How Do You Acquire Clients in Any Situation? You Need to Ask These Questions.
The founder and CEO of Sparkling Results shares her advice for anyone looking to have meaningful money-making conversations.
Sarah Michael is the founder and CEO of Sparkling Results, which focuses on helping clients get results without sacrificing other areas of their lives. She sat down with Jessica Abo to share how you can turn everyday encounters into meaningful money-making conversations.
Jessica Abo: Sarah, you're a coach 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 is 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're at 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 getting on 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 in the grocery store, you're going to do this at a party, you're going to do this, sure, at a networking event. It doesn't matter, anywhere where you're talking to people. And so you want to keep the questions kind of light. This is not yet a sales conversation. At times when we tell people what we do, they will just start talking about having a problem we solve, and so you just want to keep them talking and hear more about it. "So tell me more about that. What have you tried to fix that?" That can be a good question. But we don't want to get into, "How long has this been going on? What's the cost of that?" Those are sales questions.
Once we've got the questions, do we get their contact information? Do we give them our contact information?
The best way to go about this is to get their information or exchange your contact information, but don't just give them your card. You'll never hear from them. They'll never contact you. People are terrible at following up, so you get their information and you follow up with them. Or better yet, if appropriate, schedule something right there on the spot. That's my best advice. But you can't do that at the grocery store. That would be wicked weird.
What are some other ways that we can reach out to 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 may discuss a possible sale. So what you want to do is be really careful with that. Otherwise, you will end up pouncing on people, getting ahead of their understanding of the situation, which is no fun for you and no fun for them for sure. So the thing to do instead is when you're setting up the call, make sure they understand that part of our intention is to see if and how I can support you in solving this problem.
How many conversations should someone anticipate having before someone is interested in their services?
I have what I call the seven essential money-making conversations. We've just been talking about the first three, the initial conversation, the connection conversation, and turning a friendly conversation into a sales conversation. Each of them is different, and each of them is necessary at times. You can have somebody turn into a client the very next time you talk to them. It can very well take many more conversations though.
Where can people go to find more clients?
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 draw people into conversations in the direct messages where you get them on the phone, you have a chat, and you actually get to know them. Tip three is to play the long game. You will absolutely get clients in the short term with this method, and you will definitely get clients 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 are ready, budgeted, and it's on.
And once someone gets to this stage with a business lead, how can they seal the deal?
You want to have meaningful conversations. And that is about creating a depth of conversation, a depth of connection, where this person feels incredibly seen, heard, and understood, and really begins to get you, like you, and want to buy from you. When you do that, it becomes pretty simple with the right buyer to get a high-ticket client in a single phone conversation.
Finally, what's your advice for people who are listening to everything that you have to say and are about to walk outside their door? It's a new business day. What do you want to say to them?
Be open when you're out there in the world. There are clients everywhere and if you get into a conversation with them, know how to segue them into a deeper conversation or just bumble your way through it. Better to make the connection a little clunkily than let the client slip through your fingers. They need help. So let's get them the help.