The Online Marketing Newsletter

for Independent Professionals
Action Plan Marketing
and Robert Middleton

Return to eZine Archive - Two years of More Clients

More Clients Blog - Please share your comments on this week's eZine

Email this article to a friend

- The Art of Effortless Selling -

Can selling be effortless? Yes, it can be easier than you
ever thought possible. Here's how.


Last week I discussed the negative mindset we often have around the selling process and ways you can create a new mindset.

I'm working on ideas for my new UnSales ToolKit and I've been kicking around some ideas - ideas to make selling easier, less of a traumatic ordeal. And I remembered that at some point selling had become effortless for me.

What do I know that others don't?

Can selling really be effortless? Is it what you do, what you say, what you ask, or what your service is? No, effortless selling has very little to do with any of this. In effortless selling you don't need to convince anyone. People convince themselves.

But how?

I learned pretty early in my career that I couldn't really convince anyone to do business with me. I certainly tried. I used great arguments. Lots of features and benefits. But it never worked. This approach always met with resistance and rejection.

Then I learned to ask questions. The idea is that if you ask enough questions you can know enough about the prospect's situation to jump in with the solution to their problem (your service).

That worked a little better.

But not good enough. So I kept researching. What was selling all about? Why was it such a struggle? How could I make it easier? I read a lot of books and tried a lot of stuff. I recall it was rather painful, no, perhaps agonizing.

I finally realized that selling rarely happened in a vacuum. As you know, it's almost impossible to just call someone up and sell them on your services. They have to be warmed up first. They need to know something about what you offer.

They need to be exposed to MARKETING.

Selling can't happen until a prospect has responded to your marketing messages, learned something about your services and has a sense that you might be able to help them. In my Marketing Ball Model, that's what I call getting on second base.

When you start selling before you get to second base you always get tagged out. Many people are frustrated with selling because they're trying to sell to someone who isn't even on first base yet.

As a result of this realization, I started marketing myself like there was no tomorrow. I networked, gave talks, hosted events, created brochures, sent out newsletters, gave stuff away. I was out there. I warmed up my prospective clients through marketing. Still do.

When someone showed interest I set up a time to talk and the sales process began. And almost everyone I spoke with became a client. You see, they had already pre-sold themselves before I even talked to them.

All I had to do was get out of the way and see if I could really help them or not. And now my questions had a different purpose. I just needed to determine if the prospect was sufficiently motivated and if my service was right for them.

In a nutshell here's my selling process. I ask questions that get at these four issues:

1. Is there a real problem begging for a solution? Is something missing and are they unable to find a solution by themselves?

2. Is there a commitment to change things and move forward? Are they in a place where they are finally ready to take action?

3. Are they willing to invest in a solution? Can they put in the time, energy and money to do what it takes to make the change?

4. Can they envision the future? Can they imagine more positive outcomes than they are experiencing now?

If I get positive signs on all of the above and I have a good sense that I can help them, then I go into the presentation of my services. I want to assure them that I can help them solve their problem and produce the results they want.

This part takes about two minutes.

No kidding. Look, they already know about my services or they wouldn't be meeting with me in the first place. Marketing got the job done.

The presentation goes something like: "This is what I do. This is how it works and what happens. This is the kind of result you can expect. Any questions?"

No pressure, manipulation or fancy closes are necessary. By this time the prospect sees me as someone who can help them get what they want. They certainly don't see me as a salesperson.

And then closing is a simple formality: "Here's what the service costs. Does that work with your budget right now?" or "So that's how the service works. Do you have any questions?" My favorite answer to that one is, "When can we get started?"

If you follow this path of effortless selling, you'll hear that a lot.


The More Clients Bottom Line: The key to effortless selling is good marketing. Then you can take your attention off trying to convince someone to do business with you. You can relax and get interested in them and see if they're ready to change and take action.


The More Clients Blog - Please comment on today's More Clients

Creating Your Ultimate Outcome - A New Audio Program

You might call this program the prequel to this eZine.

When I began working on this program, I was only focusing on the Ultimate Outcome - the marketing message that declared the bottom-line results you produced for clients. But as the program evolved, I got more deeply into the "Unique Service Offering" - which is the vehicle that actually delivers the Ultimate Outcome.

In this TeleClass you'll learn the important distinctions of these foundational marketing ideas and see how you can apply them to your business to get more attention and interest for your services. This is what sets up the effortless selling process.

This TeleClass has been recorded and is now available as Online Audio and/or an Audio CD. In addition, you'll get the complete printed materials (as a pdf) that the program is based on.

For complete details about the Audio Program "Creating Your Ultimate Outcome," just click on the link below.

For other Audio Programs in our Expert Series click below:


Until next week, all the best,

Robert Middleton

Helping Independent Professionals Attract More Clients

210 Riverside Drive
Boulder Creek, CA 95006

Contact by email

© 2006 Robert Middleton, All rights reserved. You are free to use material from the More Clients eZine in whole or in part, as long as you include complete attribution, including live web site link. Please also notify me where the material will appear. The attribution should read:

"By Robert Middleton of Action Plan Marketing. Please visit Robert's web site at for additional marketing articles and resources on marketing for professional service businesses."