As I promised in my last email, today I’m sharing with you 7 of the ways I ‘sell’ in my business- without feeling gross, like I’m forcing people into buying, or like I’m selling my soul.
1. Stop selling, stop talking. Listen instead and ask questions- it’s literally that simple.
WHY IT WORKS; People like to feel connected to you in order to buy from you. Especially if you’re creating an ‘expensive’ service like photography. The easiest way to foster that connection?
LISTEN. That’s it. A clever psychological trick, for some unremembered reason why, it works for me every time.
You simply listen to what your client is saying when discussing their requirements, instead of trying to ‘sell’. The best thing is, there is nothing easier than that.
2. Be Presumptive.
I have ALWAYS ended any kind of conversation or interview by assuming I’ve got what I wanted. So I simply ask – great! when would you like to book in for? or great, when would you like to get started?
WHY IT WORKS; it shows confidence, control, and leadership ie, it communicates to your clients it’s already a done deal and that you’re so confident in what you do, why would they look anywhere else? It takes confidence to do this, but look at it this way – what do you have to lose?
You aren’t going to lose the client by assuming you have the booking, as if they want to book you they will go ahead and tell you the answer you want, and if it’s a ‘we will let you know’ that opens the door to a follow up email from you if you don’t hear back (usually, you will).
3. Stop talking – this time about your prices. You don’t need to explain them, why they are priced as they are, or anything else. In fact don’t even mention the price until asked- and when you’re asked, simply state the price and that’s it. Nothing more needs to be added.
WHY IT WORKS; apparently women use 7 more words to explain something than men do- and one of the things we often explain or WORSE! try to apologise for! is our pricing. But by explaining it you actually give your clients reason to question the price- why do you need to explain it? You don’t see a pair of Jimmy Choos priced with an explanation next to it as to why they cost that much, or a VW camper, or a bag of coffee beans, or anything really. Because to those buying them, they’re worth it. So are you, and you don’t need to explain further.
4. Use your email list. But don’t SELL. Build relationship first, always- this is where 99% of people go wrong when using their email list / newsletter as a marketing and sales tool.
If you for one second come across as only using your clients inbox as a pitching opportunity, you’ve lost your client and your opportunity.
Done right, and you’ll be able to literally send a single email and receive a ton of money in the bank as a result- which you do by running an offer or promotion, creating a product or an upsell, or running another type of launch or referral program, or new service.
5. Don’t discount. You devalue yourself by doing so. In fact, remove the word discount from your vocab.
You can of course, run OFFERS and PROMOTIONS instead- these are not the same as giving a discount.
I shot a wedding a few years ago at a massive discount to my usual rate- I gave in to a begging letter for a bride who seemed entirely lovely. More fool me when the bride turned out to be a complete NIGHTMARE.
WHY; when you run offers and promotions, YOU are in control. When you agree to a discount, you’re essentially agreeing to somebody else’s valuation of your work, and choosing your salary for you.
There is a big difference between the two. Stay in control of your business, and if you want to run a discount, you do it based on your control and your comfort- and never word it as ‘discount’. Offer is better.
6. Get someone else to sell on your behalf. Create a referral or affiliate program for anyone who refers and recommends you, not just clients; industry contacts, your network, even friends and family.
You need to approach this with care as you’ll want to think carefully about who can best represent your brand and business-
everyone advised me to put my books and courses on to clickbank for example, where affiliates will blog about and sell your products for you- but I refused as I genuinely care about my clients and want them to know that I am behind and care about my products, not give them to someone who only cares about making a quick buck online.
For that reason I run a 50% affiliate program for my Shining Lights members– I know that if they love the program they’ll be likely to refer it anyway, so I know these people are the ones I love working with – those who genuinely love what I do and will refer me – and everyone wins as they get a nice monthly payout just like I do.
Plus, it’s another income stream for my members and diverse income streams are key to success in a crowded industry!
What incentive scheme can you plan out and who can you invite? Who would care about and represent your work + brand?
WHY IT WORKS; there are no better salespeople than those who already love you and your work. Reward them kindly for the referrals they would most likely give you anyway.
7. Remember what you’re selling for. We tend not to focus on selling as creatives, because it seems to feel so money-orientated- yet the reason we need to sell is so we can continue to enjoy the LIFESTYLE we want, which ultimately means freedom to enjoy MORE creativity and joy.
But in planning our money goals and sales targets we forget and lose focus on our reason for doing this in the first place.
Remember WHO you create for, and the lifestyle you want, and the IMPACT you want to have and leave your clients with – I use a vision board to help remind me of this on a daily basis- to remind yourself of the bigger purpose.
WHY IT WORKS; This ultimately leads to increased confidence in being able to communicate what you do, which is ultimately what smart sales is all about anyway – offering help and solutions to those people who want what you’ve got.
Want more help? I’ve created this free checklist for you to download and print. It’s a checklist of daily sales activities you can do – ideally you’ll want to do all of them, but even if you can do just a few you’ll be taking steps to change your business profits and make more sales.
Print and pin it somewhere where you’ll see it and tick it off daily for increased motivation, focus, and to keep you accountable to your sales activity and business growth.