By Kendrick Shope
We’ve all been bullied into buying something that we don’t really want or need, and it leaves us with such a bad taste in our mouth that “sales” practically becomes a bad word. So when it’s your turn to sell your products or services, maybe you tiptoe around closing the sale. If you want to know how to sell something without over-selling, you will need to set realistic expectations.
The problem is that without sales, your business will not make any money. In fact the actual definition of “selling” is the exchange of money for a product or service.
Business truth: You must sell in order to make money in your business. The good news is you can sell in a way that is authentic to you, your business and your brand.
Today I’m going to take you through five steps to get out of the sleaze zone and into authentic selling, leading to more revenue, results, and raving fans in your business.
Step 1: Consistency
One reason a consumer doesn’t purchase a product or service is there is a lack of trust that the product will do what’s promised. One of the biggest ways to overcome that lack of trust is by taking consistent actions.
One way to do this is to simply publish your blog at the same time on a consistent schedule, or send out newsletters on the same day. Another way to implement this is to address your emails with the same opening and closing every single time.
Action step: Decide one area of your business where you will commit to being consistent, if it’s you’re blog, your greeting in your emails or your closing. Stick to this for at least six months to gain the trust of your market, which leads to a decrease in sleaze.
Step 2: Relationships
Recently I heard someone say they believed the relational sell is dead. I’ve been selling for over a decade and I assure you that sales people who focus on relationships first make more money, have client loyalty on their side and run more successful businesses.
One of the biggest ways to focus on relationships is to make a sales call where you sell nothing. In the online world I call these pitch-free mini-sessions. The goal of these sessions is to offer to be of service providing one piece of advice to a potential customer. This is about getting to know this specific customer’s issues and struggles and providing one tangible tip to help them make progress toward a bigger goal.
Other sales experts will tell you this is ludicrous and you should never miss an opportunity to close a sale. What those experts are missing is you have to earn the right to sell someone by building relationships.
Action steps: Spend time in social media or where your customer spends time and offer free tips and advice. Look for opportunities to engage and get to know people forming relationships. This will turn into customers for your business.
Ways to use social media to increase your relationships
- When you see someone on social media struggling and you know you can help them, offer to hop on the phone and coach them free.
- Post your freebie weekly on all social media outlets.
- Ask a specific question at the end of each blog post so that you can respond and engage with your list.
- Create a community on Facebook or Google. Invite your ideal customers to join. Over-deliver in this group by giving free advice and coaching.
Step 3: Follow up
According to The Marketing Donut, 80 percent of all sales are closed in the fifth follow-up communication, yet those same stats show that the majority of business owners don’t take the time to follow up. I guarantee if you make it a practice to follow up with potential leads you will see an increase in your sales. Follow-up doesn’t have to be pushy; it can even be checking on the progress your potential client has made since your last communication.
Action step: Put in your calendar now to follow up on with one customer or potential customer a day and watch how five minutes a day leads to more money and more customers. Or even better, automate your follow up so you don’t even have to think about it.
Step 4: Know who benefits
This is something sales schools at Fortune 500 companies teach: Know exactly who will benefit from your product and who will not.
Selling anything to someone who isn’t a match for your product or service is downright slimy, but most people don’t even realize they’re doing it. Most new businesses make the mistake of trying to help everyone, which is a surefire way to confuse your market and leave you feeling slimy.
You need to be able to articulate in one solid sentence who your product will benefit the most and who it is not a good fit to help.
Action step: Write one sentence using the structure below to help you articulate who your product or service will benefit the most. When in doubt, refer back to this statement and you’re assured to keep yourself in the sleaze-free selling zone.
[Name of your product or service] was created to help [your target market] who are struggling with [pain points or what your customer is going to pay you to change].
Here is what this looks like with actual product information:
Authentic Selling was created to help businesses sell more of their products and services in an ick-free way.
Step 5: Write a quota
As a sales expert, I love number quotas and sales goals, but that isn’t what I’m talking about here. Oftentimes successful business owners begin to wonder if they’re in the sleaze zone of selling when they experience a client or two who isn’t getting real results.
Now, let me be clear: It’s your job to over-deliver so that your clients can take your information and create results. However, you need to set yourself up for success.
Write down exactly what you plan to deliver so that you know what to promise in your sales communications. One of the reasons selling feels icky is that sales people promise stuff and then never make good on that promise.
The way to avoid being that person is to make sure you have your quota straight and know exactly what you are responsible for delivering. Then you will only promise what is real and authentic and kiss the sleaze goodbye.
These five steps seem simple at first read, but I guarantee you will experience an increase in revenue, results, and raving fans by learning to sell sleaze free. I created Authentic Selling for business owners who are ready to do business a different way. After graduating from two sales schools, working as a top performing sales representative for over a decade and helping hundreds of clients implement these same strategies into their business, I assure you these simple steps work.
What kind of results can you expect?
Business owners who are serious about applying these simple strategies have made as much as an additional $40,000 in one launch, filled six-month waiting lists, and have never felt better about communicating what they have to offer. Authentic Selling opens the door to make anything you want to do in your business possible. And that’s not even my sales pitch—that’s just the facts.
Kendrick Shope is the creator of Authentic Selling, inspirational speaker and consultant for the next generation of business owners. Her mission is to help others realize anything is possible.
Kendrick has been featured in The Daily Times, Maryville, NBC Chicago, The Advocate, and Modern Achiever among others. She’s known throughout the online industry for providing real results – and for being “sweet as pie, but tough as nails.”
Currently, Kendrick lives in Bentonville, Arkansas and lives with her husband and beautiful daughter.