of all salespeople—business owners, healers, coaches, executives—will quit after a fourth contact.
What results do you think the other 6 percent have? It’s probably pretty clear, right? When you study high achievers and performers in any industry or organization, they have an essence of persistence and grit—that stick-to-it-ness that they’re going to continue to nurture and develop. When someone tells you no in a sales proposition, proposal, or presentation, just remind yourself that it isn’t no forever. It’s just no for today. Remind yourself of this concept and the power of this research. The majority of your sales, 60 percent, will come after a fourth interaction. What I love most about that knowledge and awareness is that you can turn off all the voices in your head that say, Maybe they don’t like me. Maybe I offended them. They’re not interested. Those thoughts are sabotaging your success. With this new knowledge, you can simply trust that they only need more time.
Maybe your team members, employees, or sales reps are telling themselves, They’re simply not interested. Show them this blog. Get them to know the facts and the knowledge. Because what I love about knowing that information is it helps me stay anchored in the fact that I’m here for a purpose. I’m here to serve them. I’m here to build relationships. When you’re in the business of relationships, you’re in the business of service, adding value, and nourishing your network. When you show up and play life and your business from that angle, you can write your ticket. You’ll have whatever it is that you want if you’re faithful and persistent to give it the time that it needs.
When you find yourself discouraged or not closing the sales, consider what needs a little more time. Maybe you find yourself saying, “Gosh, I’m making contacts but not closing sales.” The difference between contacts and contracts is one letter—the letter “R.” That one-letter difference stands for Relationship.
So if you’re making contacts (reaching out, sending e-mails and invitations, scheduling lunches, making phone calls) but you’re not getting the contracts, all it tells you is you need a little more time on the relationship. A little more time to nurture, connect, ask more, serve, be a resource, and add that value. I guarantee that if you will be faithful and persistent, that is the magic sauce in life for creating whatever you want. Persistence always trumps talent.
Life and sales and results don’t always go to the most attractive, the most educated, or the person with the best upbringing. Success and life and results go to the most faithful and persistent, which is you—if you choose it to be. Persistence is a choice, right? Be consistent in following up, and be willing to say, “I’m in it for the big payout. I’m in it to nurture relationships to a point and a place where I have multiple business referrals.”
Live this on a regular basis. Remind yourself and your team members that success hinges upon these principles: Life is sales. Sales are simply relationship. People buy from those they know, like, and trust. If you’re not converting as many contracts from your contacts, you need to spend more time nourishing the relationship aspect of your business.
Thanks for taking the time to nurture your brain. Be faithful. Be persistent. Continue to add value and you also will meet with success.
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Tiffany Peterson is a seasoned speaker and international coach who guides individuals, teams, and audiences in creating thriving lives and business results. Before founding her own company, The Lighthouse Principles, Tiffany worked with and for many popular brands and was responsible for achieving sales budgets of more than $40 million in annual revenue. She loves sharing her sales secrets and strategies with others to help them create a sustainable income while living their business dreams.