Acting as salespeople for our products and services is uncomfortable for many of us. So, is there a framework we can apply as solopreneurs and small business owners to get more customers without feeling sleazy?
If you hate selling, listen in because this episode is for you! In this new installment of our Teaching Friday series, Kenneth Camp delivers a masterclass on building a story around your brand with your customer as the hero.
When I have members of SPI Pro take over the podcast to share their expertise, I know the content will always be insanely valuable. This session is a perfect example of that!
Kenneth will give you a step-by-step plan you can use and reuse for everything from sales calls to the marketing messaging on your website. I love this blueprint because it revolves around the power of storytelling in business, which I always talk about on the show.
So tune in to find out how to go from identifying a problem you can solve to crafting a perfect call to action. For more from Kenneth, go to KennethACamp.com/spiflightplan to download his resources to help you level up your sales process!
SPI 744: How to Make More Sales with Kenneth Camp
Kenneth Camp: That’s a sales framework that invites a customer to be the hero in their own story. Step one, ask questions that inform you about their problem. Step two, position the feature of your product that solves that specific problem. Step three, tell them how it works for them to do business with you. In step four, let them know that you don’t want them to experience this problem again. And in step five, say that you think this is the right product for them, and it is a good time to place an order.
Pat Flynn: Hey, hey, it’s Pat here. You’re about to listen to something a little different on the show today. It’s not our usual Friday format where I follow up on Wednesday’s episode. Don’t worry, those aren’t going away forever. Just a little break to bring in something even more special, in my opinion. And this episode and the next few are a part of our Teaching Friday series, which we do with our SPI Pro members.
We have an incredibly talented pool of people within SPI. Why not give our pros, the spotlight and teach you here on the podcast every once in a while. it’s just one of the perks of being a part of Pro in fact. With each episode, you get to hear a different pro, teach you something special from their area of expertise.
Without further ado, I’ll let them take it away. Oh, and if you want to find out more about SPI Pro and be a part of it, you can go ahead and apply at SPIPro.com.
Announcer: You’re listening to the Smart Passive Income Podcast, a proud member of the Entrepreneur Podcast Network, a show that’s all about working hard now, so you can sit back and reap the benefits later. And now your guest host. He once dreamed so vividly that he could dunk a basketball that after he awoke, he had his basketball shoes on and laced up before he realized it was just a dream. Kenneth Camp.
Kenneth Camp: Hello, SPI community. As you heard, my name is Kenneth Camp. Now I live in the Austin, Texas area. Married now for over thirty five years, have one son who is thirteen.
Our family loves traveling, visiting historical museums and sites, and being outdoors when it’s not a hundred and five like it has been this summer in Texas. I’ve been a business coach for the last five years or so, becoming a Business Made Simple certified coach in 2020, and I work mainly with small business owners and nonprofit founders. You can connect with me at KennethACamp.com or Kenneth A. Camp on LinkedIn. Would love to get to know you.
Well, as a certified Business Made Simple coach, every day, I work with solopreneurs and small business owners, and I find one thing that they hate that is in common with just about every one of them. Now they do enjoy creating their products or services or working with people and customers. However, the one thing they don’t enjoy doing is selling those products and services. They express to me that they feel like they are coercing or trying to convince someone to buy from them. And in fact, many of them told me that they hate it because they feel sleazy or icky when they try to sell their products.
Well, that’s a problem Because we all know or it’s common sense, we have to sell products in order for our business to survive. So if you’re shaking your head yes in agreement, thinking yes, I’m one of those business owners that struggles, maybe even hate selling, then this episode’s for you. Through this episode, I’m gonna teach through a framework that would teach you how to stop selling and instead invite the customers into a story. Now who doesn’t like a good story? Well, before we jump in, here’s a quick disclaimer.
This framework, as you imagine, is a Business Made Simple framework that I use as a certified coach, and I teach my clients this framework all the time. I work with individuals and sales teams, and I also use it in my own business. And here’s some of the different ways that that we use it. We use it in every sales email, every sales proposal, every follow-up sales email, every sales call, I think you’re getting the idea. In fact, every sales conversation, whether it’s over the phone or maybe at lunch or on a retail sales floor should invite that customer into a story that helps them understand how they can use your product to solve their problem.
Alright. Before we get started, one more logistical thing. This will help especially if you’re a visual learner, but it’s also something you can use over and over again. Right now or later, when you listen to this episode again, you can access a digital copy of this sales script where you can fill out the parts of the framework as you listen, and you get an added bonus too. This link will not only give you access to the digital sales script, but to many other worksheets that we use at Business Made Simple.
Each worksheet, you can use one time for free, or you can use within each framework, you can use one worksheet for free, but you can access it as many times as you want to. So here’s how you get it. Go to KennethACamp.com/spiflightplan and sign up to get the access to it.
You’ll be subscribed to my email, and I will send you emails with some helpful tips and things. But If you don’t want those, you can unsubscribe at any time, and you will not offend me one bit. Also, on that landing page, it’s an affiliate link to get to that landing page. So if you do purchase Business Made Simple University from that landing page, I will get a commission, just so you know. So here’s the simple way you get the sales script.
On that landing page, register to get access to your flight plan worksheets. Make sure you select the sales script worksheet. It’s gonna ask you to name it. So give it a name like sample or practice, and then click to create the sales script. Now you should see a multicolored form with five sections.
So now you can follow along as I teach through the framework, and you can take notes in each section. Alright. Ready to get started? So, again, the name of the framework is the customer is the hero sales framework, and it is based on the principles of story. Every story has all kinds of different characters in the story, and we’re focusing in this framework on two, the two main ones, actually, And that is the hero and the guide.
Every story has at least a hero and a guide. Now the trouble is many salespeople end up, whether they know it or not, being the hero or they’re attempting to be the hero in the story. Now how do they do this? Or how do I do this? Or you do this?
Well, we give a lot of information about our products. Like, someone comes in and or visits us or we have a sales call, and we just start talking about all the different things, all the benefits and features of our product or service. We even a lot of us even start talking about ourselves or even the backstory of our company, especially if we’re the owner. That’s not being the hero. This needs to change from the very beginning of our conversations.
Because when we do this, We are acting as the hero in the story, definitely not the guide. And what’s our customer thinking? Well, they’re not sure where they fit in the story because, really, they’re not thinking about your story. They’re thinking about their own story, and last thing to do and or want to do is listen to yours. So first step for you as a salesperson, when you’re having, whether it’s in person or in an email or even on a landing page sales landing page is to find out what the customer’s problem is.
And you do this by asking specific types of questions such as, what frustrates you about your current situation, or what’s driving you crazy about your current situation? If you’re a realtor, just put in there what frustrates you about your current house. If you’re a financial planner, what frustrates you or driving you crazy about your current financial planner. The first job for you is to find out what’s causing them pain and why they came to you, and then listen. Yeah.
I don’t know about you, but when I walk into a store or talk to a salesperson on the phone and they begin giving me all kinds of information, I freeze up. Why do I do that? I don’t know what to do with the information. I often don’t even know what I need. I just know what my problem is.
So what I really need in that conversation is I need the salesperson to listen to my problem, to find out if they can solve it. So okay. In that first block in the sales script worksheet, think about your business. Think about one product that you have or service that you have, and write down two or three questions that you could ask a customer so that their answers tell you what the problem or pain points that they have. How is this connected to story?
Well, by asking these kinds of questions, you’re trying to figure out what the story the customer’s in and what they are trying to accomplish. How are they trying to be the hero in their story? And when we do this, what happens is that we’re mentally pulling ourselves out of our own story, and we’re transporting ourselves into their story. Don’t assume you know what the reason is that they walked into your store or visited your website or scheduled a call with you. You really don’t know, so ask questions to find out.
So I’m currently in a mastermind group through SPI. It’s The MBA mastermind group that is led by Matt Garland. Props, whoop whoop, to Matt and the and the peers in my mastermind group. It’s been an awesome experience. And one of my peers in the group is Andrea Davis, who owns a business called Better Screen Time.
Well, Again, I have a thirteen year old son, and this has been something in our household, my wife and I, where we’re like, You know, it’s a pain point. We wanna make sure that we are making good decisions with our son and in ourselves too, in our family, when it comes to technology and that we are making healthy choices. Well, of course, because this is already a pain point that that I have as a dad and as a husband, when I would hear Andrea talk about her business, my ears perked up because it was a potential solution to a problem or pain point that I have. Well, on her website, she has courses and resources and all kinds of things that can help parents and children create healthy tech habits. Now if in any of my conversations with Andrea, had she started telling me about everything about her courses and books and resources, I would have been that customer that would have froze up.
Even though I have a thirteen year old son and my wife and I are concerned about the use of technology in her home, honestly, it’s overwhelming to try to navigate it. But if I would hear all that information again, I would be like, I don’t know what decision to make. But I heard her mention in one of our mastermind groups, and it says the same thing on her website was this right here. Not ready to dive fully in? That’s me.
We’ll start small and buy the book. We give you ten must have conversations to help you worry less and connect more with your kids. This is where we started with our kids five years ago. It’s like she read my mind. Now even though I was reading it on her website or or heard her in a conversation in the mastermind group, and she wasn’t talking to me specifically.
It is obvious to me that she’s had these conversations, and that’s been a response many times. And so she knew to incorporate it into her copy on our sales with landing page. But bottom line is, it’s like she knew I wasn’t ready or or felt I had the time to take a course. So she solved the problem that I had, and I bought the book. So in your worksheet, choose one common problem that your customers encounter, which brings them to you, and write it in section one along with those questions that you wrote down.
Now this is gonna take some practice, but when you get good at this, when you get good at starting your conversations like this with customers, the rest of this script will become easier and easier. Because now you’re no longer trying to sell them a product. You’re trying to figure out with them if your product will solve their problem, and that is both of you are being transported into a story, which takes us to step two, position your product as the solution to the problem they just shared with you. Let me repeat that. Position your product or a feature of your product as the solution to the problem they just shared with you.
How you position your product as the solution is critical. Make sure what you say, the feature you mention, actually solves a problem that they shared with you. This is not the time to overwhelm them with all the other features. They will learn about those soon enough if they need them. So in your worksheet, list one or more ways or features of your product that is the solution to the specific problem you don’t identified in the first section.
Okay. Step three, give the customer a simple step by step plan. Now before we get into what this looks like, make sure that your product really does solve their problem. If you sell them on your product knowing that it won’t solve their problem, well, you’re not being the guide anymore in their story who’s helping them become the hero. And you know what?
You’re now becoming that sleazy, icky salesperson that we all dislike. However, if your product or the feature of your product does solve their problem that shared with you, then this next step is you wanna give them an easy to follow plan. And it’s a step by step plan with three baby steps to show them how easy it is to do business with you. Now these steps may seem very obvious to you, but it is very likely that it’s not obvious at all to your customer. They don’t know what they need to do.
They are still trying to figure it out, and this is how you continue to be the guide in the story. So what you wanna do is remove any confusion. It’s called cognizant dissonance. You want it to be where their thought is something like after you give them this three step simple plan is, you know what? Okay. This is gonna be an easy process. So giving your customer a simple three step plan, what it does is it builds a bridge from their problem to your solution. And so that’s what you wanna do in this step. So in the third section of your digital script there, write down a potential three step plan and start off with it I mean, really, like, very basic, such as choose your option, place your order, we will deliver your product.
That’s what I mean by a very simple plan. Again, it Definitely seems obvious, but the idea is is that you wanna remove any kind of confusion from their mind.
Alright. Step four. Love this step. It actually has two parts to it. What we’re doing here is we’re painting the stakes of the story. Every story has stakes. It is what keeps us interested in the story. And so what we’re thinking as we’re being transported into the story is, what’s gonna end up happening with the hero?
Will their outcome be negative because they don’t apply the solution to the problem? Or do they apply the solution to the problem and they have a positive outcome? And use a guide you want to talk about both. Begin with some negative stakes. Now let’s go back to Andrea, my peer in the MBA mastermind group.
She could say to me, Kenny, I know you don’t wanna keep feeling unsettled about the use of technology in your home, and the last thing you want is for you, your wife, and your son to create an unhealthy tech family that ends up pulling the family apart. And I’d be like, yeah. In fact, I’m shaking my head yes right now or no. I don’t want that. I’m shaking my head.
No. That’s not the outcome I want. And she goes on to say, and this actually says something like this on our website, this book has ten easy conversations you can have with your family that are proven to help create healthy tech habits. In fact, when you have these conversations with your family, you will not only find that you have a healthy tech family, but you will also learn how to connect better as a family. Now that’s really inviting a customer into a story.
So what have we done so far? Well, we have encountered a hero who has a problem. And as a guide, we have built a bridge that helps them cross from their problem to our solution so that they can avoid negative outcomes and experience positive outcomes. That is a story. Now write down in that section, there’s two sections on step four, negative outcomes if they don’t buy your product and positive outcomes when they do buy your product.
Okay. One last step, and it is critical as all of these are. But so many salespeople, especially business owners who don’t like to sell, avoid this one as well, and that is call the customer to action. In other words, ask them to place an order. Well, better yet, let them know that you think that this is a good decision for them to place an order.
What you’re doing is you’re giving them permission to make the purchase by affirming their decision. So please don’t skip this step or say something like, okay, John. Let me know if you ever want to place an order or if you’re interested. No. No.
No. No. Don’t do that. Tell them, rather that you believe that this is the product or service that will solve the problem that they shared with you and that now is a good time to place their order. That’s so much better.
There you go. That’s a sales framework that invites a customer to be the hero in their own story. Now it is important to to learn these steps in this order. So what are those steps again? Step one, ask questions that inform you about their problem or the reason that they are talking to you.
Step two, position the feature of your product that solves that specific problem. Step three, tell them how it works for them to order or do business with you, and give them a simple three step plan on how to do it. In step four, which is two parts, let them know that you don’t want them to ever have to experience this problem again. Rather, you really want them to experience something much better. And in step five, say that you think this is the right product for them, And it is a good time to place an order.
But while this is a simple framework, it does take practice for it to become natural in your sales conversations, But it’s familiar to all of us because it’s based on story principles. So here’s some simple ways to practice it, what to do next here. First of all, you need to practice and use the script soon. And here are a few ideas that you can do that today or soon. One is if you have a follow-up sales email that you need to write, use this script to write that email.
And, hopefully, you found out what some of their problems were when you talked to them initially. Start off by saying, John, you shared with me that you were looking to solve this problem. Well, this feature of this I just wanna remind you, the feature of this product solves that problem and go on through the sales script that way in your follow-up sales email. If you have an upcoming sales call before you get on that call, look through the sales script and think through it. You know?
Okay. What am I gonna ask them? And what features do I think of the product that I have or service that I have that that’s gonna solve their problem and so on and go on through. Make sure you know what your three step plan is, etcetera. If you’re in retail sales, well, To me, that’s a no brainer.
Have this conversation with every customer that you talk to. And if you have sales landing pages, take a look at your sales landing page and see if how closely It follows this framework, and if there’s some little tweaks that you can make on that landing page that will invite people into a story rather than try to sell them a product or service. Well, if you are a business owner that doesn’t like to sell, then this is your solution. I encourage you to use it and become really good at it. Learn to apply this framework called the customer as the hero.
It will take the focus off of you and your story and put the focus on your customer and their story. Then when you do that, you will no longer feel like you’re coercing anyone or trying to convince them to buy from you. Because when you understand their problem and how your product or a feature of your product can solve their problem, if it truly does, you’re no longer selling, you’re guiding them to a solution. Okay.
To wrap it up, remember, if you access the digital sales script, you will start getting emails from me. And if you don’t want those emails, simply unsubscribe. I guarantee you, it will not offend me. But on the other hand, if you can’t wait to hear from me and you wanna get connected with me, I suggest one of the two ways that I suggested at the very beginning of the episode. One is visit my website, KennethACamp.com.
You can schedule a free thirty minute phone call with me, and I’ll even look over your sales script if you wanna do that. Or you can connect with me on LinkedIn. Profile name is Kenneth A. Camp there as well. SPI team, thank you for this opportunity to give back to our community.
Remember, no one starts a business for it to fail. Keep up the good work. We need your success.
Pat Flynn: Thank you so much for listening to the Smart Passive Income podcast at SmartPassiveIncome.com. I’m your host, Pat Flynn. Sound editing by Duncan Brown. Our senior producer is David Grabowski, and our executive producer is Matt Gartland. The Smart Passive Income Podcast is a production of SPI Media, and a proud member of the Entrepreneur Podcast Network. Catch you next week!