So many solo entrepreneurs struggle when it comes to selling. Sales makes us uncomfortable and we think that selling is slimy. We have big misconceptions about sales that can get in the way of turning all our hard work, planning and strategy into revenue!
In this week’s blog, I’m sharing a big secret about sales that will change how you think about selling forever and share three things you can do to create the best possible environment for converting prospects into customers.
This blog article is a summary of the related podcast episode.
This is the final part of a three-part series on my 3C™ system for building a successful portable business. Click here to listen to the first two parts.
To support this series, I have developed a free e-book with more details on how you can use the 3C™ system to grow your business.
The big secret about sales
Why do we find the idea of selling so slimy? What makes us feel so uncomfortable about selling our products and services, even though we created them to be bought? I think is because we have a big misconception about what selling is about. We tend to think that selling is about manipulating and controlling our potential customers and making them buy from us.
This is not true! This is the big secret about sales. You cannot control what your customers will do.
Nothing you do will make them do anything – they are free to choose to purchase your offer, or not. All you can control is whether or not your potential customer knows the value that you can provide and what you can consistently commit to for that to happen.
This isn’t the only reason that we tend to avoid selling. A lot of our issues with sales are rooted in our mindset about money, how money was talked about and treated as we were growing up and other complex issues that impact our attitude to sales.
However, once you realize that what your customer decides to do is out of your control, you should be able to start to make a shift in how you think and feel about selling. All you can do is help prospects have the information they need to make their own decision.
So, if you cannot control your potential customer’s behavior, what can you control? These three big areas will help you maximise your potential for sales and revenue but they will also help you change your mindset towards selling.
1. Make a compelling offer
You can control how you present your offer to potential customers. You have to make it so compelling and relevant to your target audience that they want to know more! To do this, you need to go back to the first part of this series on clarity. Here I explained the importance of knowing your target audience, their needs, their challenges, what they’re looking for, what solutions they have used in the past, what worked, what didn’t work and what the other options on the market are and how your offer is different from them.
If you haven’t done that work, you will need to do it before you can really make your offer irresistible.
However, once you have done that, you can start to think about sales as a way of helping your potential customer. It isn’t about pitching your offer, it is giving them a solution to their problem. You aren’t trying to sell them something they don’t need – you are trying to help them find out if your product or service is aligned with what they really need.
This is what I call the A to B process. You will find this graphic and more information on how to use this process in your business in my free e-book, 3 steps system to turn your business into revenue and impact.
If you are selling a product or service, whether it is online through a website, through a podcast show or a webinar, whatever your channel is, you need to present your offer based on this process. However, before you can do that, before you can talk about your offer to anyone, you need to validate the challenges and pain points your potential customers are dealing with. This is crucial. You need to be sure that your offer really addresses these issues, and you cannot do that if you don’t understand them. So ask your audience about their experiences and make sure you do your research on this thoroughly.
This is important because in the A to B process, you are going to take your client from their challenges and problems to a solution.
Let me share an example from inside my own business. I am going to take you behind the scenes of how I presented my Portable Business Accelerator™ online course inside the workbook that you can download here!
After going through the guidance and exercises in this workbook, at the end of the “Conversion” section, I introduce this program.
My process starts with asking if you are to build the foundations of a successful portable business. Then I list all the challenges that I know potential entrepreneurs face when they are trying to start a business or when they are ready to turn their idea into a portable business that generates consistent revenue:
- I know many entrepreneurs struggle with marketing, with putting themselves out there, with selling, and also with knowing exactly what to do to get started in their business.
- There are so many free resources and choices out there that it can just get overwhelming and complicated. We can get stuck on knowing what tools to choose just to build our portable business.
- Most of us wear multiple hats as entrepreneurs and we’d love to simply focus on working with our clients!
These are all the pain points that my online course, the Portable Business Accelerator™ addresses – this is how I first explain situation A.
On the following page of my Portable Business Accelerator™ offer, I describe the results you get (situation B), for example, getting clarity on your business strategy and validating your business model. I explain that:
- You will learn how to implement an effective and consistent marketing strategy to attract clients.
- You will know how to convert your efforts into revenue with mindful and simple strategies.
- You will also learn how to build a business that is portable, using the right online tools for your business.
- You will tackle the mindset blocks that can stop you from moving forward.
Thanks to the Portable Business Accelerator™, you don’t have to be on your own anymore. You become part of a community and you will have my step by step A to Z guide on what to do when, and how which will save you time and energy that you would have wasted trying to figure everything out alone.
Does this resonate with you? I’d love to know – you can reply to my email once you download your workbook and let me know! All of this is based on feedback I’ve received from clients when I have interviewed them, the notes I’ve taken about the challenges they’ve experienced while we’ve been working together, and how my online course could solve their problems and address their pain points. You can find this actual example in my free 3C™ system e-book so you can see how it actually looks!
There is one very important thing about the A to B process. You have to be able to deliver the results you promise. So with the Portable Business Accelerator™, I cannot promise that you will make a certain amount of money when you finish the course because there are too many variables that I cannot control. I can promise that you will know exactly what steps to take to build the foundations of a successful portable business for the long term and I will save you the time and energy from having to figure it out on your own.
I hope you can see the difference and understand why it is so important to be clear about what you can promise to deliver because of using your product or service.
If A is the challenge, B is the results, what moves your potential customer from one to the other are the different features of your offer and how it actually works. The central part of this whole A to B process is not your offer, it is the actual transition from A to B.
If you can explain the transformation you provide to your clients clearly, then you have hopefully made your offer irresistible to the person who truly wants it!
And if you are able to get in front of a potential client, this is exactly what you want to focus on doing, so that they can decide if your offer is the right choice for them. If you can do this, you can then get rid of all the doubts and icky feelings about selling because you are not focused on selling but on giving your prospects the facts and the information that they need.
There is one more thing that you can do to take this to the next level and increase your potential to convert prospects to customers and that is to anticipate the objections and questions that might come up about your offer. This means going back to research and understanding your target audience.
For example, one of the most common objections is about price. To respond to this effectively, you need to know why your offer is valuable to your client and why they should invest in it. It is useful to list other objections and questions regularly and to make sure you have worked through your response to them so that when they come up in conversations, you can respond them to easily.
Don’t be afraid of responding to questions and challenges – this is again about educating your potential customer and giving them reasons why your offer is right for them. If a prospect has reached out to you to share their objections, they may actually be looking for validation from you that your offer is right for them! So be prepared and be ready to help them.
2. Keep track of your numbers
You cannot control the number of people who are going to buy from you, but you can control the number of leads you generate. I cover this in a lot more detail in the second part of this series on consistency, but I will recap the essentials here.
A lead is someone who has signed up to your mailing list, who is interested in consuming your content, in getting to know you and perhaps has even reached out with questions about your product or service. You must have a clear strategy for attracting these leads on a regular basis and delivering consistent content is an amazing way to grow your audience. But to know if your content strategy is working, measure how many people are signing up for your newsletter.
Every single week, you should have a target number of people signing up. In my free 3C™ system workbook, I share a simple formula to help you work out how many people you need to sign up, depending on your financial goal. Set yourself a clear goal and then look at the steps you can take to achieve it.
My intention in this blog is to help you identify the things that you can control when it comes to converting prospects into sales. You can control the consistency of your content, the consistency of the resources you share especially the valuable content that you offer your audience in exchange for them sharing their emails with you for your newsletter. But the most important thing you need to control is the size of your mailing list.
Your sales growth is directly correlated to the size of your mailing list, especially in a portable business.
To be able to control your mailing list and to use my formula to see how big it needs to be to meet your revenue goals, you need to be tracking it regularly. Use the formula to motivate you to keep doing that!
3. Focus on your business impact
This last tip is so close to my heart because I am passionate about the impact of business on the people it serves. We can all get so overwhelmed with strategies and marketing that we forget this important thing – marketing starts when you sell. So often when we have made the sale and the customer has paid, we move on to the next prospect. When we do this and we forget that marketing is about serving your clients, we miss a huge opportunity. While you provide your service, you need to pay close attention to giving your client the best possible support, because the cheapest way to grow your business is by having happy customers.
Customer acquisition is so much cheaper when you have word of mouth and referrals.
Returning customers and referrals will all grow your business. To make sure that you get these, you need to stay in touch and build relationships with your current clients, which is something you can control through the effort you put into serving them and making them happy. I always say that there are four questions you need to answer in marketing:
- Who is your ideal client?
- Where is your ideal client?
- How do you convert them into clients?
- How do you keep your clients happy?
Answering this last question is something that has to come intentionally from your heart and also from putting a strategic focus on keeping your clients happy in your business. And don’t just focus on building relationships with your clients. You need to show you and build relationships within your community, with your audience and your network.
You should not underestimate the power of supporting others and focusing on giving value. If you do all of this which is something you can control, things will come around. You will be able to convert all that energy and love into great revenue and also into making an amazing impact on your clients and community. Never forget – if you focus on the impact you want to make for your clients, the revenue will come.
I hope this blog has helped you understand what makes sales happen and the key things you need to know to convert prospects into customers, to make an impact on your customer and to grow your revenue.
Don’t forget to download my free 3C™ system e-book for even more detail to help you implement all these tips in your business. And please get in touch and share what you learned from this and that you will implement in your business. I would love to hear from you!