Posts Tagged ‘sales strategies’
Soon, I will again be in the throes of my twice yearly “serving hours”… This is where I coach people from all over the world on business success. It’s my way of both giving back AND staying at the top of my game, so I charge nothing. (P.S. If you ARE a coach or consultant, this is a great way to grow your own practice, but you can contact me directly about that. It is FAR different than those thinly veiled sales sessions most coaches call “complimentary coaching sessions”… UGGG!!!)
Anyway, I always start with finding out (before our call) what this person’s top challenge is in business… in other words – why do they think their business income isn’t where they think it should – or could- be. Often, there isn’t a really direct answer to this question. I mean, if we KNEW why we were underperforming, we’d just fix it, right? (P.S. We do know why…and this blog post – and the free call I am promoting with it WILL help you fix it, so please keep reading!)
But, far too often, the responses I hear can be described as business cliche’s (I just need to get my name out there… or I don’t have enough money to get my name out there.) or a diversion from the real issue. (This usually includes listing some certifications, or “awards”, or number of Twitter followers, or other reasons they feel they SHOULD be doing well financially but aren’t.)
What I quickly discover is that while their expertise may be (and usually is) superb… and their product may be better than the alternatives out there, and that a LOT of time, attention and investment has gone into crafting or “tweaking” WHAT they will sell, very little thought has gone into HOW they will sell.
So, they HOPE. Many will POST…. tweet, blog, facebook, and email. And they will HOPE. They are hoping that they will get sales, gain momentum, and see an increase in their personal income. What they need to do is to transform their HOPE into HOW.
First, let’s get really, really clear about what you’re hoping for. If you want more sales, how many more? How many sales of each product or service do you want to see? PLEASE don’t laugh this off with an “I’ll take all I can get” response. Business is really simple because it is NUMBERS IN, NUMBERS OUT. So, I want to get a NUMBER from you… Either a dollar amount or a finite number of new customers or clients you need to acquire.
Next, let’s get specific about WHAT you will DO to get more sales…. and drill down the HOW. First, your sales are up to you. You must DO something DIFFERENT than you are doing now to get more sales than you are currently getting. Start with where you have had success before. What did you DO to cultivate that sale? Let’s repeat whatever that was.
Then, we must take a look at how you are spending your time. If you are really committed to making MORE MONEY in your business, I will see that your time is spent evaluating, tweaking, and boldly increasing your marketing and sales efforts. Is there any other way???? Hoping that your clients don’t need to be “sold” because you or your product are sooooooooo good is a bit like hoping you win the lottery. More money comes down to Mastering the Marketing and Sales process of your business. But only every time.
So, evaluating what you are currently doing is a great step. As an example, how much time are you spending on twitter? Or how much money did you spend on that print or radio ad? Or how much time (and money) are you spending in networking meetings? Now… how effective are each of these activities? How did they contribute to your bottom- line?
Next, how can you TWEAK what you are doing? Maybe you see that you’ve gotten three new clients who found you via your blog or email newsletter. If so, it makes sense to invest MORE in that blog or newsletter. Maybe you could learn from social media gurus who can teach you how to get more “mileage” out of each post or article. (Jennifer Abernathy will be rocking the house at www.sparkandhustle.com and I have a super deep discount code you can have if you NEED to be there!!) Maybe you see that your BEST clients have come from speaking engagements. If so, stop reading now and get on the horn lining up some great new speaking gigs!
Finally, you must increase your sales efforts. There is no money made in business without making the sale…. Yet, there are many business owners who shun sales… hate them… and resist the idea that they ARE sales people.
Just Saturday, I was approached – while in the chair getting a pedicure, mind you – by a woman with a colorful binder and business cards. She wanted to do a makeover on me…. with Mary Kay Cosmetics. Of course, she was quick to point out that she doesn’t “Sssseeeellllll” (enunciated slowly as a creepy, dirty, distasteful word) the products. She just “loves them”. Mmmhmmm.
With my daughters looking on in horror – knowing I wasn’t going to let this one go, I said, “Oh.. great. Well, if I wanted to buy the products because I too loved them, who would you send me to?” Her response, “Oh – well I sell them. You can get them from me.” My response: “So you do sell them?” Sheepishly, she says, “well, you know… I mean – you know what I mean… I mean I dont Ssseeellllll them, you know? Like a lot of pressure type of sales?” Yes, I do know what you mean… and P.S. approaching a complete stranger while she is paying for a relaxing spa treatment to pitch the products you “don’t sell” is super smooth…I mean, totally natural and authentic and NO PRESSURE whatsoever. (And, in case you are wondering, YES… I did give her my business card and encouraged her to read my blog on Monday afternoon… )
Anyway, as an entrepreneur, you are CHIEF salesman and CHIEF marketer of your business. Period. So, you can either be GOOD at sales and make money … or you can suck at it… complain (or in some cases, BRAG) about how you are just NOT GOOD at sales and then, NOT make money. Bottom line: If you are in business for yourself, you don’t get to choose whether or not you are now IN SALES. But you do get to choose how you’ll perform as a sales person.
On that note, I want to invite you to join me and Tory Johnson on a totally free call – that will give you the the specific strategies you MUST master if you are committed to making more money in your business. If you are GREAT at what you do, but having a hard time converting leads and contacts into clients or sales, this call is for you!
And, you might even learn to love sales along the way…. =) On this call, we’ll cover:
$ The TOP Sales “Secret” Shared by EVERY truly profitable Business Owner – and the exact steps you need to take to be in THEIR shoes.
$ What you can do to NEVER Compete for Business Again – by essentially creating a Category of ONE.
$ Exactly How to BEST position yourself to make infinitely MORE sales happen
$ How to reduce, prepare for and overcome SALES objections!
To register, send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with SALES CALL in the subject line.
I get (and probably should) lots of questions about my success in sales. HOW can I outsell others in my industry or region? HOW do I get around this whole “can’t afford to buy” dilemma? WHAT can other business owners do differently???
Truth be told, I often ask myself those same questions…. why would I be able to “sell” coaching when there are countless coaches who have more experience than me…. coaches who have published books – sometimes impressive ones… coaches who have invested MORE in building teams and online presence…. who are struggling to find clients? Why me? Well, the answer, is probably more simple than you imagine. And perhaps, if you yourself are struggling to sell your products or services, even more straightforward than you would like to hear.
Why? Why do most business owners take comfort in long, complicated sales training? And, WHY would I think that you WOULDN’T want a real-world, works-for-anyone, SIMPLE, STRAIGHT FORWARD plan to make more money in your business?
First, because if sales are so DAG ON complicated, we are free to think: it’s no wonder we are struggling the way we are. Second, and most importantly, this obstacle course made up of some umpteen – step plan of cold-calling (NEVER do it!), prospecting (which sucks), positioning, posturing, dancing with the potential clients, sales presentation, prepping the close, fending off objections….. Well, it puts off the actual sale. When we are role-playing and practicing, and gathering material and creating brochures, we’re so busy…. we forget we’re not selling!
I’m not against reasonable preparation, and completely advocate investing (your time and money) in becoming an EXPERT at sales and marketing….In fact, your business income depends on it. But, I could just SCREAM out of total frustration when I hear these sales – shy entrepreneurs. On the flip side, I could make a MINT selling some course or blueprint that promises increased business income WITHOUT EVER HAVING TO SELL. (In fact, many companies do… bringing on reps with the promise: These products LITERALLY sell themselves!! Uh – huh…)
Bottom-line: Many very talented, inventive, innovative and brilliant small business owners are literally creating obstacles for themselves – desperate to push that scary moment where they may actually have to SELL something further into the future. As if by doing all of this PREPARATION, the masses will find out about us, track us down, ask us about our product or service… and then, of course, sell themselves and hand us the money. Like Tory Johnson says often, “If you don’t want to SELL, you are far better off as an employee rather than an entrepreneur.” Couldn’t have said it better myself.
Enough of my venting…. the answer to how I SELL – as a “nobody” without a book, without celebrity status, without a name people recognize – is super simple and you can do it too… in, like the infomercials promise, THREE EASY STEPS (Seething sarcasm NOT withheld):
- I embraced REALITY. The reality is that my willingness to, enthusiasm for, and fine-tuned ability to sell is the only thing standing between ME and the business income I want. By the way, NO! YOU – or your business or your industry – are NOT the exception to this reality.
- I determined to MASTER sales and marketing. I studied those who I KNEW were successful at sales. I became a student of those I bought from… and those I didn’t. I hired coaches, joined masterminds, and set out to make my sales process as enjoyable and as service-oriented as my coaching products or services themselves. (Thank you Steve Chandler!) I learned the power of WORDS, Tom Hopkins’ use of “phraseology”, and began mapping out a SALES STRATEGY. And then, WAY before I would have been deemed “ready” by any credible sales guru out there…..
- I woke up and decided to SELL SOMETHING ALREADY!
And, only then, was I in business!!! Is it EASY? Nope. Especially not at first. Does it take practice? You bet. Aren’t you born a good salesman or not? Absolutely not. Sales can (and should) be LEARNED – like any other skill.
I’ve never before been MORE aware of how many business owners genuinely HATE sales. I don’t just mean a playful “dislike” of sales. I’m talking about a genuine, consuming, nasty, and disdainful hatred. It’s a shame, because (obviously) without SALES, these business owners will never make any money.
Of course, what these people (mainly women??) are HOPING is that they won’t HAVE to sell… that they won’t have to ask for the business…. that people will come to them ASKING for their service or product…. seek them out…. offer them a fair price… and “close” themselves. They might not SAY these words exactly – although I’ve heard from some who will – but their thoughts (and actions) aren’t far off.
Of course we all know this ”strategy” is nothing short of ridiculous! While I hope you don’t feel as strongly as I’ve described above, if you are AT ALL interested in making any money as an entrepreneur, I URGE you to reconsider how you ARE feeling about sales… and marketing.
One of the true “secrets” of the seriously $ucce$$ful is that they begin (and nurture) a rock solid, intense, and passionate love affair with all things ”SALES”. In the beginning, these “sales lovers” may “eat what they kill”, but they also fall in love with the hunt. They learn to deliberately design an effective sales strategy…. carefully consider every word they use… and study their market, their competitors, and emerging trends with intense curiosity and an eye for detail….. AND, the best part is: they find every minute of this fun, invigorating, and, of course profitable.
More and more of my work as a coach, consultant, and entrepreneurial leader is focused on this often misunderstood, intensely feared little beast called “sales”. Before I close, I want to come clean. This blog post…. EVERY blog post, really. Every e-zine I send out… Every TWEET… ARE trying to sell you. Sometimes I am trying to sell you…
- on YOURSELF and your potential.
- the BRILLIANCE you already possess, but seem intent to ignore or, at least, not allow to shine.
- SELF-RELIANCE, so that you realize that when your business has a problem.. you are the problem.. and the solution.
- SELECTIVE HEARING… when the media is intent on keeping us paralyzed in fear.
- HOPE in a better tomorrow.
- FAITH in what is possible today.
- HUMOR, so we can laugh at ourselves and avoid taking ourselves too seriously.
- REBELLION… the crucial commitment to “do the opposite” (of what others are doing.)
- on “FAST”… determined not to put extra steps between you and the success you desire.
- on “SLOW” because I know that I accomplish so much more when I commit to slowing down.
- A NEW PERSPECTIVE… when what we are doing routinely fails to produce the results we are looking for, just MAYBE we are doing the wrong things.
- on EASY… simply doing the “obvious things”
- HIGH “FEE” ESTEEM – charging what you are truly worth
- SIMPLICITY… cutting through the clutter of life
- STRENGTH… that comes only with SUPPORT – because the road to success (if you are thinking big enough) can seem like an obstacle course at times.
- FOCUS … because it is the quickest way of reaching your goals
- COMMITMENT because the decision to succeed is as important as any marketing or strategic plan we can create
With ALL of the above in mind, my sincere hope is that my “sales” skills will prove MASTERFUL. Have questions, problems, or obstacles within your own business relating to effective sales and marketing? Leave me a message… send me an email…. and let’s see what we can create together. OH! And if you want MORE encouragement and step-by-step strategies to begin your own affair with the sales and marketing of YOUR business, join my mailing list RIGHT NOW at www.womenwhowow.com, so you can take part in my FREE “14 Days to a Bigger Bottom… (Line)” E-Course.
I can hear the gavel slam down on the defense attorney’s table as I type. OBJECTION!! On Ally McBeal, the stars would dramatically argue every point… stating objections, arguing them, proving their point. Most of the time, they would win. But in sales, we also encounter objections and the outcome is (many times) much more important to us – to our family – to our business – than any pretend case on prime time TV.
So, how do YOU handle them? Do you have a plan? Have you invested in becoming an expert sales person? (P.S. Your business depends on you mastering this skill / art / strategy!!)
This afternoon at 1 PM, I am hosting a tele-seminar on OBJECTIONS in sales. Included in this “meaty” seminar will be FIVE (simple) STRATEGIES you can use to sell more effectively and authentically. We’ll cover:
- How to USE sales objections to get closer to a YES….
- How to employ CURIOSITY to get you closer to the CASH…
- The “C” word you need to AVOID at all costs if you want to SELL…
- The strategies leading UP to a profitable sales conversation…
- Sales Savvy Solutions that are AUTHENTIC, SERVICE – ORIENTED, and PROFITABLE in every industry.
I am doing this call for FREE for my friend and partner, Tory Johnson of Women For Hire. It is taking place TODAY at 1 PM – virtually. To reserve your spot, send an email to email@example.com with OBJECTION in the subject line. That way, you’ll get your call in information, and we know you’re on the call so we can also send you the audio if you miss it live!
“See” you this afternoon!!!