How do you acquire customers in any situation? You need to ask these questions.

Sarah Michael is the founder and CEO of Sparkling Results, which focuses on helping clients achieve results without sacrificing other areas of their lives. She sat down with Jessica Abo to share how you can turn everyday meetings into meaningful conversations about money.

Jessica Abo: Sarah, you’re a trainer who specializes in high-ticket messaging, marketing and sales. Tell us more about your work.

My work is what I call Feminine Sales Power, and that’s the ability to bring in high ticket sales everywhere you go because you know how to have the right conversation, with the right person, at the right time, without being pushy. I teach messaging, marketing and sales. My philosophy is masculine structures – so calendars, scripts and templates – support feminine flow. Our ability to use our intuition, our ability to feel the other person and meet them where they are in that moment.

Where do you think most people go wrong?

What I find is most people when their gut says, “Oh, I can help this person.” They immediately jump to a sale, to let’s talk about my program, let’s talk about my offer, let’s talk about starting a sales conversation. When the thing to do at that moment is to ask more questions.

What are the questions someone should ask?

My whole approach around finding clients everywhere is you’re going to do this at the grocery store, you’re going to do this at a party, you’re going to do this, obviously, at a networking event. It doesn’t matter, anywhere you talk to people. And so you want to keep the questions a little light. This is not yet a sales call. Sometimes when we tell people what we do, they’ll just start talking about how they have a problem that we’re solving, and then you just want to keep them going and hearing more about it. “So tell me more about it. What have you tried to fix it?” That might be a good question. But we don’t want to get into: “How long has this been going on? What does it cost?” It’s a sales issue.

Once we get the questions, do we get your contact information? Do we give them our contact information?

The best way to do this is to get their information or exchange your contact information, but don’t just give them your card. You will never hear from them. They will never contact you. People are terrible at following up, so you get their information and follow up with them. Or better yet, if appropriate, plan something there on the spot. That’s my best advice. But you can’t do that in the grocery store. That would be weird.

What are some other ways we can reach people who might be interested in what we do?

We want the context to be both for you and the other person to know that we can discuss a possible sale. So what you want to do is be very careful with that. Otherwise, you’ll end up lashing out at people and getting ahead of their understanding of the situation, which is no fun for you and certainly no fun for them. So the thing to do instead is when you set up the conversation, make sure they understand that part of our intent is to see if and how I can support you in solving this problem.

How many conversations should someone expect to have before someone is interested in your services?

I have what I call the seven important conversations about making money. We’ve just talked about the first three, the first call, the connection call, and turning a friendly call into a sales call. Each is different and each is necessary at times. You can turn someone into a client the next time you talk to them. However, it may well take many more calls.

Where can people go to find more customers?

Tip number one, talk to people wherever you go. Tip number two is to build relationships on social media. Don’t just drop your link and run, but pull people into IM conversations where you get them on the phone, you strike up a conversation, and you actually get to know them. Tip three is to play the long game. You will definitely get customers in the short term with this method, and you will definitely get customers in the long term because you build relationships. And even if you haven’t talked to them in two years, they call you and they know you’re the person they need to hire, and they’re ready, budgeted, and it’s on.

And when someone gets to this stage with a lead, how can they seal the deal?

You want to have meaningful conversations. And it’s about creating a depth of conversation, a depth of connection, where this person feels incredibly seen, heard, and understood, and really starts to get you, like you, and want to buy from you. When you do that, it becomes quite easy with the right buyer to land a high-ticket customer in a single phone call.

Finally, what is your advice to people who listen to everything you have to say and are about to walk out their door? It’s a new working day. What would you say to them?

Be open when you’re out there in the world. There are customers everywhere, and if you get into a conversation with them, know how to break them into a deeper conversation or just joke your way through it. It is better to make the connection a little clumsy than to let the client slip through their fingers. They need help. So let’s give them help.

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