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Ditch the Script: 10 Key Sales Call Checkpoints to Guide Your Sales Conversations

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More about this video

The people who do “sales” calls the best are not people who expertly follow scripts or presentation outlines – they are people who have a firm grasp on the basic objectives of a sales call and who can engage the prospect with no script whatsoever.

This training in particular will teach you how to confidently lead sales calls without a script or presentation. It’ll even equip you to lead off-the-cuff sales calls where you don’t have the opportunity to prepare ahead of time.

Even if you currently do sales calls without a script or presentation, this training will help you be far more effective by shoring up any missing discussion areas and potentially providing you with some context and insights that you haven’t previously considered.

The 10 Checkpoints

  1. Primary Goals
  2. How Does Their Funnel Work
  3. Ideal Customer
  4. How Successful is the Business?
  5. What Drives Current Success?
  6. Paint the Picture
  7. Past Experiences
  8. Process
  9. Price Range & Timeline
  10. Next Steps

Video Transcript

What’s up everybody, welcome back to another sales training. This one is called Ditch the Script, 10 Key Sales Call Checkpoints to Guide Your Sales Conversations. My goal with this training, I know a lot of you struggle with bringing structure to your sales calls. You feel like if you don’t have a script for your sales calls, you’re going to say the wrong things, you’re not going to know what kind of questions to ask, you’re not going to know what key points to hit on, but I don’t think a script is actually the solution to your challenges. I think, well we’re going to talk about checkpoints. Checkpoints are the solution to the challenges that you face.
And then a little bit of practice. When you practice hitting these checkpoints, you are going to have the confidence to go into any sales conversation and youíre going to know what to say, youíre going to know how to navigate the conversation even if the person youíre talking to kind of goes off course, youíre going to be able to go off course with them but then youíre going to be able to steer them right back to where the conversation needs to go. And throughout this training youíre going to get a bunch of key insights for each checkpoint It’s gonna be a great training. So let’s go ahead and hop right into it First thing I want you to understand is that the people who do sales calls the best are not people who? expertly follow scripts or Presentation outlines they are people who have a firm grasp on the basic of a sales call and who can engage the prospect with no script whatsoever.
Now remember when I talk sales I’m not talking about the icky act of talking people into buying things that they’re not actually interested in or that aren’t actually valuable. Sales to me is providing value, it’s offering guidance, it’s helping the prospect make the best possible decision given their current situation. If you think about sales in that way, you’re going to find yourself less stressed about sales calls and you may even find that you’re genuinely excited to lead prospects through the sales process. Now, depending on your personality, that may never be the case. You may never be super excited to lead prospects through the sales process, but I can guarantee you will be more excited than you have ever been about leading the prospect through the sales process if you think about sales in the way that I just defined it. Being good at sales in this context does require a certain set of skills as well as practice and experience. So watching this training is not magic, watching any sales training is not magic.
You need to practice and you are going to need experience and of course experience comes from practice. It also comes from being in real world sales calls. There’s a difference between practice sales calls and real world calls obviously, but both are tremendously valuable for gaining experience. Now this training in particular is going to teach you how to confidently lead sales calls without a script. It’s even going to equip you to lead off-the-cuff sales calls where you don’t have the opportunity to prepare ahead of time. Just know that this isn’t the only sales call training that you need to watch.
For the full array of techniques, principles, and tips make sure you watch my entire collection of sales call trainings. Okay let’s talk sales call checkpoints. First of all what is a sales call checkpoint? It is a specific discussion topic that you need to arrive at during your sales call at some point. It’s typically best if you try to hit checkpoints in a consistent order as some checkpoints do lead to other checkpoints. But here’s the key, it is not mandatory. You can skip around a little bit when it comes to hitting different checkpoints.
So they don’t all have to be hit in the same order, but as you’re going to see, some of them do naturally lead into the next checkpoint and they are often best done in a specific order, but it is not mandatory. It’s also by the way not always possible to completely steer the conversation from checkpoint to checkpoint because the prospect may throw you curve balls. That’s always a possibility, but this is the beauty of not following a script or a presentation. See when the prospect goes off course, people who are only equipped to follow a script or a presentation become flustered in that situation. They become lost. They become incapable of selling effectively. Even worse, theyíll often ignore the prospectís question or comments and simply direct them back to the script or presentation attempting to delay that part of the conversation until later because they know if they touch on those things now, they’re not going to be able to wrap back into the script.
The script doesn’t account for that. The presentation that they’re doing does not account for that. So it’s not safe to go off course. So the prospect will ask a question or present some challenge or what have you, and it’s like, oh, we’ll get to that later. Then they just try to keep going on script and the prospect doesn’t feel heard. The prospect just feels like they’re watching an act or something, right? That they’re not actually in a conversation with this person. And you don’t want the prospect to ever feel like that. Because when the prospect realizes that you’re following a script or a presentation, guess what?
You’re going to lose trust. You’re going to lose connection. You’re going to lose leverage. Checkpoints give you the ability to flow freely through a sales conversation, staying flexible to the inputs the prospect is giving you, while still driving the conversation to a specific conclusion, and while still hitting all the important points along the way. Now there are 10 key sales call checkpoints that you should aim to hit on every single sales call. And when you hit each checkpoint, you’re going to be equipped to provide an authentic proposal. That’s one of the main goals of a good sales call, is that you can provide a proposal that’s actually going to win the project and if you don’t have the right answers to the right questions you can’t possibly provide an authentic proposal that’s going to meet the needs of the buyer, the prospect or the project in general.
You’re also going to gain the trust of the prospect when you hit these checkpoints because they’re going to recognize that you’re ìasking the right questionsî and ìfocusing on the right things.î You’re also going to maintain leverage because you’re going to be leading the conversation back to critical topics rather than passively allowing the prospect to wander themselves through the call while you do your best to tag along and react to their next move. In my sales call coaching, what will often happen is the prospect will just wait for me to ask a bunch of questions and then they’ll try to respond and answer those questions. There’s really, they’re not in charge of the sales call. It’s like I have to think about what to ask next in order to get this person to move this thing along, right, and get to the actual details.
You never want that to happen. You don’t want the prospect to feel like they’re the one that has to lead the sales call. You are in charge of the sales call. And we’re going to talk about this more as we go. A little side note here, when I mention leverage, leverage is critical in sales conversations and it’s not a bad thing. When I talk about maintaining leverage, I’m not talking about getting the upper hand. That’s not our goal in the sales conversation. That is the goal for a lot of salesmen and saleswomen, but it’s not my goal when I talk about leverage.
I’m not talking about getting the upper hand. I’m simply talking about maintaining a healthy balance of leverage, okay? You don’t want to lose leverage because that tips the scale way too much in their favor and it’s not about winning to some degree in that regard. When they have too much leverage and realize they have too much leverage, it’s uncomfortable for them too. You don’t want a relationship where either side is taking advantage of the other side. So you don’t want to be taken advantage of, obviously. That’s why you have to maintain leverage, and you don’t want them to ever feel like they’re getting taken advantage of. So we’re talking about healthy balance here, but you also don’t want them to feel like they’re taking advantage of you, because that doesn’t feel good to them, unless they’re a bad person, but still, you don’t want to be in that situation.
So leverage is very, very important. It’s also important that you understand what I mean when I say leverage and when I talk about leverage. So as we go through each checkpoint, one thing I want you to keep in mind is that again, the goal is not to robotically go from checkpoint to checkpoint as if this is an exact outline. Your job is to fill the gap between checkpoints with value, with trust signals, with authenticity, with general conversation and connection, okay, and Iím going to do a separate training on connection, but your job is to make it a fluid conversation. The checkpoints are a place that we want to get to at some point during the call, but we donít need to rush from one checkpoint to another and make it too robotic and too structured.
I also want you to recognize the somewhat obvious nature of each checkpoint. These checkpoints arenít sales secrets, okay. Theyíre pretty obvious and intuitive. When we go through them you’re going to be like, oh I kind of already know this, alright? But that doesn’t mean everyone knows every single one of them or ensures that every single checkpoint is hit on all of their calls or even most of their calls. And it also doesn’t ensure or mean that everybody knows the full context around each of these checkpoints and why they’re so valuable and what opportunities they provide you in these sales conversations. Unfortunately and again I do sales call coaching all the time, people who lack confidence, who lack skills, who lack experience, whatever, they miss these checkpoints all the time.
So we need to intentionally train them into our sales process. You need to ingrain these checkpoints into your brain. The good news is that since they’re somewhat obvious and intuitive, they should be easy to remember. So once you’ve practiced hitting your checkpoints, you’re going to quickly become a natural at doing this. And then you’ll always be equipped for any sales call situation that you find yourself in or even a live sales presentation situation that you happen to find yourself in. I tend to believe, and I know this from my own experience, that I can walk into a boardroom with executives without much preparation and sell them services off the cuff because I know what the objectives of me being there are, right?
Now it’s not a situation where I would pretend like I was prepared and come give a presentation or anything like that. That’s a different scenario. But if somebody just took me by the hand into this boardroom and said, ìOh, by the way, I want you to meet our board members. Theyíre interested in having you redo the website and yada, yada, yada, yada, yada.î I can have the whole sales conversation right then and there off the cuff. Even if I donít really know anything about the company because as youíre going to see with these checkpoints, everything that I need to know and everything that we need to talk about, I already know the objectives and I can navigate my way through it from objective to objective to objective by going from checkpoint to checkpoint to checkpoint.
It’s going to give me everything that I need to close this deal. Alright, so here’s checkpoint number one. What are the primary goals of the business or of this project? If you don’t know the goals the business has, how can you possibly provide them any value, right? How can you achieve the results they hope to achieve if you don’t know what results they hope to achieve? I don’t know why people never ask this question. It’s like, okay, let’s first talk about your goals. Why are you asking me for these things?
Right? Somebody will come and say, hey, I want a website, I want web design. Okay. Why do you want web design? That’s kind of a critical question. It’s not just, oh, okay, sure, we can do this, and you start telling them all the things you can do. You need to know why they want a new web design. Why do they want a new website? This is a very very important question The trick here is that what a prospect says their goals are okay isn’t always what their goals really are or What their goals should be?
So I want you to think about that for a second because so many people They just you know, they run with the first thing the prospect says. So for example, prospect says, our goal is to make the website look more modern. Well in your mind, you need to be like, is that really the most important goal they have? Okay, you can’t just take it and start talking about how, oh I can build this modern website, that’s our specialty, we do modern website. Okay, you could take that goal at face value. You could start asking for examples of what they mean by modern. You could start talking about how your specialty is creating modern web, like whatever that means, right?
But how much will a more modern looking website really add to their bottom line? See sometimes clients state low value objectives. In my estimation that’s a very low value objective. And clients state low value objectives because they don’t understand how much value you’re actually capable of bringing them. Right, they know they need a new website, you ask them why do you need a new website and they’re just seeing you as a pixel pusher, a designer, and they’re just like well we want it to look more moderate.
They don’t really know that you’re like really business minded, that you can really help their business. They’re giving you a simple answer, a low value answer. And if you take that low value answer and run with it, you’re going to sell a low value project. What you need to do is take this opportunity to educate, right? This is your chance to educate them. This is your chance to truly position yourself as a consultant instead of a pixel pusher.
You cannot allow them to see you as a pixel pusher in any capacity whatsoever. You are a consultant from this day forward, all right? Ingrain that in your mind, etch that in your mind, because here’s a key takeaway. The more you align your project with valuable business goals, the more valuable you’re going to be to your clients. If you align yourself with low value goals, you’re going to be low value to your clients. You’ve got to align your services with high value business goals. When you do this, you can charge more, you’re going to keep your clients around longer and you’re going to land far more upsell services. So checkpoint one isn’t just about hearing their stated goals, right?
It’s about shaping the conversation toward the most important business objectives that you are equipped to help them with. If they state low value goals, you got to dig deeper and try to get those higher value goals. If they’re clueless and they’re not really great at marketing, right? There’s a lot of businesses out there, they’re just good at what they do, they’re not good at marketing what they do. You need to come in and tell them what their goals should be. That’s very important, right? Here’s what your goals should be, because I recognize that you’re amazing at what you do, we got to get that in the hands of more people, or we got to get more people paying you for your services or whatever, you know, whatever kind of business they happen to have, hereís what your goals need to be in that regard.
Checkpoint one also gives you a chance to make sure the deliverables that theyíre asking for are in alignment with the valuable objectives that you end up discussing. So for example, they ask for a new website, but really it comes down to when you dig deeper on their high value business goals, they need to expand their reach online. They actually need to be ranking number one. They need to be using PPC to drive targeted traffic and converting those into buyers to fill a sales pipeline. Okay so what you’re coming to recognize is the deliverable that they asked you for a new website is not the only deliverable that they actually need to make that to reach those goals.
Okay so now we’re expanding our service line up into PPC and local SEO and these other things right. So you have to make sure you’re not just going to give them the deliverable that they asked for you’re going to give them the deliverables that are required to meet the high value business objectives that you just discussed. If there is a disconnect between what they’re asking for and their key objectives, like I mentioned, the offering needs to change. And this first checkpoint is critical because it changes the entire complexion of the conversation. You really, this is why it’s the first question because if you don’t ask the why behind this and you don’t really get to the goals, you can go off hitting the rest of the checkpoints on a very limited thing that’s not actually gonna reach their high level business goals.
We can’t let that happen. We have to know the full context of what they want in terms of like outcomes before we move on with the rest of the conversation. You may discover in this checkpoint that the project actually needs to be much larger. I just gave examples to that or delivered in stages perhaps. Maybe they start out asking for all of these things and you come to realize actually you know if we do all that stuff the timeline is going to be insane and you aren’t going to reach the goals you want to reach anytime soon. We can actually reach the goals faster if we break this up into smaller pieces and do it in stages and now we’ve changed the, again, we’ve changed the complexion of this sales call and it’s an opportunity for you to take the lead and for you to be a consultant and for you to not be a pixel pusher.
If you follow a web design sales script or a presentation of some sort, right, youíre very likely to stick to the script in these situations and just sell them the basic offer because thatís what youíre prepared to do. But when you have real sales skills, when youíre not following a script, when youíre not following a presentation, you can be confident in tailoring the offering to meet their actual needs and youíll still know exactly what questions you need to ask, you’ll still know how to frame things, you’ll still know what objectives you need to hit during this conversation, but it’s a completely different conversation than you expected to have five minutes ago when the call started. And you’re still just as comfortable having this conversation with them. There’s no need to re-prepare, right, to get on another call to discuss this new thing, this new revelation that’s come out in the very beginning of this sales call.
It’s important to know here, selling what people actually need, right? You sell someone what they actually need, much higher close rate, much higher degree of authenticity and value versus just selling them what you had initially prepared to sell them and like fitting them into that box. You want to avoid that at all costs. Sell people what they actually need you’re going to close at a much higher rate. Like I mentioned this is not possible when you follow a sales script or a presentation. It only comes from understanding the check points and being able to shift gears mid conversation. So step number one is to learn what their actual goals are or inform them of what their goals should be given your skill set and experience and given the high value business objectives that you have already discussed.
Okay, checkpoint number two. How does their funnel actually work? See all businesses have different funnels meaning they attract and convert customers in different ways. But the same underlying principles and paths apply to almost every business. The funnel can look different, it has different moving parts, but the goal is always the same. When I teach this, I teach a concept called the five rings of reach and conversion. And this is a visualization of the five rings of reach and conversion. And by the way, if you’re trying to educate your clients on marketing, just the 30,000 foot view of marketing, this is where I start with them.
Because like I said, a lot of clients, especially local businesses, they’re really good at their trade or they’re really good at creating the products that they create. They may not be very good at marketing those things and so you want to provide some education. This is a 30,000 foot view of how marketing works. You have five different groups of people. These are the five rings. The largest ring are people that are completely unaware that the company actually exists, that the brand actually exists, whatever. So these are the unaware people. That’s most of the people in the target market, especially if a company is small or it’s new.
So what our goal is, is to take that largest group, move the unaware people to the aware stage. So obviously people can’t buy from you or be your customer if they’re not aware of your existence. So we have to take people who are unaware and we have to make them aware. Now there’s a lot of ways to do that, okay? We don’t need to talk about that yet. We just need to understand the 30,000 foot view. So once these people are aware of you, we now need to convert them into tribe members, right?
We need them to see you more than once. We need them to see your content. We need them to see offers. We need them to see small entry level products perhaps. We need to see things that they can latch onto and go a little bit deeper into actually having a relationship with you, right? So they go from being aware to in your tribe. Once they’re in your tribe, now you kind of have them hooked on your narrative, on your message.
You can now communicate with them more consistently and your goal now is to actually take offers and put them in front of tribe members because people who are tribe members right or they have more of a Relationship with you than just being aware of your existence They’re the people who are most likely to actually buy something and so our goal now is to move them from tribe to core Buyers to customers or clients or whatever. This is the group that’s officially in with you, alright. Now your goal, and you’re not done, alright. A lot of people think they’re done after they reach the core buyer stage. You’re not done after you reach core buyers. Your goal now is to move them up the value ladder from product to product to product or service to service to service.
Because you should really have what’s called a value ladder or a product or service ladder. So you have some entry level stuff, then you have higher ticket things, then you have your highest ticket thing, right? And your goal is to make these core buyers into raving fans by not just selling them more things but creating more value for them, right? Changing their life in a more dramatic way as they go through the value ladder to the point that they become a raving fan for some reason or another, right? You’ve given them such a great experience that they’re now a raving fan. And we need to get more people to the raving fan stage because the raving fan stage amplifies, these now become arms like this group is now a new arm of your marketing.
And raving fans go find people who are unaware and they make them aware and then they help them become tribe members and then core buyers and then raving and the cycle just feeds itself over and over and over again. So this is how I explain 30,000 foot view to my clients, right? Or to anybody that’s coming to me to learn. This is like where I start because if you don’t understand the 30,000 foot view, you’re not going to understand all the other pieces, okay? So this is the basics. Every business has to do this. They have to take people who are unaware and eventually get them to the raving fan stage. You need to understand exactly how they are approaching that. What is their plan that they currently have in place that’s working to move people through that funnel. That is a funnel, the five rings, right? Okay. The reason this is imperative is because when you’re selling services and deliverables in this case, you have to know how your services are going to fit into their funnel, how it’s going to work with their funnel, right?
It can also, by the way, be very common, especially I work with local clients, right? For them to have a funnel that primarily works offline and they have no idea how to adapt it to work online. And if you don’t either, you’re not going to sell them these services, right? How can you possibly build them a website or do SEO or do PPC or anything else if you have no idea how their funnel is supposed to work on the internet right if they’re not coming to you with a funnel that’s working and they’re just wanting new pieces for that funnel what are you going to sell like again and but this happens all the time right it does people sell a website with no marketing plan so yeah I’ll sell you a website and I’ll rebuild your website and then it’s like okay cool we’re done I do what I do what you asked me to do and they’re like where’s my traffic where’s my sales where’s my this where’s my that and you’re like oh we didn’t ever talk about that part I just you asked for a website I sold you a website there you go right so you’ve done them a disservice you can’t you’ve got to stop doing that if you’re if you’re doing that you I don’t sell somebody a website unless I know how it’s gonna make them money I don’t sell them SEO unless I know how we’re going like who we’re gonna go after how we’re gonna get them converted and how we’re going to not just convert it to a sale but convert it to a lead and then from a lead to a sale.
Okay, so PPC, same thing. I don’t sell them services unless I know exactly how those services are going to make them money and most people, most people are not going to buy your services unless you’re able to tell them how those services are going to make them money. You’re going to sell a low level people have no idea what they’re doing. The people are like, oh, we need a website because we need a digital brochure. You can sell to them and nothing’s going to happen, but they’re going to sign on the dotted line. They’re going to become a client with you. But I would never work with somebody like that, right? I’m not going to sell them a service if I don’t know it’s going to make them money and know exactly how it’s going to make them money. And you shouldn’t either. That’s my official position. How can you possibly sell them services if you canít communicate exactly how these services are going to generate business effectively from end to end.
And by the way, you donít have to be an expert in every aspect of creating the funnel, but you damn sure better understand the core concepts and how funnels work and what pieces need to be in place and which pieces you are going to take care of versus which pieces somebody else needs to take care of, right? And if they don’t have a funnel at all, I just talked about offline businesses who are just migrating online, right? But they don’t have anything in place. You better be able to design a funnel or find somebody who can, otherwise you have no business selling them pieces of the funnel with no context for where those pieces are going to fit or how they’re going to fit.
Remember your goal isn’t to sell the prospect new services. Your goal is to sell the prospect the right services. And this is a mindset that they will pick up on. When they pick up on the fact that, ooh, this guy is not just trying to sell me stuff, right? He’s trying to sell me the right things for the goals that I have. Trust, that’s a major trust builder right there. And it’s just a true, it’s a fact. You can’t possibly sell them the right services if you don’t know exactly how the services are going to fit into their funnel or how they’re going to amplify the results of their existing funnel.
So checkpoint number two is about getting the client to explain their funnel so you can position your services to make that funnel work better or it’s to discover that they have no funnel and then it’s your opportunity to step in to the role of consultant and design a funnel for them. Okay, let’s talk about checkpoint number three. Who is their ideal customer? See, we just talked about funnels. Funnels only work when you put the right people into them. So it stands to reason that you need to know who those people are. If you don’t know who those people are, how can you go find them? How can you help get them into the funnel? You also need your prospect to know by the way that you know who those people are. If your prospect knows that you know that’s going to make them a lot more warm and fuzzy inside. If this is something you never ask about you’re unlikely to sell the project effectively. I’ll tell you that right now. And also keep in mind answers about ideal customers. So when you ask about ideal customers and you get that insight and that feedback, that’s going to inform other things like user experience design, UI design, copywriting, marketing in general. So these are key insights, key pieces of information and you better be asking about them. In some cases you may discover that the prospect can’t actually define the ideal customer precisely. Well what happens when that happens?
This is yet another golden opportunity for you to step in as a consultant and discuss the need for more clarity and intentionality in this area. Valuable business goals, funnels, ideal customers, these are things that help you sell higher ticket websites, discovery packages, copywriting services and so on. If you never discuss these things, you’re going to be stuck selling a pretty web design, pretty web design at bottom of the barrel prices and you’ll be completely failing your client in terms of their important business goals. I also want you to keep this in mind. When you position yourself as a consultant instead of a pixel pusher, you are going to win regardless of how your prospects answer these questions that I’m having you ask right. So each checkpoint is going to have some questions involved in it most likely and if you are a pixel pusher it matters how they answer those questions. If you’re a consultant it doesn’t matter how they answer those questions. If a prospect already has a firm understanding of the topics that you’re bringing up and they’re able to provide great insights right they’re on the ball with their company and their marketing, then all you need to do as a consultant is position your services as an amplification of all the great pieces that they’ve already put together.
And a pixel pusher can do that too. So a pixel pusher would do okay in that scenario. But if a prospect doesn’t have a grasp of these concepts, then you get to sell more services at higher prices. The Pixel Pusher on the other hand has no leverage here. Right, if the prospect doesn’t know exactly what they need, the Pixel Pusher is kind of lost. And they’re stuck selling bottom dollar services because there’s no real value proposition now. And in many cases, the Pixel Pusher just fails to land the project altogether because at some point the prospect realizes that, oh, they can’t actually help me.
You know, it’s the person that comes to the realization like, I could invest in this new website but I’m kind of realizing I don’t really have a plan to drive traffic to it or convert those people and this guy that I just talked to was just selling me the website but he never talked about traffic, he never talked about conversion, he never talked about strategy, all he was doing was telling me how he can build me a new website, I don’t think I’m going to invest that money, not with him anyway, right? I should probably hold off for a while, get a better plan together and then we’ll do it when we’re ready. That’s kind of the conclusion that they come to. So pixel pushers lose projects all the time because they position themselves as a pixel pusher in these conversations.
They don’t position themselves as a consultant. So checkpoint number three rounds out the initial trifecta of critical business questions By revealing the exact type of person the prospect wants to reach and convert. Alright, checkpoint number four, how successful is their business right now? You need to know how successful their business currently is for multiple reasons. First, you need a starting point for discussing goals and you need to understand how big the gap is between where they are now and where they want to be with you. One important thing that you have to do at many different checkpoints is manage expectations and manage reality. If goals, needs, desires, features, whatever are not in the realm of reality, you’re going to sell yourself into a grave.
You’re going to promise things that you cannot deliver on. It’s going to kill the project. It’s going to kill your contract and if you do that too many times frankly it’s going to kill your entire company. So your goal should be to never sell things you can’t accomplish and never agree to things that are unrealistic. If you don’t know how big the gap is between where they are now and where they want to go there’s no way to determine if what they’re wanting is doable. So I don’t know how so many people promise so many things on sales calls without ever asking where the company is at now. What is the baseline? Right? You need to know how successful your business is, your prospects business is, so you can understand their budget. This is the second reason. You got to understand their budget without having to ask them what their budget is. We’re going to talk more about price and price bracketing in a later checkpoint, but you need to collect insights about the level of their success right now so you can use that information to form a more accurate price bracket later.
Third thing is you need a benchmark to compare your results to later on. Because many, many, many people do work for companies and end up getting them results but they have no idea what the company’s results were before they started providing their services. So if you don’t benchmark, then you lose leverage when it’s time to sell phase two services. Keep in mind, we’re not just trying to sell one thing here. We’re trying to build a long term relationship where we can sell more things. If you don’t have a benchmark and you can’t show the progress you’ve made because you never asked what their results were before you started, it’s going to be very difficult to sell or more difficult I should say to sell phase two services and ongoing services. And also, you lose the ability to create strong case studies, okay?
Now the trick with checkpoint number four is knowing how to ask about their success. Because you can’t just be like, how successful is your business right now? Like that’s a super open-ended question. And it’s very difficult to understand how to answer that. So it’s better if you ask specific questions. Consider questions like this. How much traffic does your site currently get? How many leads does your site currently get? What percentage of leads do you convert into customers? What’s the average order or purchase value? Do customers purchase once or do they purchase repeatedly? How much does it currently cost you to get a lead? How much does it currently cost you to get a customer?
Okay, there are lots of questions you can ask, but they need to be tailored to the type of business that you’re talking to and the type of services that you are selling. This is where it really helps you to understand basic business and marketing concepts and how the services you offer can impact these things. I can’t tell you how many web designers and SEO people and PPC people, I mean PPC people are usually a lot more on the ball because they have to be, but web designers, it’s rampant. SEO, it’s pretty rampant, right? People that I’ve run into who have no idea how the math of a business is supposed to work and all they care about, right? The web designers is like pretty pixels and SEO people are organic rankings but there’s no regard for business outcomes, for goal measurement and there should be, there has to be.
You need to be able to talk business concepts and not just the technical aspects of the services that you offer if you truly, truly, truly want to be successful and want to get more money for what you do. All right? Checkpoint number five, where does most of their success currently come from? Right? We talked about what level of success they currently have, but where does that success currently come from? And the reason we’re asking this question is because it’s easier to amplify things that are already working than it is to create some brand new amazing effort from scratch. When your prospect is able to tell you what’s already working you can show them how your services are going to amplify this and this is going to feel far less risky to them than an off-the-wall like from scratch service concept. Okay now of course it is possible that nothing is working for them in the context of what they’re coming to you for.
For example, a company who has great success offline but zero success online. But when they describe what works offline, it often provides direction for exactly how to shape their online efforts. And since it already works offline, they can see it working online more easily than some brand new concept they’ve never considered or attempted. For example, I had a client who got all their business offline by knocking on doors. They literally went door to door to door in neighborhoods in their local area and they were just cold selling to people who opened the door. So they understand door knocking and they know it works for them, okay? It’s annoying, right? Nobody wants their door knocked on and be sold to, but this client, that’s what they did and it worked for them to grow their business Offline, but they wanted to get more business online. They wanted to leverage Digital, okay, so we’re in the sales conversation I’m asking them about what works pretty much the only thing they do is door knocking Okay, they don’t do anything else really for offline marketing. They go knock on doors people open the door, they sell them, they get them to come in, whatever, and that is their model. Okay? So I’m proposing a PPC campaign for them. Right? We’re trying to get them to go digital. I used that door knocking concept to help explain why PPC is a perfect fit for them. All I did was take the term door knocking, because they find it familiar and comfortable, and I just applied it to PPC services, right?
We’re gonna take what you’ve been doing, door knocking, we’re gonna do it online. Just think of it as digital door knocking. In fact, digital door knocking is way better because we can actually put the sales team, which is gonna be a landing page in this case, right? You have real sales people who go out into the field and knock on doors. All we need is a landing page. That’s gonna be your salesperson, okay?
And we put that landing page, that sales team, that digital sales team in front of the exact people who want what you offer. Searchers, right? Because we know who’s searching for what. And we can put the ads in front of them, we can get them to the landing page instead of just talking to random people like you do now. When you go knock on a door, you don’t know if that person’s interested in what you have to offer. When we do digital door knocking, we know for a fact that that person is interested in what you have to offer because we know what they just searched in Google.
So you’re explaining this by leveraging what they told you is already working in their business. If door knocking works already to a cold audience who you don’t even know if they want what you sell, for sure digital door knocking where you’re putting the offer in front of people who have clearly said that they want what you sell has to work. And they can make that connection. And that’s just one small example. There are many ways you can shape the answers that you’re given to help you sell your services. This is the part that takes a little bit of practice, takes a little bit of experience, maybe a little bit of creativity, but it makes all the difference.
And asking the question, what’s working for you right now, opens the door to doing this. Okay, checkpoint number six. Paint the picture. So once you have a firm grasp of their business, a firm grasp of their funnel, you know who their ideal customer is, you know what’s working now for them, you can paint a new picture. You can paint the picture going forward, I should say. And the format for this checkpoint, the goals that they already told you they had, happen over the next and here’s the time frame that we want those goals to happen in which you have already asked them about.
They’ve already told you, hey over the next year we want X, Y, Z to happen or whatever, okay? So you’re not going to say this like a robot though, that’s the thing. The trick here is to communicate your confidence, communicate your excitement about doing this for them, and you want to make sure that you explain how each piece of the puzzle fits together. Again, it can be helpful here to bring the conversation back to their funnel and show them how these services you’re proposing are going to make their funnel more successful. You can also use this checkpoint, by the way, to provide feedback on their current assets and demonstrate further expertise by highlighting what’s not working for them and why. So if I pulled up their existing website in this checkpoint and painting the picture, I would start to go through some of the areas showing them what’s not working and here’s what we need to change.
Because juxtaposition is really powerful here when you’re painting the picture. Right now you’re doing A, but we’re going to do B. Here’s why. And then you’re, that’s your education point, right? So you’re painting a picture, you’re educating, you’re providing value to them. Why? Because you’re a consultant, not a pixel pusher. You know what they need, you’re outlining it for them and you’re excited about it. Basically through painting this picture, you want them to realize that you are an asset that they need on their team. The gist is kind of like, okay, I know everything I need to know, here’s the plan.
Here’s what we’re gonna do to reach the goals you said you had in the time frame we’re gonna reach them. And you talk about each piece, and you’re really excited about it, because you’re really passionate about this stuff, and you’re really confident that you can get them the results that they want in the time frame that you can get them in. As you do that, they’re gonna be sitting there thinking, man, this sounds like a great plan.
This is the guy or this is the girl, right? We need this person as an asset. We need this person on our team. They’re not a pixel pusher. This is a true consultant. They know what they’re talking about. They know what they need. They’ve asked all the right questions. This is the feeling the person is coming to as you paint the picture for them. And you want them to buy into the vision that you’re painting because here’s the thing suddenly suddenly there’s going to be a switch that flips suddenly this call is becoming less about buying specific services and more about executing a broader game plan to achieve valuable business goals if you can create that shift in their minds you win.
That is the shift that you are ultimately trying to create. And painting the picture is the checkpoint where that switch should get flipped. And now that brings us into checkpoint number seven. What has their experience been with this type of project in the past? Again, such a critical checkpoint that so many people overlook. You need to know what a prospect’s experience has been with commissioning projects like this in the past. You need to know. This is another area by the way where you win regardless of the answer that they give. It’s another checkpoint where you establish valuable leverage because if a prospect has no prior experience then that gives you insights like with regard to how you need to communicate with them. Typically you communicate slower, you communicate at a lower level. I see so many sales calls where people they’re talking to a prospect who’s never gone through this before and they’re just skimming over the process, skimming over the details like as if the person just should know these things. You got to know right that they this person has no prior experience with this.
So one, I’ve got to really talk slower, I’ve explained things in more detail to make sure that they are following along and really understand. But also it gives me an opportunity to explain how if they work with other people who don’t have a great process or the experience that I do, this type of thing could very easily go off the rails. You could lose a lot of money hiring the wrong person. Right? They don’t have any prior experience so they may not know that. So this is an opportunity again for you to educate. So golden opportunity to take the lead, be their trusted consultant through this education process. Now if a prospect has had a great experience in the past, this is a possibility. Maybe they’ve done this before, they’ve commissioned a website or SEO or PPC or what have you.
Typically not because if they had a great experience they’d probably be using that same person in most cases. But if they did have a great experience or they said that they had a great experience then all you have to do is assure them that this will be another great experience. And you can skip right to the next checkpoint to explain why. But if the person isn’t there we’ve got to keep talking before we get to the next checkpoint. But if they had a great experience, cool, you’re going to have another, this is going to be another great experience and here’s why and then you go into the next checkpoint. However, if a prospect has had a terrible experience in the past, you need to know that. Why?
Three reasons. One, it lets you know there are wounds which may cause them to proceed with extreme caution and perhaps even negativity. It’s a hurdle you are going to need to overcome, right? It’s like you’re dating and the person you’re dating just got out of a horrible relationship with a stalker. Man, they are going to be far less likely to accept you anytime soon, right, than somebody who just got out of a relationship because whatever normal stuff, they just weren’t clicking whatever and it’s on to the next person. And now they’re fully tuned into you, okay?
Completely different scenario than I just got done with a stalker that ruined the last eight years of my life. Completely different scenario. You need to know that there are wounds that may cause them to proceed with extreme caution. Second, it gives you an opportunity to empathize with them. You want to hear more about their experience. You can’t say, oh yeah, well we did this with another agency and it was a complete disaster, right? Okay, moving on. No, that’s not what this is about, right? You’re getting the opportunity now. Tell me more about that. I want to hear what this agency, because I’ve heard a lot of horror stories. If you don’t mind, just give me a little recap, you know, what went wrong and they’re going to detail this and this and communication and da da da da da. These are the things that you’re about to hit on in just a minute to ensure them that this is never going to happen again. And when you get to your process, you’re going to make sure you incorporate these things so that they realize these things are not going to happen again.
And by being empathetic in this and just, you know, really connecting with them like, man, I can’t imagine how frustrating that was, right? How much opportunity and money was lost throughout this process? I hate it when people have these experiences in my industry with these other agencies or with these freelancers that just donít care. Theyíre all about money. They donít care about results. They donít really care about your underlying business goals. And youíve already had a conversation with them about their underlying business. They know you know.
They know you care, right? But it just gives you a point of connection and empathy so that they know, okay, this is not like the person that screwed me over before. Weíre having a completely different conversation here. And third, it gives you a golden opportunity to explain to them why they likely had a terrible opportunity and why your process creates great experiences, right? So you can go into detail and we’re going to talk about process more in just a second. But any time you can create juxtaposition between what they’ve experienced before and what they’re going to experience with you, it’s gold and it gives them a lot of confidence in choosing you. They need to know that you have a plan that’s going to prevent the terrible thing that happened before. And if you don’t do this by the way, okay I hear this all the time from agencies and freelancers, sometimes prospects get cold feet because of bad prior experiences and you never know about this right. If you don’t ask about their prior experiences all you know is that they ghosted you or they declined your proposal.
And you’re like, I don’t know why they declined it. I don’t know why they’re not responding to anything I’ve said. Well, did you ask them about their prior experience? Have you been talking to a wounded person who is very lacking in trust of this industry at this point? That’s why they ghosted you. That’s why they declined your proposal. If you had asked them about that before and connected with them on that and were empathetic about it and made sure to detail exactly how that’s not going to happen again, you probably could have gotten a different outcome.
But you never asked, you missed this checkpoint, you never asked and you don’t have that information in your toolkit to work with. Okay? So this checkpoint is going to ensure that this rarely happens, this ghosting, this just declining of proposals with no reason because youíre going to know which prospects are most likely to get cold feet, you can address their concerns openly and honestly and overcome their fears. But again, it doesnít matter how they answer this question if youíre a consultant. Simply asking the question and hearing their response is going to work to your advantage if you know how to make it work to your advantage. We just discussed exactly why you ask this question and how you respond in three scenarios. Okay, checkpoint eight. What will the process look like? My gosh I can’t stress this enough, communicating your process is one of your most valuable sales techniques and this is especially true if you have a legit process that includes all the correct deliverables. Now if you don’t have a legit process or any process at all I can understand why you wouldn’t communicate your process. You don’t have one. It’s not a selling point. It doesn’t help you in any form or fashion. But there are people with processes who just they just never get to it in the sales call and I’m like this is your most important like your most valuable sales technique. This is the most valuable checkpoint quite possibly. So if you follow my advice to bill for every deliverable, right, then communicating your process is exactly what is going to sell all of those deliverables.
For one, detailing the process shows the prospect exactly how much work and thought is involved in what you do. This is one reason why it’s so important. Usually, I would say almost always, the scope of work that you’re going to outline that you’re going to actually have to do to do the project is way beyond what they initially thought it would be because they have no idea of how this work gets done. They don’t work in this industry. They don’t do the work we do, right? They think it involves pushing pixels around the screen and if you don’t educate them on the process, that’s all they’re going to be willing to pay for.
Okay, so now additionally, explaining your process allows you to detail why each component is valuable and necessary so they can’t try to scale down key processes or deliverables to save money. Because what happens if you haven’t gone over the process and explain why each of these pieces are very important, you send a proposal. It’s got discovery, UX design, UI design. It could have content, copywriting. It could have site architecture in there, it could have obviously development if you’re doing a website, whatever. So you’ve got all these things and they’re like, the price, I want to try to get this price down a little bit.
Hey, why don’t we just take out this discovery package, it doesn’t seem like we need that and then instead of wire framing, why don’t you just design it and build it at the same time. That’s what our last web developer did, they just designed it as they did the website, why can’t you do that? Okay, they’re gonna be haggling you to get rid of your process basically, and that’s a no-go. And the reason they’re doing it is because you never educated them on why those things have to be done. This checkpoint right here is not just gonna educate them, it’s gonna sell them on why.
So when they get the proposal, right, they’re gonna look at discovery and they already know why that’s critical to the mission. And they’re not going to be, they’re going to be like, well, we got to keep that in. We got to keep that in. All right. So what they’re going to end up taking out are things that actually don’t matter all that much. Like they might say, okay, we’re, we want less service area pages to start with. We want less, um, whatever to start with. We don’t need those other features that we told you we needed right now, scheduling and payment processing and this and that. Okay they might take those things out, that’s all fine and dandy.
What they can’t take out are parts of your process. That is a no go. Right? No fly zone right there. They can take out actual deliverables in terms of like individual things here and there but they cannot take out pieces of your process. I explain this by the way in more detail in my other sales call training, How to Run a Successful Discovery Call. So go watch that. Now aside from the fact that explaining your process helps you sell all of your services and at higher prices, it also fulfills a critical piece of the puzzle for your buyer.
I promise you this, you cannot possibly sell something to someone who has no idea what to expect or how this is all going to work. You sure as hell can’t sell them a high ticket item with that many question marks. So the buyer has to understand how this is going to work from end to end with as few question marks as possible. And keep in mind what we do is extremely technical in a lot of cases. Okay? So there’s a lot of question marks. And the more question marks people have, the more unlikely you are to close the deal. You’ve got to make sure that they don’t have major question marks.
So checkpoint eight is a huge trust amplifier as well. Nothing makes prospects more comfortable than knowing you have a battle tested plan that has no chance of failure. This is especially true for prospects who have had a bad experience in the past, right? So this checkpoint is a way for you to explain the huge difference between the process that failed them back then and your process or it’s an opportunity for you to explain, hey, you may be looking at other agencies and freelancers out there but I’m going to tell you right now, if they don’t have a process like this in place, the project is highly likely to fail. You’re highly likely to be way delayed on your timeline. All these paint the picture of the horror stories if their person that they are potentially going to hire doesn’t have a rock solid process. If a customer who had a bad experience can’t clearly see how you’re going to prevent this next experience from being similar then you can’t possibly close them. And lastly outlining your process I just alluded to this a second ago, outlining your process helps insulate you from competing offers.
If you realize that a prospect is looking at multiple options, okay, then make sure you tell them this. Say, make sure when you’re looking at these other providers, make sure you ask them about your process, about their process, sorry. Make sure you ask them about their process. You want them to ask the other provider about their process. Because if you’ve educated the prospect on what the process should look like and then another provider talks in generic terms, misses key aspects of the process, fumbles because they weren’t really prepared to talk about their process, you win. You win. They’re coming back to you. See if I’m getting my driveway repaved and the contractor explains to me 11, like critical things that need to happen for this job to get done the right way.
And then I say, I’m gonna go talk to some other contractors and I ask another contractor about the process and they only talk about like four or five things. I’m gonna be like, got a little doubt in my mind about whether the second contractor can actually get the job done the right way. Because this first guy told me 11 things that sound really freaking important to getting this project done the right way and this other guy didn’t talk about any of those things hardly and they were kind of fumbling around as they were talking about their process.
Not so confident in this second provider. I’m going back to the first provider even if the first provider was a lot more expensive. Okay so you’re getting them back. Process is huge for all of these reasons that I’m talking about. And if you never explain what the process should look like, the prospect can be told anything by anyone and you have zero leverage in the comparison game. So let’s recap why process is important. Number one, it’s eye opening to the prospect. They had no idea that all of these things have to go into a successful project. Number two, it sells all your deliverables because now they know everything that needs to go into it and they also know why each thing is super important and why they canít be taking parts of your process out of the picture. Number three, it builds trust. It shows them the path forward. Number four, it gives the prospect confidence in you. Number five, it insulates you from competing offers. Okay let’s talk about checkpoint number nine. We’ve gone through them probably what is the most important part of the call but now we’re getting to the second most important part of the call and that is what price bracket and timeline does this project fall into and does it work for your prospect. So it’s important to proactively navigate into checkpoint number nine with confidence.
How you handle this checkpoint can make or break the sales process. In most cases it’s a really good idea to introduce a price bracket immediately after discussing your process because this is a natural follow up topic. Now there are two never dos here. First you never, never, never, never want the prospect to have to ask you what the price is. When they are forced to ask you what the price is, because you didn’t navigate to that checkpoint on your own, you immediately lose leverage. As the consultant and leader of the conversation, it’s best to be direct and nonchalant when talking about the price. If the prospect gets any sense that you are not confident in the price, then they won’t want to pay it.
Proactively stating the price with confidence puts them in a state of acceptance. It still may be too high for them. That’s very, very possible. But here’s the critical thing. They won’t feel it’s too high in general. You never want the prospect to feel like your prices are too high in general. It may be too high for them, but they got to know in the back of their mind other people pay this. I’m the one that thinks it’s too high. Other businesses, maybe even my competitors pay these kinds of prices for this kind of thing. You want them to get, even if they feel like it’s too high for them, you want them to feel like it’s not too high in general. Second, you never want to ask the prospect what their budget is never never never never never do that Not only do you immediately lose leverage by doing this you create a very awkward situation For one the client may have no idea what the going rate is for the type of services that you’re offering So you just ask someone a question that they aren’t even remotely qualified to answer Not only does this make them uncomfortable Any answer that they give is irrelevant and even if they have commissioned other people in the past, those people are not you and we don’t know how long ago they commissioned those people.
So if you ask them what their budget is and they name a price that was relevant five years ago with some other agency, it’s not relevant to the discussion now. So you put them, you put both of you in a completely awkward situation. Second it creates trust issues. You’re asking the client to give you improper leverage by disclosing information that you can potentially use against them. Maybe you were going to say the website is $10,000, but you said, hey, what is your budget? And they were like, well, we set aside $20,000. That never happens, but, well, we set aside $20,000 for this. So now you can come in at $15,000 for no reason other than the fact that you know they have the money, right?
Oh, they got 20. I was going to say 10. I bet they’d pay 15. So let’s go with 15, right? You don’t want them to feel that this is the type of relationship that they’re going to have with you. And they’re smart enough to know that this is a possibility. The minute you say, well, what’s your budget for this project? They’re thinking, why does he want to know that? He should know kind of what this project is going to cost.
Why does he ask me what my budget is? Does he want me to give a number and then he’s going to use up all that budget? Is that what’s going to happen here? Right? You don’t want these thoughts going through their head. So be direct, be confident with your price, get to this part of the conversation before they do. If you have an impending sense that they’re about to ask you how much this all costs, I mean if it’s in the very, very, very beginning, there’s ways to handle that, right? But if you’ve been going for a while and you get the feeling like you also need to, you know, be reading body language, tone of voice, all that stuff, and you kind of just, you can tell they want to know how much all this is going to cost.
Get to this part of the conversation before they do. That’s why I said this is not a script, this is not an outline. You can get to this early, okay, or you can get to it late. You got to feel the flow of the conversation. Just remember this, you never want to give a single price, okay. What you want to give is a price range for a typical project of this scope. When you give a price range, you get to talk price without really pinning yourself to a specific number. Now there are two primary goals during this checkpoint, talking price, right? Number one, qualify the prospect.
You got to make sure that they’re willing to pay the range, somewhere in this range that you’re going to throw out there. You got to basically uncover that they are willing to pay that. Thatís qualifying the prospect. Number two, identify where they fall within the stated range. This is very, very, very helpful for you as somebody whoís about to submit a proposal, okay? So in my other trainings, I provided an easy transition script, transition that I use all the time, usually after I go through the process. So I go through the process and then I say, ìSo thatís how the process works.î Now we can talk price and time.
See, I didnít stop. I asked them along the way if parts of the process made sense to them and I answered any questions that they have but when I get to the very end which by the way the last part of the process for a website for example is management and ongoing marketing help, right and consulting and all of that. And so we donít need to really get into all the details of that. So I donít need to ask them if they have any questions about that because that would be very kind of open ended. open-ended. So immediately after saying the last step of the process, I say, so that’s how the process works. And now we can talk price and timeline. Based on other projects, I don’t stop, I don’t do anything else. I say, now we get to talk price and timeline.
Based on other projects that we’ve done that are similar to yours, the price for this project is going to be anywhere from $10,000 to $25,000 depending on final scope and it’s going to take somewhere between six and eight weeks. Okay? Now this should be obvious but I’ll say it anyway. The range that you give should be based on their actual project scope and not some random range that you pull out of thin air. And it shouldn’t be a standard range that you use on every single sales call unless you do the exact same kind of work for the exact same kind of clients. Okay? Now here are some general thoughts.
I’ve experimented with talking budget and timeline separately. I’ve experimented with mentioning them together. The transition that I just gave you, mentioned them together. Sometimes it’s smoother to mention them together. In some instances it feels like it’s going to be better to talk about them separately. That’s a decision you have to make. Now my other view is that if you feel more comfortable, like a lot more comfortable one way or the other, go with what’s most comfortable to you because you’re going to be more confident communicating that. Okay? Now after you state the budget, and this is a range, right? You want to find a way to get their feelings about that range and there are multiple ways to do this. I’ve used one line before and I’ve taught this line before, is that what you expected?
And I’ve used that with really good success, you’re typically going to get a very honest answer to this. You can also test out an immediate transition into the price bracketing technique. So you just said here’s the range, here’s the timeline and then you say again, that’s based on the final scope. So what I need to know from you before I work up your proposal is where do you fall within that range? Do we need to be more toward the $10,000 end or do we have the full $25,000 to work with? Now why am I positioning it like this? Because asking this question clearly communicates to them that they are in control of the price.
That is why you’re giving a bracket. What is the actual scope? We haven’t written down the scope yet. It’s not set in stone, right? We could do this project for 10,000 on the minimal end, or we can be super aggressive and give you everything you’ve ever wanted. And then it’s going to be $25,000. It’s not an arbitrary range. The range is dictated by the scope and they have control over the actual budget. All I need to know is how much do we have to work with? You tell me 25, I’ll give you everything you want. Everything I know you need based on the conversation we just had. You give me 10, I’m going to prioritize what you need based on the money that’s available.
And that’s the proposal that I’m going to build for you. That’s how this conversation goes, right? And it shows them that they can’t just get it cheaper, right? 10 to 25 is not did I ask for a discount or not ask for a discount. 10 to 25 is was I able to take out a core part of the process. We already know that’s not going to happen. And we already, what we’re communicating to them is you can’t just get it cheaper by saying I want a discount, right? The range is controlled by the scope. So they can pay less by getting less or they can pay more and get more. That’s the only decision that there is to make.
Now the only potential downside of immediately transitioning into that, if you’re like, well, range for this project is 10,000 to 25,000, what I need to know is, are we on the low end of that or the high end of that? That’s how I’m gonna build your proposal, based on the scope, right? And you’re immediately transitioning, and so you didn’t give them time to react to the initial range.
And so they might feel a little caught off guard and now they’re just playing along with you. So they’re like, well as long as it’s around 10,000 I think we’ll be okay. But really they’re not okay with that number. This will sometimes occur. It’s a possibility. So what you just need to be doing is paying close attention to body language and tone. You’ve got to look for signs that they’re not comfortable with the bracket so that you can address any issues. So if it’s like where do we need to be between the 10 and the 25? And they’re like, Oh, Oh, it’s, it’s gotta be, it’s got, I mean, it’s gotta be 10. It’s got like, they were like, Ooh, like five, right? They weren’t even near 10 yet. Okay.
So you could tell that situation between someone’s like, um, uh, I mean, 15 might be pushing it, right? Like 10’s doable, but I think we’d be pushing it at 15. Okay, now you know at least, it sounds like they’re pretty confidently at least at 10, right? So this is what you’re looking for, just the tone, the body language, all right? And your goal here, your ultimate goal, is to find the number that you know they’re comfortable with. So you can write a proposal and a scope that matches that number.
If you realize during this little scenario here, this checkpoint, that they’re comfortable with $12,500, $12,500 that’s going to be a comfortable number for them, then you write up a proposal that comes out to $12,500. That’s your job, right? So figure out what you need to do with the deliverables and the scope to get a $12,500 project and you’re going to win the deal. And keep in mind that we can do more things in phase 2 and phase 3 and phase 4 and phase 5. That’s why you can be very flexible with this. What you can’t do is take $12,500 of deliverables and fit it into a $6,000 proposal. That’s not going to happen.
We’re going to scale back the scope until we’re at the number we want to be at or in some cases scale up the scope to get to the number they said that they were comfortable with. Okay. All right. When it comes to timeline, there are rarely any issues, right? Except for those times when they’re going to be like, oh, six to eight weeks or eight to 12 or whatever timeframe you threw out there. That’s we’re going to need it sooner than that. Okay. So in that case, you need to decide if their timeline is realistic.
If it’s unrealistic, you’ve got to be honest about that. Do not sell yourself into a grave, my friend, okay? Be honest about it. If it is realistic, but it would require a lot of extra attention from you or your team, then let them know that you can do it in that time frame, but there would need to be a rush fee, okay? The rush fee is typically a percent of the project total. You could just let them know that you’ll provide an option in the proposal so that they can make the decision.
They don’t need to decide right now if they want to pay the rush fee. You’re not even going to know what the rush fee is because it’s a percent of the scope and we don’t even know what the scope is till we make the proposal. So just tell them in the proposal, I’ll give you option A is no rushing. Option B is rushing and you get to decide between the two, plain and simple.
All right, checkpoint number 10, this is an easy one. What are the next steps? Last checkpoint is the next steps checkpoint. Do not make the prospect ask, okay so what are the next steps? Right? Don’t do that. Once you’ve discussed the budget, once you’ve discussed the timeline, you’re confident that you can drop a proposal that they’ll find acceptable, immediately transition in the next steps. Now this depends on your process. What are your next steps? Are you going to send a formal proposal? Are you going to send an email detailing the scope and the prices? Is there another call with stakeholders that needs to happen? I don’t know.
This is up to you. You got to make this decision. But you got to decide what needs to happen next and tell them what to expect. It’s very simple but very important. Sometimes people ho hum around too long in these discussions about timelines and prices and they never really get there just like and the prospect is just kind of like racking their brain like, well, what else do I need to ask? Because this conversation is not really going, like it’s not really closing up, right? Or they just have to be very direct and like, okay, so tell me what the next steps are, right?
You don’t want to put them in this position. You’re losing leverage. You’re losing leadership, okay? You’re losing that consultant vibe. You’re now like in pixel pusher land, like, well, tell me what to do next, Mr. Prospect. What do you want to talk about next? So move right into next steps and once you’ve laid out next steps you can then ask if they have any final questions, okay? But usually they won’t have any other questions at this point. So let’s talk final thoughts.
While these checkpoints are very important, okay? You’ve got to understand this, this training does not cover actual interaction with prospects. There’s a lot missing from this training. We’re just focusing on one aspect of what makes a sales call successful. Just like my other trainings focus on certain aspects. There are more trainings to come. So this is not the be all end all. If you go through these checkpoints, if you hit every checkpoint, you’re going to win every project. It’s not the case.
Okay, there’s other skills that you need to have. So you’ve got to watch the other trainings. And the way you interact with prospects by the way, it’s just as important as hitting your checkpoints. So as much importance as you give to these checkpoints and as I give to these checkpoints, there’s this whole other concept of just how you interact with prospects in general that’s just as important. Maybe even more important, I don’t know, in some form or fashion. So don’t, again, don’t think that this is the be all end all. I’m going to do a separate training on how to connect with prospects on sales calls, so make sure you find that training and watch it.
In the meantime, your best bet is to practice doing sales calls and practice hitting your checkpoints. It is, by the way, perfectly fine to have a list of the checkpoints in front of you while you’re on a sales call, but remember that the goal isn’t to robotically go from checkpoint to checkpoint. You need to be comfortable interacting with the prospect inside each checkpoint for as long as it takes to accomplish the objective of the checkpoint And there’s no way to script all of that. There’s no way to outline all of that So don’t have a detailed outline don’t take my checkpoints and then put 80 bullet points under each one Don’t do that. You’re scripting it now. Okay, and it’s not gonna work. It’s not gonna be fluid. You’re gonna get lost You’re gonna be afraid to go off script You’re not gonna know how to handle the different things that happen in the sales call.
All right, so it is good to have the checkpoints in front of you until you have them memorized, right? I can pretty much hit them all, all right? I don’t need them in front of me. I don’t even really need to take notes a lot of times, okay? You also need to be able to respond to the inputs the prospect is giving you. I said this in the beginning, but I want to come back to it. If they have questions, if they have concerns along the way, you got to be able to address those in real time. Once you’ve done that, having the checkpoints in your mind or on a piece of paper allows you to always bring the conversation back to the next most relevant topic without getting flustered and without getting lost.
Now the only way to get good at this is to practice, practice, practice in different sales scenarios. If you’re doing a mastermind group, we launched a ton of mastermind groups, so you should be in those. You should be doing sales call role plays on a regular basis. I provided the outline for doing this. We’ve been doing it in both of our elite masterminds. I hope that all of the other mastermind groups are following suit and they’re doing it in their own groups as well, following the outline. You need to be doing these sales call role plays on a regular basis. Aside from that if you’re not in a mastermind or if you want to step your game up. I do a lot of sales call coaching via role plays. All you have to do is book a consulting call with me, put it in the notes that you want to do a sales call training. You can book this at slash consult and we’ll rock and roll with it. I do this all the time. In fact I’m doing three of them for free recently like this week and last week and this week so that I can publish these so that everybody can get value from what I do, right?
But I do these all the time with people and it’s insanely valuable. So watch the free ones that I put out there and if you’re like, I want to do that with Kevin, I want to test my skills with Kevin and I want him to give me feedback on how to make myself better and I want to practice these checkpoints and I want to see if I can handle what he throws at me, right? It’s like a hot seat kind of format, okay? If you want to do that, slash consult. When you train with me, I use the football concept, I’m a big college football fan and Kirby Smart, George is my team, Georgia Bulldogs, Kirby says all the time, he’s like, if the practice is hard, the game is going to be easy.
If the practice is hard, the game is going to be easy. If the practice is hard with your sales calls, I put you in the hot seat and I’m grilling you, right? And I take it slow. If you suck at this, I go real slow and we work it up over time. But if you’re good, I’ll start grilling you, okay? And we’ll see how you do. And I’ll throw curveballs at you. I’ll do all sorts of things. And if, because if the practice is hard, then the real thing is going to be easy.
After you’ve done some training with me on sales calls, you get on prospect calls with one person, you’re like, ooh, this is a breeze, right? You get on a prospect call with maybe three, four other people. A board, perhaps, right? Oh, starting to get a little, ooh, a little hot in here, right? It’s going to feel easy to you because you’ve been through the gauntlet, right? You’ve been in the hot seat. You’ve been sweating, all right, as Kevin grilled you and then coached you after the fact on how to handle things better. Now you go into these calls with confidence.
And because you go into these calls with confidence and a game plan and you’ve practiced your checkpoints, you’re going to close more deals. You’re going to close higher ticket deals. That’s how this stuff works. If you never practice, you just wing this stuff, or you try to follow that old script you’ve been following, it’s not going to work for you. So consider this, Let’s do some coaching, let’s do some hot seat stuff. Nailing these checkpoints on every sales call will dramatically amplify your close rate, increase your average order value.
If you have any questions, drop a comment on this training thread. That is the end of this presentation. Hope you got a lot out of it. Let me see if I can go back to main camera here. All right, so a little bit over, about an hour and 20 minutes for this training. I know it’s a long one. Take notes. I’m sure somebody in the group is gonna outline those checkpoints for you.
Print them out if you need to. Like I said, don’t make them an outline. Don’t turn it into a script. Get them ingrained in your brain and then practice, practice, practice, practice until you’re super confident. You should be able to go into a sales call with no preparation whatsoever and knock it out of the park. So, someone just randomly calls you up, hey, it’s Smith’s Web Shop, how can I help you? Hey, I need XYZ and bam, you knock it out of the park over the next, you know, a 30 minute call maybe, a 45 minute call, 60 minute call, by the end they cannot wait for your proposal to arrive, they cannot wait to sign on the dotted line, they cannot wait to pay you the deposit or maybe even the entire project up front.
That’s what typically happens when you are a rock star on your sales calls because these people are looking for a solution and they do, I’ll give you a secret right here at the end, they don’t want to look around, they don’t want to shop around. They don’t want to review eight different proposals. They want to get somebody on the phone that takes charge, shows they’re a consultant, paints a picture for them, asks all the right questions, talks about all the right things, has a clear game plan, a clear process, and a price range that I can, you know, stomach and swallow. I am ready for action, my friend. Send me that proposal.
We are a, we’re good to go. That is the feeling that they can get after your sales calls. All right. That’s it for me. I hope you guys are doing well. Drop comments. Let me know. I’m out. Peace.