As a super savvy business owner, you’ve heard the advice: To manifest sales you’ve gotta talk to your ideal customer over and over again.

That’s great and all, but how? That’s where things get sticky. Instead of sounding like a smooth talking, ultra-confident sales powerhouse who KNOWS HER STUFF, you’re left fumbling around with a conversation that feels more like you and your spouse when you finally break free for date night:

  • Where do you want to go?
  • I don’t care, I’m just excited to get out of the house. Where do you want to go?
  • I’m good wherever, I just want to make you happy. What would make you happy?
  • You being happy makes me happy, so what’re you in the mood for?
  • Food! Any kind of food, you pick.

If you claim you’ve never had a conversation like this one, you’re living in a unicorn relationship. The majority of couples I know fall into the trap of apathy regarding how those precious romantic moments are spent.

And you know what? Business owners, myself included, have fallen into that same trap at least once in their entrepreneurial career — especially in the beginning or when things get rocky.

I have things to sell you. I know you want to feel better. Just tell me what I can do to solve all your problems in a way that’ll make you want to give me your money.

How to Talk to Your Ideal Customer in 2020

I considered this to be the headline of the post because damn, 2020 has proven to be one of those rocky years when conversations like this happen more frequently. Why? Because we’re shrinking away from our sales message. LIFE is so much bigger than our little ol’ business. We ask ourselves, who are we to be peddling our message when our society is filled with a pandemic, racism, protests, violence, you name it? And then we shrink.

But here’s what I know to be true — in challenging times like these, it’s more important than ever to keep the conversations purposeful as you talk to your ideal client.

Not Sure How to Talk to Your Ideal Customer? Start With a Conversation

One of the best ways to know how to talk to your ideal customer is to know what that person cares about. What problems are they facing? What struggles are keeping them up at night? What’s going to light a fire in their belly?

To know those answers with certainty (not guesswork) requires you to do a little bit of digging up front. But don’t expect your perfect person to sit down at a table with you and spill their needs. You’ve gotta build the trust that’ll pull those stories out of their head, so you can better understand how you’re equipped to meet their needs.

Here’s what I mean.

When you sit down at a conversation with a friend, chances are you start by asking questions. You care so you ask about what’s going on in their world.

As they talk, you show that you relate to them by answering with stories about experiences you have. And so it goes. Back-and-forth you two converse about shared feelings, experiences, challenges, found solutions. Do you see where I’m going with this?

Last week, I sent out an email to my list asking if we could start a conversation. If you’re keen on taking me up on this offer too, I’d love to hear from you here too.

The goal of this request is simple. I want to genuinely get to know the people on the other side of the email addresses I write to each week. So, I ask and they (and hopefully you) answer in a format that looked like this:

starting a conversation to talk to an ideal client

This is a screenshot of inside MemberVault, where I set up the opportunity to kick the tires on whether or not we should work together. The goal wasn’t to make a sales pitch. It was to be helpful and further our relationship as they moved along their entrepreneurial journey.

Anytime you jump right into a conversation without planning to understand the person on the other side of the table (or screen in today’s virtual world), you’re doing both of you a disservice. You’re not paving a path for empathy, which is a key driver in getting to know what your ideal client truly wants and needs from you. Without taking an empathetic stance, you’ll struggle to know what you’re able to offer your customer that’ll resonate to the point of handing over their hard-earned dollars to you.

These conversations are enlightening, but they also have to come to a climax eventually. That climax in the entrepreneurial world is the ask, or the sell. This is the moment where things tend to get the most awkward for many people.

The Non-Awkward Script for Selling to Your Ideal Customer

SELL is a 4-letter word in the entrepreneurial community. It’s also a necessity and essential if you’re going to be bringing in money to feed your family, keep creating, and continue to advocate for the causes that mean the most to you. If you don’t sell, you don’t have the means to keep going.

But let’s talk about why it feels so gross at times. You’ll want to shower after talking to your ideal customer if you’re approaching sales in the wrong way. That approach comes from a lack of practice having conversations that lead to an ask. Instead of approaching with confidence, you’ll struggle, stumble, and stutter a bit when your words fall out of your brain.

  • You’ll worry you sound desperate, so you dance.
  • You’ll worry you sound overeager, so you overcompensate with the niceties.
  • You’ll worry you sound pushy, so you’ll push off your sales pitch as long as you can until it’s too late and ugh that virtual coffee date you had ended without you getting a chance to show your value.

When you feel these worries creep in, I want you to remember this: TRANSITION

Conversation and relationship building is more important than ever before. But, those contacts want more than niceties from you. They want change. They want transformation. They want you to help them be the best damn version of themself they can be.

As you hear their struggles, I want you to practice this transition to help them see the transformation you can help them achieve:

You’re on an amazing trajectory. I’d love to come along with you for the ride. Let me tell you about how I work and see if we can’t link arms as you progress.

There’s so much baked into a statement like this:

  • It’s encouraging as hell because you’re making the person feel seen, heard, and admired
  • It’s empowering as hell because suddenly that person knows they’re not in this alone
  • It’s energizing because the recipient of this message will know that help with a common struggle has arrived

As you say this, you’ll instantly have the open door to talk to your ideal customer in a way that makes ’em lean in to learn more.

Instead of being a desperate beginner, you’ll become one of their dedicated advisors.

Instead of being overeager, you’ll be overwhelmingly helpful, positioning yourself as the go-to person.

Instead of being a pushy salesman, you’ll be a powerhouse that can get your buyer to the next best version of themself.

This is a huge way to shift your posture. Rather than awkwardly dancing your way into a sales pitch hoping to be heard, or rather than crossing your fingers hoping that person will beg to work with you, you’ll be able to move the conversation in a way that inspires trust in YOU as a person, advocate, and cheerleader.

That kind of gentle nudge is just what your ideal customer needs when deciding whether or not to take the next step with you.

Do you feel ready to start a conversation with your audience? Are you excited to use this sales pitch template during your next talk with an ideal client?

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