One of my expat friends here in Bordeaux, Rachel, is in the process of getting her language school business off the ground. A long-time English teacher, leaving the University environment and starting her own independent school has been a crash course in the many facets of running a business. (Can you relate?? I know I can!)
We got together for coffee this morning and somewhere in the middle of our discussion of Facebook, Twitter, email lists, blogging and the importance of using your customer’s language in ALL your communications online she looked over and said,
“I just had no idea how much of being an entrepreneur was sales & marketing!”
Seriously — especially in the beginning when you don’t have a lot of clients — SO much of your time is spent figuring out WHERE your clients are, HOW best to be of service and SELL them on your services or products.
It’s not enough to be fabulous at what you do. (This *is*super important, but I know you, like my friend Rachel, already ARE fabulous at what you do and really care about your clients & their results.)
It’s not enough to just create a website and put up a Facebook Business Page.
It’s not enough to write a blog and send it your email list every week either. Or to guest post. Or host webinars.
Yes, all these things are important tools in running and marketing your business but you can’t just expect to “build it and they will come.”
So what DO you need?
The ability to SELL.
You need to know how to speak your customer’s language in ALL your marketing: how to pick out and address their pain points (challenges) and desired outcomes (what they *really* want) — this is the key to effectively writing everything from sales pages to social media posts!
You need to know how to have sales conversations with interested prospects that feel good (not pushy!) AND help them see the value of your service or product.
You need to know how to address your prospective client’s objections (What do you say when someone says, “I can’t afford it”?) and follow-up when they say “I need to think about it.” (Something like 50% of business is closed in follow-up so this one skill alone is money in the bank!)
Once you learn to sell your social media will be stronger, your email marketing will be more effective, you’ll make better pitches on your webinars — the list goes on!
The difference learning to sell authentically has made in my business
I've invested A LOT in my business–the vast majority of which has been on courses & coaching to learn the necessary skills, strategy and tools I need to make my business work (Find out exactly how much I spent and what the best investments were here — I was shocked when I did the math! ).
And the truth is until I first learned the principles of selling in a way that felt really good to me, my business didn’t make a lot of money.
I struggled to create offers that sold. I sweated every sales conversation either feeling way too pushy or like I’d missed the opportunity to help a dream client see just how much I could help them. I had really *no idea* where to start when it came to writing sales pages or sales emails and mostly threw a lot of things at the wall, so to speak, hoping something would stick!
Then, at the beginning of 2013, my coach at the time (Jenny Shih) introduced me to Authentic Selling creator Kendrick Shope.
I took furious notes as Kendrick shared the 5 Fundamentals of Authentic Selling and I had a whole series of little light bulb moments that started my business on the road to profitability.
Getting so comfortable with sales conversations I actually LOOK FORWARD to them and they feel easy was the key to confidently raising my prices on my one-on-one services earlier this year and — as a result — doubling my average monthly income.
Listing all the things I’ve learned from Kendrick about selling through Make it Work, later through her signature program Sales School, and one-on-one as her private coaching client would make this blog post impossibly long so let me wrap this up by saying:
Right now Kendrick is sharing a bunch of her very best sales tips in her brand-new free training series: How to Host a Discovery Call That Sells
I highly recommend you check it out if you:
- are doing everything “right” but haven't found the success everyone else seems to be enjoying
- struggle to fill your client list and meet your income goals
- are nervous and sweaty every time you have a sales conversation
- think selling has to be icky, pushy or sleazy to work
Learning to sell authentically is a game-changer for your business!
I’d love to hear from you
How comfortable are you with selling in your business right now? What do you find the easiest and hardest about it?