“Communication is merely an exchange of information, but connection is an exchange of our humanity.”
~ Sean Stephenson
I share lots of different strategies in my blog posts and weekly letters but in this post I want to focus in on getting clear on and really defining your sales strategy, which is, if you think about it, one of the most important business strategies you’ll ever implement. Because without sales there is no business.
So before we dive in, take a moment and feel into your answer to this question:
What is your sales strategy?
Take a moment. Really think about it. What strategy do you employ in your business to get a steady flow of sales?
If this question sees you umming and ahhing then I encourage you to read on.
First of all, there is no shame in not having a clear answer to this question and if you do, I applaud you and would love you to head to the comments now and share your strategy with us. But for those of you that don’t have a crystal clear answer at hand. I get it. With so much competing advice out there on the internet about how to build and grow a successful business, what I see most often is this.
Overwhelmed business owners trying to do all of the things and wondering why nothing is working.
Trying to blog, do newsletters, sales funnels, welcome sequences, Instagram stories, Facebook advertising, free challenges, webinars, podcasts, free sessions, freebie opt-ins, networking and, and, and!
The problem with this is that when we fail to go deep on any one strategy, we fail to achieve mastery and we therefore don’t see the results we’re hoping for. My recommendation for you here is to spend some time seriously contemplating what your sales strategy could be. What strategy you’ll invest your time, energy and focused attention on, consistently.
Your final sales strategy might be a combination of steps but it must be a departure from your current habit of throwing things at the wall in the hope that something will stick. It’s also advisable that you choose something that you feel you can commit to over the long haul. Strategies only work if a) they are sound (i.e. fit for purpose) and b) we apply them consistently over time.
I can’t tell you how many times someone has said, in response to a suggested strategy, “oh yeah I tried that and it didn’t work” and on further investigation, it becomes clear that “tried” meant did it two or three times. It takes time to see results, it’s important that you give adequate time and effort to whatever strategy you choose before jumping on to the next new shiny thing.
What makes a good sales strategy?
A good sales strategy has the following components:
- It should cultivate meaningful connection with your right-fit people.
- It should contain systems or processes that effectively filter out those people who aren’t a fit.
- It must regularly and consistently expose you to new people who fit your ideal client profile.
- It has to have you make a connection with those new people and then take them on a journey to better know, like and trust you.
- It has to support those people to make an empowered (rather than manipulated) decision about whether to buy from you or not.
- It has to be something that you can do consistently that can therefore produce consistent results.
- It should be clear and relatively simple to execute.
- It should feel good to your soul.
One of the best ways to get an insight into the most effective sales strategy for you is to analyse how you’ve made sales in the past. When we can get clear on that and then refine what we know has worked for us in the past to make it replicable and consistent, we’re that much closer to finding a strategy we can rely on.
The problem I see with much of the advice about sales strategy on the Internet is that it feels manipulative and contrived and leaves little room for cultivating meaningful connection and deepening relationships with our audience. We’re encouraged to set up complicated and automated sales funnels that automates our audience through a series of steps that ultimately seeks to convince them to buy from us at the end (often called the squeeze!). Whether it’s in their best interest to or not.
I don’t advocate this. I advocate sales strategies that are rooted in integrity and that cultivate true connection and serve our people powerfully whether they choose to buy from us or not. I fully support putting the person before the sale.
An example of a conscious sales strategy
In a nutshell my current sales strategy is: to connect with more of my right-fit people and then serve them so powerfully that they want to go deeper with me.
What this looks like on a more practical level is as follows:
- Create meaningful and consistent content that expresses my business point of view and shares a more conscious approach to business growth.
- Share that content widely and frequently. (I’m currently doing, and highly recommend, this course to learn how to increase my reach even further).
- Connect with the people who engage with that content (my right-fit people) and looks for ways to serve and be of value to those people. AND also practice authentic outreach.
- Where appropriate and/or once a deeper relationship has been established, invite people to have a complimentary coaching session with me.
- On those sessions, do everything I can to serve the person in front of me powerfully.
Then one of two things will happen.
- They will ask me what it looks like to work with me, in which case I will set up a separate call to discuss that (I make sure not to squeeze that conversation into the last 5 minutes of a coaching call) or
- They won’t ask me. If the latter happens and I didn’t feel a connection, I’ll wish them all the best and end the call. But if I know that the coaching had an impact and they benefited from the call (they will tell me if it did), then I might ask them to leave a testimonial on my Facebook page or I might ask them if they know someone who might benefit from having a similar call or if I feel exited to, I might offer them a second complimentary session.
I can’t tell you how many people have hired me months or years after a receiving one or more complimentary coaching sessions from me. Whichever way it goes, I always make sure that I keep in touch with the people who I felt a connection with, sometimes they become friends, sometimes they become collaborators, sometimes they refer clients to me and sometimes they become clients. Whatever type of connection is made, I do my best to deepen it over time.
And essentially that’s it. I don’t have anything more complicated than that, I make connections, I try to serve powerfully and I trust that if we’re a fit then we’ll work together, maybe not right away but at some point. I should add that I do also make sure that I remind myself to regularly let my audience know what my offerings are. Scheduling my content helps with this because I can make sure for every 8-9 pieces of free content I put out, I can share something about a paid offering. Nothing pushy or salesy, just a transparent and authentic post about how people can go deeper with me.
If you are keen to create your own sales strategy with a view to achieving a steady and consistent flow of new business in a way that feels good to the soul and you want to go deeper with me on the topic, simply drop me a line at [email protected] and I’ll do what I can to support you.
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