Sarah Michael is the founder and CEO of Sparkling Results, which focuses on helping clients achieve results without sacrificing other aspects of their lives. She spoke to Jessica Abo to share how to turn everyday encounters into meaningful money-making conversations.
Jessica Abo: Sarah, you are a coach specializing in high ticket messaging, marketing and sales. Tell us more about your work.
My job is what I call female sales force, which is the ability to pull in high ticket sales anywhere 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 the feminine flow. Our ability to use our intuition, our ability to feel and meet the other person where they are at that moment.
Where do you think most people go wrong?
What I find is that most people, when their gut says, “Oh, I can help this person.” They jump right into a sale, let’s talk about my program, let’s talk about my offerings, let’s talk about making a sales call. When at that point the intention is to ask more questions.
What are the questions someone should be asking?
My whole approach to finding customers 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 for sure, at a networking event. It doesn’t matter where you talk to people. And so you want to keep the questions light. This is not yet a sales pitch. Sometimes when we tell people what we do, they just start talking about a problem we’re solving, 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 solve 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?” Those are sales questions.
Do we get their contact details once we have the questions? Do we give them our contact details?
The best way to do this is to request their information or exchange your contact information, but don’t just give them your card. You never hear from them again. They never contact you. People are terrible at following up, so you get their information and you follow up. Or even better, if applicable, schedule something on the spot. That’s my best advice. But you don’t do that in the supermarket. That would be weirdly 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 potential sale. So what you want to do is be very careful with that. Otherwise, you will pounce on people and get ahead of their understanding of the situation, which is no fun for you and certainly no fun for them. So what you should 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 resolving this issue.
How many calls should one expect before someone is interested in their services?
I have what I call the seven essential conversations to make money. We just talked about the first three, the first call, the connecting call, and turning a friendly talk into a sales talk. Each of them is different and each of them is sometimes necessary. You can turn someone into a customer the next time you talk to them. However, it may very well require many more conversations.
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 away, engage people in conversations in the direct messages where you get them on the phone, you have a chat and you really get to know them. Tip three is to play the long game. You will definitely get short-term clients with this method, and you will definitely get long-term clients as you build relationships. And even if you haven’t spoken to them in two years, they call you and they know you’re the person to hire and they’re done, budgeted and it’s on.
And once someone gets to this stage with a business leader, how can they close the deal?
You want to have meaningful conversations. And that’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, with the right buyer, it becomes quite easy to get a high-ticket customer in one phone call.
Finally, what is your advice for people who listen to everything you have to say and are about to walk out the door? It’s a new working day. What do you want to say to them?
Be open when you are in the world. There are customers everywhere and if you get into a conversation with them, know how to get them into a deeper conversation or just struggle through it. Better to make the connection a little clumsy than to let the client slip through your fingers. They need help. So let’s help them.