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Brian Cristiano Shares Sales Tips for Introverts and How to Avoid Getting Ghosted

opinions expressed by entrepreneur Contributors are their own.

I spend a lot of time developing my personal brand. From posting on LinkedIn to recording my podcast, the goal is to create content that attracts clients and opportunities. Why? Because I’m terrible at sales! Here’s a quick example of how bad I am.


Courtesy of Brian Cristiano

Once I was talking to a potential customer on the phone, they asked my price and I told them. Then they said, “Hey, can you repeat that? You broke up a bit.” And for some reason I told them a lower price the second time. I have no idea why – and I guess they heard me loud and clear the first time – but I’m that bad at sales.

This is why I was so excited to speak to Brian Christiano for this week’s episode of the Launch Your Business podcast.

Brian is CEO of Bold Worldwide, an advertising and consulting agency that has helped transform many well-known brands including Jennifer Lopez, Alex Rodriguez and the New York Mets. Even more impressive is that he started his career at 16 with no connections, just a video camera. He then created a skate video which he sold for $40,000. Today he helps other people develop the skills they need to succeed in business and in life.

And if you’re anything like me, he’ll give you some valuable tips on how to get better at sales.

Here are some of my key takeaways from the conversation.

How to shorten the sales cycle

A sales cycle is the process used to turn a lead into a customer. Unfortunately, it can take weeks or even months to complete. And what are you doing during this time? Hoping, wishing and waiting.

Sure, you can send a generic “check-in” email, but after a while you might run out of excuses to check-in, or unintentionally come across as a combination of angry and desperate.

So what should you do instead? Brian shares his advice.

“You need to add value and build a long-term relationship. So think about how you can help them even if you don’t actually trade. Can you point them in the right direction? Can you give them a resource? Can you connect you to someone? Can you find a collaborator for her? Even if it’s completely independent of what you do. I’ve always found that when you help someone in a way, that relationship bond becomes strong.

Generating sales is based on building relationships. The more effort you put into building that relationship, the easier it will be to close the sale.

How to Win Bigger Deals

If you want to make more money, you have to solve more expensive problems. Bigger deals often involve bigger – more expensive – issues, which is why they’re so complex. Unfortunately, this can lead to lengthy proposals with no guarantee of success.

During our chat, Brian shared his “Wedge Strategy” designed to help you win bigger deals faster.

The name comes from the felling of a tree and although I’ve spent two summers as a landscape gardener I’ll spare you the details. In short, the easiest way to fell a tree is to first drive a small wedge in and then cut back on the other side.

Instead of spending hours chopping down the tree, this little wedge will help you chop down the entire tree much faster.

Brian explains how you can apply this to your business. “From a sales perspective, it’s the same. What is this wedge? It’s something you can easily sell. It can be a strategy, it could be a consultation, a small part of your process or a small part of your SAS solution or product. You just need a first step to get them to show them that you’re listening and that you understand them.”

And once you have that wedge, you can resell them for larger projects. The whole process is accelerated because they already know, like and trust you because of this initial smaller project.

How to avoid being ghosted

What’s worse than being ghosted by a potential client? Being ghosted by a prospect who is still engaging with your social media content. As you might have guessed, I speak from experience, but I will resist the temptation to rant.

Getting ghosted is a frustrating but common situation. Brian shared one of his favorite tactics to avoid this, by taking command and control of the situation. It all starts with you asking one extremely important question on the first sales call; “Until when do you have to start?”

Brian mentions why this is so important.

“If you can put a pin in a timeline, you can create urgency. And then you come back and say, ‘Listen, I’ve looked at everything that we’ve suggested and I’ve realized it based on the outcome you want and when you want to fix this, we actually have to get that in get going in a few weeks. And that’s why I put the team on hold for you, because I know this is important to you. Should I keep her on hold? for the next few weeks or should I move it to another?’ I’ve had hundreds of people send this type of message and almost 100 percent of people have responded.”

And to be honest, if they don’t respond to that, you probably don’t want to work with them anyway. Just keep moving and save your energy for a potential client who is looking forward to working with you.

What’s next?

Those were a few key takeaways from my conversation with Brian. To hear the full conversation and access additional resources, tune in to this week’s episode of the Launch Your Business podcast.

Do you have questions about starting your business? I’ve teamed up with ChatterBoss to offer free office hours where you can ask me questions and get them answered live. You can find out more and register here.

Read  Kim Kaupe Shares How to Build a Powerful Network (Even if You're an Introvert)

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