How do you feel about sales?
You want them but don’t want to “do” them, am I right?
Now, let me ask you this. How does your ambivalence or lack of process around sales impact your business?
Lack of attention or process when it comes to sales leads to unpredictable results. And unpredictable results lead to the dreaded feast or famine cycle.
So, today I’m going to share my tried and tested sales and on-boarding process that will help you:
- Come to a sales conversation from a place of integrity and service (no manipulative sales tactics here!)
- Put your client in the center of the process, thereby building trust and confidence
- Make it easy (even exciting) for them to sign up and pay the first installment
Sound good? That’s because it is! If you’ve ever shied away from sales or processes this will change your game and your income!
1) Create a sales path for new prospects
The first step to closing more sales (and bringing more money into your business) is to create a defined pathway from cold lead to paying client. If you don’t know what you want a prospect to do next, how are you going to successfully lead them through the process? This starts with taking a few moments to identify what your desired outcome is once someone has landed on your website and is interested in learning more.
Do you want a prospect to send an email through your contact form? Set up a discovery call? Accept your request for a face-to-face meeting? What you choose will depend greatly on your personality. I used to work with a dynamic copywriter called Mark Welsh who would almost always nail a client if I could just get him in the room. So, my goal was always to set up a meeting. But if you’re an introvert, that idea might mortify you in which case the contact form might be the first step.
Action item: Identify what you want prospects to do (meaning, an action that moves them one step closer to a conversation about working together) and make it easy to take that step e.g. send an email through your contact form, fill out a questionnaire, book a free discovery call with you, etc.
Have the sales conversation
Ooh, now we’re getting into the uncomfortable stuff. I’ll admit it. I’ve always loved sales, but I know there are plenty of people who’d rather do just about anything else. But let me re-frame this for you. If you know you’re able to help someone get something they want, or solve a problem that’s preventing them getting what they want, isn’t it your duty to give them an opportunity to learn more? Providing a clear pathway to an outcome people wish for is a good thing.
If your service or product fills a need someone else has, sales are the way in which you can do a good thing and let that person know how they can get their hands on it, pronto. Remember, sales conversations are just a way in which you can tell people more.
So, now we’ve got some of that mindset muck out the way let’s talk about that conversation.
Here’s how I do it.
- Once someone has booked a call with me in my online calendar, I send them an enthusiastic email (What can I say, it’s how I roll!), saying how excited I am about learning more and asking them to do 3 things:
- Read the FAQ page on my website (it will answer a lot of questions and objections they may have)
- Read the testimonials on my website. This will give them a sense of what other creatives have gotten out of working with me
- Answer 5 questions that will help both of us prepare for the call
- Once I have read their answers and prepared for the call, I view that 20-30 minutes as an opportunity for me to listen, learn, and help them gain clarity around an issue. Helping them gain that clarity is my goal regardless of whether they hire me or not (remember, sales are much easier when you genuinely approach them from a place of service). I never try and “sell” someone on working with me. Instead, I show them how it would be to work with me.
Towards the end of the call, the person will always ask “so, if we were to work together, what would that look like?” Here is where having a process, package, or service you can take them through will really help inspire confidence and trust with your prospect. Once you’ve taken them through the process of what it’s like to work with you, you can either follow up with a proposal, or ask if they’d like to sign up if you have a clearly defined package.
If they say “yes”, wonderful. Move onto step 3.
If they say they need to think about it, ask when would be a good time for you to check back in (a day, a week, a month, next quarter?) and move their name to your “low hanging fruit” list, along with a reminder note in your calendar to follow up.
3) Make it easy to on-board clients
Ok, so you have a “yes”, congratulations. Now it’s time to move them easily to signing on the dotted line and paying your first invoice (you should always be asking for a portion – I recommend 50% upfront). You don’t need a ton of systems and processes in your business, but you do need one here. For example, my process is all set up in my bookkeeping and accounting software, Freshbooks which enables a client to go from “yes, let’s do it” to on-boarded and in my calendar. This ONE email includes:
- A link to an estimate for them to approve with one click
- A link to a term sheet (which is set up in Hello Sign)
- A sentence stating that I will send them the first invoice separately (also through Freshbooks)
- A link to my online calendar where they can book their first session
The more buttoned up you are, the more trust and confidence you inspire in your new client, the more time you save you and them, and the faster you receive your first payment.
So, there you have it. A proven, repeatable, and easy to implement process that guides clients along your sales path and makes it really easy for them to sign up.
Once you’ve practiced and tweaked this process to work for you and your business, you’ll have more time and headspace for what you love and were meant to do; creating and delivering amazing value for your clients and turn those new clients to repeat clients.
Are you ready to up your game and build a creative business that fulfills you AND finances the life you want to have? If you are but don’t know where to start, let’s chat. Click here to schedule a free 30-minute introductory call where we can discuss your challenges, your goals, and a pathway to reaching them!