So if I asked you this question what does your sales process look like? I might get a lot of blank stares – sales process is not really terminology that women business owners – small business owners, entrepreneurs, solopreneurs use very often.
I could ask it another way — Hey – do you have something that you wanna sell, a program or product, how do you find the people you want to sell it to and how do you get them to buy it?
Now that question might get better answers. But there are still some of you that would give me a blank stare. You might say something like .. . I just go out there, talk about it, and eventually someone buys from me.
This is the number one issue that I have with a lot of my clients that are coming into the success collaborative. They have a product or program that they love and they want to sell they are coaches, creators they are consultants and all of them are passionate about what they do and they believe that what they offer is valuable but they don’t know how to consistently find the people who want to buy it. No problem.
That’s a sales process! What it is is very defined way of creating a buying path for people who need your product or program. It’s nurturing them through from awareness stage of what you do to understanding the value of what it would be for them to do business with you all the way down through the relationship building that needs to happen before they can commit to buying. And finally it includes asking them to become a client – by the way, I have a really cool infographic that I will share with you in the show notes on my website: unstoppablewomeninbuisness.com – that really depicts the different stages of the buyers journey and compares it to out sales and marketing efforts. It’s a good reminder of how important it is to adjust your messaging based on where someone is along the buying journey.
I think that the reason why women business owners don’t like sales is because they hop from a to Z they literally hop from the point where someone becomes aware of them and think – ok, I’m going to ask them to come a client and that’s just not going to work very often. A buyer needs nurturing – they need to come closer one step at a time to you – and in the process of creating those communication the goal or outcome is not necessarily asking them to do business with you RIGHT NOW, it’s a process designed to increase the trust and respect that people have for you so that when it comes time to making your offer it doesn’t feel awkward or forced or pushy or any of the words that I hear from the people that come to me for help around sales.
So sales process definitely is one of the first ingredients that you need to have – a very specific plan on how to nurture people through the buying process – agreed? And, by the way – there are several different processes you can be using at the same time – some people will call these funnels – and based on where you are leading people, you may have defined processes on how to get them going in that direction. But – if you are a beginner, just know it doesn’t have to be complicated but it does have to be intentional. We will be talking a lot more about sales process in the upcoming weeks.
The second component that creates consistent business growth is this…. CONSISTENT ACTIVITY! When you define your sales process, it should include all of the different ways that you will be bringing people into your universe or as some say – the top of your pipeline. But there are three specific areas of activity that you want to keep a pulse on and make certain you aren’t ignoring as you plan your weekly activities.
The top of the pipeline is the Awareness phase and there has to be a lot of broad content being fed out through multiple places – it can be social media, blogging, podcasting, networking, fb or li live video events, – anything that will help people become aware of who you are and what you do and – here’s the kicker – any activity that will move them at least one step closer to you in the buying journey. I think this is these are the activities that can be a little frustrating because you aren’t sure if people are even listening to you – you are looking for engagement and sometimes it feels like crickets – nothing is happening. But trust me – this is the place you never want to stop feeding content to. If you dry up the top of your pipeline, you will run out of new relationships to nurture and that is where a lot of your magic will happen.
And – that defines the middle of the pipeline – it’s all about nurturing relationships and deepening your ideal clients desire to move further into making a commitment to take action. Here’s the problem, sometimes we think that just because our people know they have a problem, they will naturally WANT to take action to solve it. That’s pretty far from being the truth. You need to build ground swell so that they realize that the possibility of having what they want is real and that they don’t want to stay where they are any longer AND that you are the person who can get them over that gap.
Those are middle of the pipeline activities and these have to be well thought out and executed with precision. What we are talking about here are things that will bring you eyeball to eyeball with your ideal client so that you can speak to their specific needs and even have an opportunity to hear their own words – hear how they talk about their problem. This is the stage my friends, when you are moving out of marketing mode and into sales mode. This becomes an intimate encounter where you aren’t yet asking for the business, but you are gathering information about them that will help you make your offer in a way that will be very personal and connected. The final stage of the pipeline is asking for commitment and nurturing the decision. And that phase is exhilarating and fun and you want to make sure you have the activities -or outreach – to these clients listed as top priorities.
Ok, did I just make you tired. Entrepreneurs – and especially solopreneurs – say to me all of the time, I have so many things to do. AND That is true. No way around it. But it comes to prioritizing your activities, my advice is not to ignore any stage, but make certain that you are putting the activities closest to the revenue coming in the door first – that’s the bottom of your pipeline – and then work backwards to the top of the pipeline – but don’t skip any of these steps or business growth starts to dry up and become inconsistent.
Ok., so far we’ve in today’s episode we talked about the importance of having a defined sales process and what that would look like, then we talked about how to prioritize your weekly sales and marketing activities, so, let’s dive into the final component or ingredient of making this whole thing around consistent business growth happen.
I believe the final ingredient is your messaging – and here is what I mean by that – you want to have a very clear brand story that when it’s told through writing or verbally – people can SEE THEMSELVES in your story and want to have what you offer – they want the solution to their problem because they can relate to what you do, how you do it, and trust that you know what you are talking about. because you can have a process you can have skills and be trying to move people through the process but if you do not have a very clear way to talk about what it is you do and why it’s valuable to them you’re still not going to connect with the people in a way that they will trust you. Donald Miller from StoryBrand has been known to say the best product or program is not always the one people choose, the choose to work with the person who can communicate best – and that makes complete sense. They are drawn into the story and want to take action at the end. Donald is one of the people I partner with to help create really strong messaging for my clients and Donald has written a book it’s sold over 1 million copies on this subject and it’s called story brand he also has a platform called business made simple University which I include that platform in my success collaborative every member gets a one-year license to his platform because I believe in it so much.
What Donald knows from all of the research and the work that he’s done and it aligns with exactly how I feel about communication is that you have to invite your ideal client into story about what it is that you do that’s unique and valuable and help them understand how their life will change for the better if they do business with you and the downsides of not doing anything different. Here’s the most important part and the problem that it solves for all of us who want to grow consistently – if we don’t have a clear brand story mapped out, when we go to create any type of content – we are shooting from the hip. Talking about what is at top of mind for us in the moment. And what happens is that we start to create messaging schizophrenia for our clients. They have a hard time following us on their buying journey because, in essence, the story keeps changing.
If you take the time to create a solid brand story – then you’ve got the framework or components you need to create any content that you want for any person that needs you and they will recognize that you are their person. This framework is like having a box of lego pieces – different colors and sizes and shapes, but as you plug them together in the right order, something amazing starts to appear.
So now you have the three main ingredients to building consistent business success – your defined sales process, a solid plan for prioritizing your sales and marketing activities, and finally a great brand story so you know what to say and who to say it to.
This is the work that I do with my people in the Success Collaborative day in and day out – we work one-on-one to create their Revenue Success Plan that includes their customized sales process and their story brand messaging and then they join in on a small cohort group so I can support them as they implement the plan.
If you are interested in knowing more about the Success Collaborative, just visit me at unstoppablewomeninbusiness.com for more information.
Or if you want a little appetizer to see if we are a good fit to work together, I would love to invite you into an experience with me and Donald per se because I’m using Donald‘s framework to offer you a workshop that will help you create compelling content. It is a workshop like no other and it starts in August 9 we’re going to get together three times to learn the framework for creating really compelling content gonna learn it actually going to write like a writing lab where as you learn the framework you can start applying it immediately to different areas of your sales process from the early stage when you’re trying to create awareness of what you do and help people understand the value that you have down through the stages when you’re building a relationship may be running a webinar and you need to write a sales page and we need to write some email campaigns right all the way down through the sales conversation and how you can create compelling sales conversations using this very same framework all of us in the three day workshop it’s $297 to join it’s worth way more than that it is going to be small and intimate they’ll be no more than 30 people so that I can give you a lot of attention there will be homework assignments so as you learn you’ll go you’ll do you’ll come back if you wanna submit content me for critiquing I’ll look at it and give you feedback via video. The workshop will stay up on my learning platform indefinitely so you can go back at anytime into your course to re-listen and absorb what you need. all of this is available to you so that when you walk away – you will be someone who is a really good communicator – – you have a repeatable process that you can use anytime anywhere I’m so excited for you join me starting August 9 there’s a link in the show notes where you can sign up for this workshop if you have any questions at all you know you can always reach out to me and
Listen, I know that today’s episode was a lot. I feel like I was making you drink through a fire hose. But it’s all important and just know that I will be breaking a lot of these things down for you in the near future so – consider this the big picture of business growth and stay tuned for the deeper dive into each ingredient.
I will see you next week! Go be unstoppable!