Let’s play a little word association game. What’s the first thing that pops to mind when I say “sales”?
If you said, “used car salesman” you’re not alone.
We tend to associate sales with the time we’ve felt pressured to spend more than we wanted to. That never feels good. It feels like you need to take a hot shower after with an industrial strength loofah.
But sales doesn’t have to be that way! When you walk out of your favorite store, you don’t feel slimy. You feel happy to have parted ways with your money in exchange for something awesome. You don’t feel gross after paying for your haircut when you love your stylist. Sales is an essential part of business, and your business will not survive without it.
Okay? We can all agree on that.
It’s time to practice closing sales. It can feel intimidating, but the worst you that can happen is a no. And you might get a yes! Just think of how THAT will feel!
Selling is not optional.
You have to make money in order to keep your business running, and sales is part of that. Sure, once in a while, something might fall in your lap — lucky you! — but when you’re a business owner, having sales conversations is part of the job. You owe it to yourself.
Stefanie Johnson, Founder of SwapIt
SwapIt helps you dress for your brand and offers personal styling.
“My advice would be to lay out everything clearly so you can see where the most opportunity is,” Pepperlane member Stefanie Johnson shares. “Start with your offerings. Are they clear? If not, start there.”
Your customers need your service.
Whether it’s dog-walking, meal prep or wardrobe styling, your customers need you and the value you provide to their lives. Some entrepreneurs — especially women — suffer from imposter syndrome. We know on some level that our work is valuable, but it’s hard to sell when you don’t feel confident about your abilities and offerings.
Let’s work on that.
You’ll always be learning and growing, but you have something awesome to offer right now. No one is perfect. The important thing is to get started and learn as you go. Closing sales is part of the process. You can do this!
Melissa Mueller Douglas, Founder of MyRetreat
MyRetreat offers women retreats that create a space for extraordinary renewal.
Take it from Melissa Mueller Douglas who closed her first B2B sale with content she created in the Close More Customers Pathway. “Because of the weekly zoom calls I received feedback and strengthened the ebook, which helped me increase engagement in a way that I am really proud of.”
Creating a Sales Funnel
Part of our Close More Customers program is a quick and easy rundown of what sales funnels are and how they can help your business. In short, creating a sales funnel means creating a flow that helps answers three questions for prospects:
- How do you serve their pain points?
- How can you earn their trust that you’re the person to do it?
- How can you catch them at the right time (and make it easy) to work with you?
In a sales funnel, it’s all about how can you earn their trust over time (and ultimately their business).
For example, if you have an ice cream truck, that path is extremely short. When someone hears The Entertainer, has a few dollars in their pocket and would love a sweet, there’s a good chance they’ll become your customer without much coaxing. I mean… you literally drove down their street to make it happen. You nailed those three questions and made an easy customer.
But that’s a $3 sale….
And most people need more time to think through a decision, especially if it’s a higher priced service. On average, it takes about EIGHT touch points before someone is “sales ready.” The higher the dollar amount and personal investment for your service, the higher likelihood that conversion will take longer. Be prepared with different content in your funnel to warm them after they’ve known you for a week, a month, and maybe even six months or a year depending on your business.
If you don’t, you’re leaving a lot of money on the table.
Amanda Hemm offers expectant and new parent education in your workplace.
Amanda Hemm tells us, “I started working on my sales funnel as a way to better understand my customers and what I needed to do to move more folks from prospects to customers. By looking at all the ways that I interact with prospective clients and what THEY need out of the relationship made me reconsider my collateral. Instead of promoting what I offer, I began to look at what they needed and how I could be of service. As a someone who likes to give and serve, this approach felt more natural to me than the traditional sales model.”
You can be yourself.
Closing sales can come off as sleazy in some cases because it doesn't seem genuine. That’s not what we want or what we’re encouraging. People want to do business with brands and people they know, like and trust, right? That’s why it’s so important for all of your touch points to feel authentic, relevant and compelling. Help them get to know why you’re the best person for the job, and don’t be afraid to show yourself off. Creating a sales funnel that includes success stories, testimonials and examples of your service coming to life can all be great ways for a prospect to get to know you over time. Your work will be more satisfying when you attract the kind of clients you want, and it helps you close those sales more naturally.
Keep it consistent.
With sales, consistency is the key. Did someone give you the, “it’s not the right time” reason to not work together? Let’s be clear… that’s not a no. You need to have a process that can reach out to them in the future, as it’s still a viable prospect. Oh, and reply to your leads in a timely manner, please!
Making a plan is easy, but implementing it day-in and day-out is the hard part, and where a lot of new business owners stumble. That’s a big reason why the Pathways were designed with accountability and encouragement at its core to help you keep the momentum.
You can excel at sales.
Sales isn’t just for dudes in suits in an office park. Go out there and close without apology, even from your local park while pushing your kiddo on the swings. The world needs more of what you offer.
Deb Beck, Founder of Big Bunny Marketing
Big Bunny Marketing believes in creating practical design solutions that work for your company.
Deb Beck took our Close More Customers Pathway, and didn’t waste any time closing clients of her own: “Pepperlane gave me structure around how to create a sales funnel, in a simple and effective manner; I never had it explained clearly before and now I understand the process and how to achieve success. It is never too late to go back to the basics on how the sales process succeeds. By fine-tuning the process with my own tweaks in place, I've closed two new clients in the past couple of weeks.”
Want to learn more about closing sales? Heck yeah you do! We offer a 5-week Close More Customers Pathway included in our membership. Want to learn more before committing? Totally get that. That’s why we offer the first 30-minute webinar for free.
Your bank account will thank you.