People start businesses for any number of reasons. Some of these include to get more freedom, to build a legacy, to give back to their community, to fix a looming social concern, or simply for the love of what they do. Another reason is often to achieve financial security but, surprisingly, this is often the least of their motivations.
While most aspiring entrepreneurs do relate success with monetary gain, making money is rarely on the top of the list of reasons why businesses get started. In fact, money is often an afterthought. This is evident in the manner in which the average aspiring entrepreneur develops his or her business model. Think about your own start-up journey. If you are like most entrepreneurs, in the beginning you probably undervalued yourself, your products, or your services. You most likely charged too little and underestimated the true cost of doing business. Not thinking about the money from the start is a big mistake that often leaves struggling entrepreneurs to join the four out of five businesses that fail within the first 5 years of operation.
How do you avoid becoming a statistic? The answer is to focus on increasing your sales. The bottom line is that you need money to survive. Businesses get money by making sales. There are two primary ways to make more money using sales. The first is to increase your margin. Margin is the amount of profit left over after costs per each sale you make. You can do this by either cutting costs or raising prices. An effective strategy combines both of these methods to arrive at a cost-effective, competitive sales prices that reflects your true value.
The second way to make more money using sales is to increase the volume of sales. To increase sales, small business owners must reconsider your marketing conversations that you are having with your customers. This will be the focus of the three activities you must do to increase sales.
3 Must-Do Activities to Increase Sales
- Tap into your passion. Your sales conversion rate is heavily reliant on the amount of passion you have when speaking about your product or service offering. Passion lets prospective customers know that you believe in your offer and helps fuel the emotional connection you make during sales conversations. Think about why you love your products and services. Why are they important to you? How have they changed your life for the better? Connect with your “why” so you can speak authentically about your offer. People don’t buy products and services. They buy you. Passion helps them to see who you are.
- Create stories. Storytelling is so important to increase sales. Stories demonstrate value to prospects by showing them exactly how your offers will help them. Prospective customers can actually “see” themselves in your stories as you tell them. To develop stories, you must actually use your products or services, or collect user stories from your existing customer base. The stories you tell should be true, relevant, and specifically showcase how your offerings have helped solve a problem by either decreasing pain or increasing pleasure. Coupled with passion, stories are a powerful method to increase sales because stories reach and resonate with every type of learner, be they audio, visual, or kinesthetic. Stories clearly tell prospects “what” they will be getting.
- Develop relationships. We have covered your “why” and the “what” so far. This activity covers the “who” to increase sales. People buy from those that they know and trust. You can only establish knowledge and build trust through relationships. You must become a network marketer. Network marketing is the art of communicating value through relationships. When most people think about network marketing, they think about multilevel marketing companies like Mary Kay or Paycation. In fact, every business owner is a network marketer. In my book, Why YOU SUCK at Network Marketing, I explain the importance of establishing relationships with your dream customer. Real relationships involve two-way communication in which you and the customer authentically exchange value. People don’t like to be sold to but they do love to buy. Establishing authentic relationships transforms your sales conversations into valuable shared resources. From this perspective, prospective customers will be thankful for the useful information you provide whenever you share your offers.
Your business will only survive if it makes money. To make more money, you will need to increase sales. You can increase your sales by tapping into your passion, creating relevant user stories, and developing authentic relationships with your dream customers. If you’re still not sure exactly how to do do this, feel free to request a free strategy session.
How do you increase sales? I would love to hear your thoughts so please comment below. If you found value in this article, make sure to share it with your network.
Coaching can be a very rewarding and profitable enterprise; however, many would-be successful coaches make one or more massive mistakes during the free introductory coaching call that prevent them from ever earning a livable wage. There are 5 serious missteps the average coach makes. I felt it was important to highlight these mistakes coaches make here so you can acknowledge them and make the necessary shift in your process.
Top 5 Mistakes Coaches Make
- Fail to pre-qualify prospects. You can’t serve anybody and everybody. As a coach, the most important step to build your business is to carve out your target audience. You must define a niche in order to achieve clarity and focus in your marketing communications. Once your niche is identified, you can use this information to assess prospects. Create a form or survey to match prospects to the attributes that make up your target market. Make sure that one of these attributes is related to income or ability to pay your prices.
- Fail to demonstrate value. More often than not, coaches fail to get out of industry speak to remember why they sought to become coaches in the first place. Your clients have needs and interests. It is your job, as the coach, to tap into and leverage these needs and interests to help them to move closer to their goals. Using coaching buzzwords and phrases like “create balance” and “remove roadblocks” do nothing to show prospects the benefits of coaching. These are features of the coaching process. You must connect your client’s needs to the benefits of the coaching process in order to get paid what you’re worth.
- You give away the farm. Equally as detrimental as showing too little value is giving away too much value for free. A surefire way to decrease the value of your offering is to charge little or nothing for it. Many newbie and seasoned coaches alike make the mistake of trying to compete in the marketplace with low fees. This effectively reduces the value of the coaching industry as a whole and leaves you stuck unsure how to raise prices without losing clients once you realize the mistake. The free introductory session, when conducted properly, demonstrates the value of the coaching process without giving away the farm. Your client shouldn’t feel that they received so much value during the free session that they no longer need coaching because their problems have been solved. The free session should only be a “taste” of the process.
- You try to sell. Selling is the number one mistake coaches make that prevents them from making any money. Nobody wants to be sold to. Instead, you should be sharing solutions once you have made the connections between prospective clients’ needs and the benefits you have to offer. People don’t buy coaching. They buy solutions. The top salespeople understand how to apply consultative skills to the sales process to offer solutions to problems. I discuss this topic thoroughly in my eBook, Why YOU SUCK at Network Marketing. All business owners, including coaches, are network marketers. This means the focus of your marketing communications should be on building relationships, not selling.
- You don’t ask for a commitment. This is the part that trips many coaches up during the free coaching session. You might have done a tremendous job of demonstrating value and establishing how well coaching will fit within your prospective client’s overarching personal and professional development plan yet you have absolutely no clue how to close the deal. You have to ask for the commitment to the coaching process in an authentic but firm way. How do you transition smoothly from the free coaching process into asking for the sale without selling? A thorough explanation of how to do exactly this is covered in this training.
You have to have paying clients in order to sustain and grow your coaching practice. Without a healthy caseload of paying clients, your coaching practice will be incapable of helping you to realize your own dreams of prosperity. For additional help, you’re invited to check out my Easily Capture & Convert Coaching Clients with FREE Intro Calls training program in which I will teach you how to avoid these 5 mistakes coaches make that lead to no or low-paying clients and how you can effectively turn it around to get paid what you’re worth. Click here to learn more about this home study program.
Network marketing, also referred to as multi-level marketing (MLM), is a type of business model that provides
individuals opportunities to earn an income on a flexible, part-time, work-from-home basis. These opportunities often require an initial investment and provide a comprehensive training program complete with promises of riches untold.
Network marketing programs often receive a bad rap. This is usually because disgruntled former network marketers made no money and often lost a great deal of money in the pursuit of profit. Unfortunately, their failed attempts at earning from this alternative income stream was unfairly blamed on network marketing itself. But the truth is that network marketing is a great way to earn a little extra or even a full-time income. If you failed at this business opportunity it is much more likely because YOU SUCK at network marketing. Here is why…
5 Reasons you SUCK at Network Marketing
- You lack passion. We are constantly being barraged by messages of how important it is to follow your passion and purpose and yet hardly anyone follows this advice when it comes to their career and business choices. You absolutely can not make any money selling something that you could care less about. You must be excited about the products and services you market. If you are a person who never wears makeup, you wouldn’t do very well entering a network marketing program like Mary Kay. Similarly, if you love to travel, you would be an excellent fit for a network marketing program like Paycation.
- You try to sell. You’re probably thinking what’s the point of network marketing if not to sell, right? Network marketing is not about selling. It’s about building relationships. The word “network” means to connect and interact with other people to exchange information and develop contacts. Marketing is the method of communication used to make those connections. This means that network marketing is the exchanging of information about products, services, and opportunities by connecting and interacting with your contacts. This is not selling. This is SHARING! Most people make the buying decision based on their needs. Your job is to connect with them in a way that identifies those needs and then share only those features and benefits of your network marketing program that speaks directly to those needs. When you reframe this concept in your mind, network marketing becomes a breeze.
- You bore the heck out of people. Your presentation is just underwhelming. This is due in part to a lack of passion but may be because of a lack of knowledge. Your inability to awe could also stem from being too scripted. Network marketing programs do love their scripts and network marketers are taught to memorize them like sheep. Unfortunately, that memorization often leaves you sounding like an idiot robot. Again, you must be both passionate and knowledgeable about the products and services you promote through network marketing. The best method to become less boring is to actually use the programs you market. By using the programs, you will develop your own user stories rather than needing to rely on scripts. We are much more passionate about personal experiences and sharing stories are a great way to build relationships in an authentic way.
- You cheapen the product with lies. Network marketing can be difficult and overwhelming for someone who has never owned a business nor sold anything. It is really easy to over deliver on product expectations when you’re eager to sell someone. Your naiveté of marketing, lack of product knowledge, and desire to quickly earn back your investment, can sometimes lead to inadvertently misleading your prospects. Most network marketing programs offer exceptional training programs that do cover the basics of the sales and marketing process. Build up your product knowledge and use your programs so you can actually know what you’re talking about.
- You beg and plead like a poor pauper. This is really unfortunate. For all of the reasons you already suck at network marketing mentioned above, you may find yourself in a state of desperation to make a sale. At this point, many network marketers resort to begging friends, family, coworkers and even random passersby on the street to take a look at their opportunity. You become the proverbial thorn in everyone’s side and even your closest friends take to the hills when they see you coming. If you are a serial network marketer, this scenario is even more dire as you become the friend who is always pitching his or her latest get-rich-quick scheme. Even if you make the occasional sale, these are usually out of pity for you and result in massive chargebacks to your commission because of high buyer’s remorse. Avoid this scenario at all costs.
Are you struggling with your network marketing program? Grab my latest title, Why YOU SUCK at Network Marketing, to gain more insight. You can also book a FREE strategy session to discuss turning it around.