Why you can’t afford not to learn to sell if you run a business

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Why you can’t afford not to learn to sell if you run a business

Why you can’t afford not to learn to sell in businessOne 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!”

Amen, sister.

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?

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8 Responses to Why you can’t afford not to learn to sell if you run a business

  1. Mallie Rydzik July 16, 2015 at 21:53 #

    Amen. I caught up with my dad yesterday and was updating him on “what exactly I’m doing again.” He commented on how amazed he is that, out of all the internet and all the service providers, people even find me in the first place! Yes!

    Without marketing, you have no business. But more importantly, without sales, you’re out of business!

  2. Alistair July 16, 2015 at 23:36 #

    If I’m honest, I find sales conversations uncomfortable and I don’t really know why, other than maybe the fact I’m still quite new to them. This post has given me the kick up the ass I needed to get comfortable with them. So I’m off to go check out those resources. Thanks for sharing

    • Jackie Johnstone July 16, 2015 at 23:46 #

      Been there! Before working with Kendrick I literally sweated my way through them and either felt like I was too pushy or I missed an opportunity to work with a dream client because I didn’t know how to properly convey my value.

      Once you understand and implement the consult strategies Kendrick teaches, it almost seems too easy! I look forward to them now and I never thought I’d say that :)

      (Also stay tuned because Monday, July 27th I’ll actually be hosting a webinar with Kendrixk where she’ll be sharing “how to host a consult that sells”!)

  3. Christine July 17, 2015 at 08:24 #

    Great blog Jackie! Follow up is definitely an area where I can step up. I’ve been eyeing up Kendrick’s Sales School – good to read your review. I’ll look forward to the webinar!

  4. Catarina Andrade July 21, 2015 at 17:06 #

    Yes, Jackie, ain’t that the truth! Kendrick is amazing – it’s thanks to her that I now have FFF Fridays (financials, follow ups, & fun… obviously). Thanks for shouting about her from the rooftops and sharing the link to this training. Will keep an eye out for the webinar!

  5. Steven Ma July 21, 2015 at 18:54 #

    Great post Jackie. I hate selling. Both in person or online. It’s this weird thought I have that people won’t want to pay and its not worth it. I shot myself in the foot with a recent product launch where I offered a free version along with 2 paid versions. Now all people sign up for is the free version… will have to figure out how to convince them to upgrade now to paid.

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