A Sales Process For Small Business – Interview with Nancy Zare

So many small business owners hate the sales part of the business. They don’t want to come across as sleazy or annoying. What they really want to do is serve and help the people who need their products and services.

Sales can be easy and painless for a small business owner. You just have to have a sales process that works with your business and is repeatable. In today’s episode, Audrey interviews Nancy Zare Author and Sales Training expert about how to implement a sales process and why it’s important. Here is what is covered

  • Importance of the sales process – not losing leads
  • Nancy’s overview of how to sell based on customers’ personality types
  • A simple sales process to follow

They have a little fun along the way so make sure you watch the episode on Youtube.

Dr. Nancy Zare, founder, and CEO of Rapport Builderz, is past president of the National Speakers Association of New England. She’s certified in Accelerated Learning through Peak Potentials. Her skills in creating an interactive, upbeat atmosphere bring accolades to meeting planners. Whether in a business situation or personal encounter, everyone benefits from learning new approaches for effective communication, raising their AlikeAbility, and building rapport.

Links Mentioned In This Episode 

Episode 36- How Marketing Tactics Can Support Your Sales Team

Nancy’s website  

Nancy’s autographed book – No Pressure Selling 

Links to Nancy’s  other books

Compelling Selling 

Words That Sell With Style 

Closing More Sales: Introduction to AlikeAbility (Looking Through The L.E.N.S. Of Prospects Book 1)

What we discussed:

  • The Four Personality Styles
  • 4 steps in the sales process
  • Do you have the right formula

A Sales Process For Small Business – Interview with Nancy Zare

*Not ready to give this episode a listen or watch just yet? Below is a rough transcript of today’s episode.*

Hi, everybody. Welcome to the podcast and we are doing an interview today. So this is a video and audio podcast. I have Nancy Zare with me. She is a sales psychologist. And if you listened to any of the past episodes I’ve done. Specifically the one on how sales and marketing are really two sides of the same cookie or the same coin.

So I’m really excited to have Nancy on the show today. Welcome Nancy. Thank you, Audrey. It is exciting to be with you because marketing and sales go hand in glove. They really, they do. So tell us a little bit about you, your background. And I know you have five books, so Nancy is also an author. So I’m going to let her tell you a little bit about herself.

Yes I do hold a PhD from Boston college and I used my knowledge of psychology to give you x-ray vision so you can look into the minds of the buyers and understand how they make buying decisions. And so my background, as I mentioned I have graduate degrees. I did not want to sell. And Audrey, I think I shared this with you.

At one point I grew up as a kid. Yeah, sales, forget it. I wanted to help people. I was born a psychologist. I was able to help my parents who had a very stormy marital relationship get along better. And when I got to college my graduate studies were paid for by the national Institute of alcohol abuse and alcoholism, and they trained me to implement something called Employee

Assistance Programs. And these are interventions in the workplace that help people with addictions or with mental health problems and other concerns to be able to save their jobs and perform better. Of course, I wanted to help and do that. But to implement a program, you had to sell the program. I didn’t want to sell stuff, right?.

However, I really did believe in this service. And so I went back to school, not to get a degree to learn about selling. And that’s where I came across my own psychology information called the four personality styles. And when I applied the information, I was able to quadruple sales in 90 days.

That’s amazing. And so it’s interesting that you say you don’t like to sell. I don’t like to sell I like to market, but I need clients. And a lot of the clients that work with me also have that same mindset where they want to help their clients. They’re subject matter experts at what they do, but they don’t want to sell themselves.

So I think this conversation is going to be right up most of their alleys. So let’s talk a little bit about those four personalities, we talked a lot the last time that you and I met. But I think it’s worth having that discussion because we found this synergy of those personality types with marketing language and within sales. So talk to me about your system, cause it’s a little unique, it’s different than anything else that’s out there. 

So most of the audience is probably familiar with one of the 200 personality systems. You might be familiar with DiSC or Performax or there are colors, animals, shapes, words, and so forth. I use a system, mine, that relies on numbers and the numbers represent how many contacts on average, the decision maker needs before he, or she can make up their mind. And so I called the decision styles Two, Four, Six and Eight. Obviously the number two buyers very fast. They need one, maybe two contacts usually just one, to make up their mind.

That number two person wants it off their plate. They want to go, go, go and score the victory right now. This may not be your cup of tea, because if people are reluctant to ” sell,” they don’t usually like that person who is over the top hype, et cetera. So that, but that is the number two style. And then we’ve got the number four style. Number four person is going to take three contacts to make up their mind plus one, which is why I use four as the number. That plus one is important because this person gets buyer’s remorse. They really like people and they want to be of service and they don’t want to push you into doing something you don’t want. And so they feel a little reluctant to ask because what if you say no? They take it personally, they feel rejected.

This is the number four style, and they need to know that it’s about the relationship and not about the transaction. So keep that in mind, this person has a big heart and they really care about people. And then we’ve got the number six style. This is what I call your average buyer because it takes on average is, about 70% of sales are made at the sixth or seventh or so contact.

This is the sixth buyer. They are looking at your better business bureau rating. They’re looking at directories, they’re asking their contact network for references. They’re reading testimonials. It takes a little time for them to digest this information and to observe you because they want to work with somebody who has a system to follow, is organized, is on time, punctual and professional.

And then we’ve got the number eight buyer and this person takes a minimum of eight, they will take 12, 20 or more contacts to make up their mind because they are taking a deep nosedive into your subject area. They practically have to get a graduate degree before they can hire you to do the work. And they are looking for the science and the research and the data behind what you’re doing. So this person has to get all that information. They have to be very thorough. They want to make sure they know everything before they go forward. So those are the four styles, Two, Four, Six and Eight. Right away. When you know somebody’s number, you know how to follow up.

It’s so interesting. We talked about this before, because not only with the follow-up, but also getting them as a lead into your system, because on my side, we do things like sales funnels and we do digital advertising and that kind of thing. And we do set a certain number of follow-ups and we do it based off of customer personas that we create, which also includes that personality information, which is pretty fascinating. So being able to attract them that way, but then they want to talk to you. You’ve got to understand who they are when they talk to you. And we talked about that whole, ” Great. You’ve got leads coming in the door. Now what?” How do you work with them? That’s where sometimes the ball drops. So talk to me a little bit about how you work with businesses who, maybe they’re getting leads, but then they’re falling on the floor. They’re not returning the phone call. They’re not responding to the email.

All those things that just make me cringe oh my goodness, the leads are coming in, but you’re not following up. Talk to me about how you work with those types of business owners who just, they don’t have a process. 

First of all I have to commend you because I work with a lot of marketing professionals and Audrey, you are amazing at understanding that personality style really does impact the marketing process.

Not only in terms of putting them in the sale funnel, building and nurturing that relationship and following up. Please kudos to you for doing that. And anyone who’s working with Audrey, you know that she’s got your best interest at heart. And to answer your question specifically about once you get the leads, see, this is where sales and marketing go hand in hand marketing is really pre-selling and there’s only so much marketing can do when you’re selling a service.

See if you’re selling a product, you can look at the dimensions the specifications and the cost. And you can figure something out without having to talk to somebody, although it might expedite and make it quicker to talk with somebody. But when you’re buying a coaching service or you’re buying consultation, or you’re buying financial planning, whatever it might be.

They’ve got to have a conversation with you. And so Audrey and any good marketer, they’re helping to fill the funnel with leads. But now at some point there’s going to be a conversation. And this is where are our favorite client falls down and feels inadequate. Feels anxious. Feels awkward because they’re not a seller. They’ve never been trained to sell.

They don’t like to sell. I understand that because they’re hiring you to market. And you to somehow have a slam dunk so that somehow they just catch the ball is, it comes out of the basket and it’s yay. Two points. It doesn’t work that way. If you are a professional entrepreneur, You are going to have a sales conversation and sometimes more than one with your prospect in order to close the sale and the quicker you know what their style is and adjust your communication to match the style the more easily and more confidently, you will close that sale.

Agreed. So from your perspective, like what does that look like? So let’s say I am that person, that financial advisor, the roofer, right? They have the same trouble. You got to have the conversation, especially with these high ticket items. What does that look like in your mind? Let’s say I come to you, Nancy, and I’m like, “Nancy, I need help selling.

I hate getting on the phone with prospects. I love talking to customers.” What kind of conversation are you going to have with them about the sales process? 

So for most people, again, who have not been trained in selling, which probably all of us, there are four distinct steps in the sales process. And although I’m going to describe them sequentially, they are not in sequence. Meaning, you can circle back and that’s what makes sales an art and makes it, actually fun when you can follow the path.

So it’s the way Boston was laid out, they claimed by a cow who took a very circuitous route. And so that’s what’s going to happen in a sales conversation, but here are the four stages, four steps. The first is what’s the opening, and this is where you build rapport. This is where you establish a comfort level and a sense of now we can go on and I can ask you questions.

Which is step two, which is called fact-finding. And here’s where you want to learn about what the need is, what the problem is, what the want is. Is there a history, have they tried to solve it before? Have they run amok? What is their goals for the future? How do they want things to be going forward?

And you tease out this information. During the fact finding process, remember, you’ve got to have that rapport established because some of the questions are going to be sensitive and people may not want to respond easily. That’s why I tell you, it’s going to circle back.

Step three is where you present your solution. Having heard, thoroughly, what it is that the prospect is saying, now you decide, is there something that I offer that matches up with their particular situation. And you’re now going to serve them by sharing that solution with them. And again, talking to them about whether that’s a good fit.

And again, remember, I’m telling you this in sequence, but that there could be a flow back to fact finding because you may not understand exactly what they’re telling you, because the goal is to have identified what’s called a gap. A gap between where they are today and where they want to be tomorrow.

Once you have agreed about the gap and how to solve it, you’re ready for step four, which is the close! And guess what? Some of the salespeople don’t ask. 90%, Audrey, don’t ask for the close. They’re hoping that the customer will raise their hand and say, okay, I’m ready. Let’s go forward. You’ve got to actually ask, is this a good time?

Shall we get started? Are you ready to work together? You’ve got to have some sort of question like that in order to close the sale. 

Yeah. It’s awesome that you just laid that out. And I feel really relieved because that’s my sales process and I don’t consider it a sales process. I call it discovery.

I call it solution presentation. I call it a contract and kickoff. So now that you like everything, are we ready to kick off? That is a close. So yay. I love it because it’s not “salesy”. I look at it from…and you said it…from a place of service, how can I help? How can I serve? How can I be of support?

Cause when I do solution presentation, I make sure I know exactly what they need, what they’ve asked for, but I give them what they haven’t asked for, because I’m the professional. I’m the one that knows. So they’ll come to me and go, oh, I want a website. I’m like, but you don’t have a logo. You don’t have a brand.

Let’s take a step back and start. So I love that you train in that process. Absolutely. And the other thing about our process that I want to share with the audience is that once I know it, it’s not so hard to get in touch with the contact. Cause you go step one, I gotta do this. It’s just automatic.

And I think that’s where a lot of the fear comes from because someone calls it’s how do I start this process? 

And it’s interesting because I cover all of that information in my latest book called “No Pressure Selling: 15 Proven Formulas for Getting Business Easily.” And I actually walk you through how to introduce yourself at a networking event or on online and social media.

How to start those conversations. You know that initial rapport building, how to transition from, chitchat to a sales conversation where you’re actually going to ask questions. How to follow up, of course, is a big part of that. How to ask for the sale. So I cover all of this and I specifically also weave throughout all the process. Again, those four decision-making styles, because again each person has a different speed in which they’re going to move through the sales process and knowing what their number is at the beginning can give you, ” Hey, you know what? We’re not going to make the sale today on this first conversation and whew, that’s okay. We can both relax. We know that it’s going to be exploratory, a discovery call and if the fit isn’t right, that’s fine. Maybe I know someone else I can refer you to.”

Absolutely. Absolutely. So for everybody that is listening and watching. Nancy not only has this new book, but she has five and links to all five are going to be in the show notes on the website.

As usual, the show notes are always packed with really good stuff. So they will definitely be in there. Nancy, tell us about your other four books as well. Should they get all five? Do they support each other? 

Oh, that’s a great question. And I would say I actually have a book bundle of three of them together because they’re very intertwined.

And it is Compelling Selling, which came out, I believe in 2020, and then Lead Generation, which came out in 2021 and now No Pressure Selling. And so there’s a nice flow with all three. And I want to give credit to a co-author Mary Pekas. She helped coauthor two of these books. Mary, by the way is amazing.

She’s in her eighties, 80 years plus, and she had a virtual call center. She tested a lot of these formulas I have since taken the formulas and applied them now online and in-person, because at the time she did her work was in the 1980s and 90s. And it was primarily by phone and in person. And I know things have changed considerably.

Hence I freshened up what she presented for the 2020s.

But you know what, it’s still applicable because in certain industries phone is number one, if you don’t answer the phone, you’re not getting the lead. It happens a lot and it’s in different industries. Like one is the home healthcare industry.

When someone is looking for support for a family member, they’re dialing for dollars until someone picks up that phone, I’ve seen people lose leads just because they waited a day to return a telephone call. It’s still very applicable. 

And I know the financial industry people still dial for dollars.

They make a lot of outbound calls, as well as those inbound calls. Like you said, that come to certain industries, like the trades are constantly getting inbound calls and while you think one roof is the same roof is the same roof. And maybe the material is that you’re getting from your supplier, but what you bring to the service is different and that’s how the customer’s going to make a decision based upon your responsiveness and your ability to match your style to theirs.

Absolutely. I totally agree. When I’m talking to clients, I figure out what their differentiator is and nine times out of ten, it’s how they approach the business. Because, like you said, materials are materials, it’s what you do with them. Follow up, follow through warranty type of stuff. So yeah, it’s those little differentiators that get you that extra 10% of sales, to get five more wins than someone else.

And, it comes down to those numbers. So another quick question I have for you, right? Circling back to the beginning of the conversation, because I see this a lot. Like me, we create leads and then literally they don’t have a process in place. Like the telephone, like setting up a script, getting a simple answering service to answer and run the script.

So do you work with the businesses at that very fundamental level in the beginning? Like before you get into the whole sales process, like how to field your calls, hire someone, get a service. Cause that’s where I see a big gap. Lot of the times is in that very upfront piece, so talk to me a little bit about that.

Yeah. And again, this is especially where Mary excelled, because she handled inbound calls for fortune 500 companies. And so all the the formulas, cause we don’t think of them as scripts. We think of it as a formula because you need to come across..you have to come across as conversational, if it sounds like you’re reading the script and we’ve all had that experience of being on the phone with somebody who’s clearly reading a script.

And if you ask a question or it’s off the script, my gosh, the person has to start from the beginning or whatever the story is. That is not a conversation. You want to have a natural conversation and it sounds easy, right? Just have a natural conversation. No, there are actual formulas for how to come across in an authentic, genuine, conversational way.

And that’s what we outlined specifically in the book No Pressure Selling. So how to be conversational, let me give you one tip from the book and that is to make interest comments. Now an interest comment can be as simple as, ” Oh.” Or it can be much more extensive, like ” the same thing happened to me and I know exactly what you’re talking about.”

So interest comments demonstrate several things to your prospect, to the listener. One you’re listening and you’re hearing them. Two, you’re part of a conversation. It isn’t a one-way street or an inquisition where you ask question after question after question, and they feel like, ah, I’m being interrogated, no interest comments, soften it and make it conversational.

And show your genuine interest in the other person. So this is something we cover too. Again, it’s small, but very significant in terms of the impact in having a natural conversation. 

I love that formula, not script. For me, that’s for me, that’s like a game changer because it’s the way you think about how you create it when you use a word like formula.

So I am definitely getting a copy of that book and going through it because I like to constantly learn, upgrade, tweak how I do things for my company, for my clients’ businesses. And I think there’s some really great things inside that book that I could learn from as well. Definitely. Yeah, that is awesome.

So we’re like almost done, like our half-hour just kinda flew by. So I want to thank you for being here. Any last thoughts that you want to leave with the audience before we wrap up?

The most important thing I can say, and I’m speaking again to the person who feels reluctant about marketing and selling, because that is my target audience.

That’s Audrey’s this well. There’s nothing wrong with you. I know you feel a sense of, oh, I’m not like that ” natural born salesperson down the block.” You don’t want to be, nor should you be. You do need to be yourself. You need to understand the strengths that you bring to the selling process. Yeah, you have strengths. You probably haven’t thought about them because you’ve been so focused on what you don’t have and you don’t have the hype and you don’t have the drive, but you know what? You can still be a successful professional. You can still get lots of business by understanding your own style.

And using it to your advantage. So that’s the last thing I’d like to share.

I think that is a great way to end this and I can’t agree more. Everybody can be a successful entrepreneur if they do it in their own way. Totally agree. Okay. That was wonderful. And now I just want to do my wrap up, which is here at Inkyma, we love to give back to the business community and we give back in so many different ways. You can schedule a 45 minute consultation with me to talk about anything you want on how to grow and market your business. Whether it’s talking about dropping leads or updating your website or writing beautiful blog articles.

The other thing you can do is put a question in the contact form on our website, that’s Inkyma.com I N K Y M A dot com. You can shoot me over a question. You can suggest a podcast episode topic. I love getting those and I will respond to all of those. And then you can head on over to our educational blog, Marketing Masterminds.

Links are in the show notes. And we have all sorts of articles there, tutorials, video trainings, how to guides so that you can actually market your own business better, or have great conversations with your marketing agency or your sales coaches about your business. So please check out one or all of those.

And if you liked today’s episode, if you found it useful. I guarantee you have other friends that own businesses that would find it useful as well. So please share because if we all grow and thrive as a business community, then everybody’s going to do better. Thanks so much for listening and watching today and have an amazing day.

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