Feb 9 / Matt Saunders

Did Curiosity Really Kill the Cat?

If you think you suck at selling, you might just be approaching it wrong. Follow these tips to improve your conversion rate and feel good about selling (yes, really!)
As a business accountability coach I've spoken with over 150 freelancers in the past two years.

Guess what almost every one of them has told me at some point:

"I hate selling"

They tell me that it makes them feel uncomfortable and that they don't want to be pushy.

Fair enough. But what if you could get better at sales without any of that stuff? What if you could make selling a much more pleasurable experience, more like a conversation?

Well, you can! In this article I'm going to share a basic principle (as well as an example) to help you get better at sales as a freelancer.

Curiosity killed the cat (or did it?)

Cat with blue eyes
This old proverb was used to warn against unnecessary investigation.

Get too close, they say, and you're a goner.

But in all my years onboarding clients, curiosity has never done me any harm. In fact, it's been the driving factor in my success.

The problem that so many of us have with selling is that we think we need to convince and impress. So we spend way too much time talking about our product or service, how great it is, what the client will get... all the while not giving the person in front of us a chance to speak.

And here's the thing: people LOVE to talk about themselves!

So my advice to you is to get curious. Stop trying to sell.

Simply put: talk less, listen more.

Shift toward a better conversation by asking
good questions. Let's look at an example:

Client: We bake artisanal bread that we sell every day to local businesses, but we don't get enough orders through our website because the checkout process is complicated. Can you help?

PAUSE: right now you probably want to say "of course!" then begin asking questions about the checkout process. But let's try this instead...

You: Aah you're making me hungry! Thank you for sharing what's going on, but before we get into the detail, can you tell me a little more about how you got into bread-baking? I'd love to hear your story!
This is a curious question. It's not about the problem, the solution, or your service. It's about the client and their story.

What impact does this have? It builds trust. And I'm sure you don't need me to tell you how powerful trust is in human relationships.

By slowing down you give space for a stronger relationship to emerge. From here, you can do better work for more money.

And all you needed to do was get curious.
Above: resist the urge to pitch the detail of your service too soon. Slow down, ask questions and establish trust in order to build a more solid and memorable conversation.
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