Let’s say you’re working somehow already. But you feel like you want to get more out of business. Do you want to get more clients? Do you want to have more sales? Do you want to have more time out of business? What is that that’s missing?
In this episode, we gonna talk about what to do if you got stuck in business.
Let’s analyze your business. Take a look at it and write down every stage of your sale process.One of the key points, when you sell something, is listening to the person. Often people will tell you what they want ~ Marina BarayevaClick To Tweet
In this episode, we will cover:
- [00:22] About this episode
- [00:55] Analyze the sales process of your business
- [03:35] Write down what’s missing in each part of the process and what you would improve
- [04:26] Are you satisfied with the clients you have and money they pay?
- [05:19] Narrow down each audience you work with. Example of how to do that
- [08:08] How to be better in consulting people and sell more
- [09:55] Practice how to consult your clients on your friends
- [10:35] Have 100 sales conversations to practice consulting and selling without having actual goal to sell
- [12:20] You can have several parts of the process of providing your service or selling product
- [13:53] Would you use your service? What would you improve there?
- [15:53] One of the key points, when you sell something, is listening to the person
- [17:22] What to do after you deliver your service
- [18:18] Let your clients know that you remember about them, remind about yourself from time to time
- [19:56] Write down the solution to every step of the sales process that you want to improve
- [21:25] For the show notes go to marinabarayeva.com and subscribe to the Marketing for Creatives show
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Download podcast transcript [PDF] here:
Resources from this interview:
- Learn more about Marina Barayeva on marinabarayeva.com and marinabarayeva.com
- If you want to increase your sales read the book The Art of Closing the Sale
- Follow Marina on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn
What to Do if You Got Stuck in Business – Transcription
Hi everyone. This is Marina Barayeva. Welcome to another episode of Marketing for Creatives show. In this episode, we gonna talk about what to do if you got stuck in business.
Let’s say you are working somehow already, but do you feel like you want to get more out of business. Do you want to get my clients? Do you want to have more sales? Do you want to have more time out or business? What is that that’s missing?
Let’s analyze your business, take a look at it and write down every stage of your sale. If you are in the service business, then your main points will be something like:
Where it’s reaching out, people who can become your potential client.
When you talk to people, when they reach you, and then you offer your service, or if you’re in the product business, you describe your product.
- Providing the product or service to people.
- Follow-ups, having new sales with the same client or getting a referral client.
So, we’ve got five steps now. When you adjust them to your business, there can be some extra stages.
If I would do it for the photography business, then it will be:
When we reach out people, we find new people and talk to them, and we get them involved in what we do.
When you explain about your service in that case about photography, and then you invite them to the photo shoot.
- Post production.
It’s what we’ve done after the photo shoot, how we prepare the products.
- Providing the product or service.
So, in my case is going to be the product, the final product I give them.
- Follow-ups, having new sales with the same clients or getting referral clients.
In this example, I added two steps, which are the parts of the whole sales process, photo shoot and pass production. You may have yours.
Now, write them down and for each step right from 0 to 10, how you satisfied with that part of your sales process. Where 0 is not satisfied at all and 10 if you’re very happy with what you have there
Look at what we’ve got and see how much is not enough for getting 10 to each step. For example, if for marketing you put seven, then you have 3 more to 10. If for the consultation you put 5, then you need 5 more to get to 10.
When you finished with this, for each step, write down at least this number of reasons of why do you think it’s not 10 yet.
The same thing, if your marketing is 7, what are at least 3 more things that you think are missing there. Or if your consultation is 5, what are the other 5 things which are missing? With this exercise, we tried to find the problems which we have there. We look at where you got stuck.
Now let’s look at the typical problems that people face in business. If we go from the first one, to the last one, the first is going to be marketing. The best way to look at this, it starts with your clients.
We talked about the different clients or writing ideal clients, an avatar in previous episodes. But it’s really the foundation of your marketing. Let’s think what’s missing there?
- Do you think you have enough clients or you think you want to have more?
- Do you attract the right clients or you just serve everyone?
- Are they people who you want to work with?
- Do they pay you what you ask and what you would like to get paid and how easy do you get new clients?
You can answer all of those questions for yourself, or you can write what missing in your case. What is missed when you serve your clients?
Then pick the particular audience who you want to market to and try to narrow it down as much as you can. Let’s say I can sell photography to women from 25 to 45 years old, but a woman in her 25 has different needs, style, and spends her time in different places than a 45 years old woman.
I would split this age range into two categories, 25 to 35 and 35 to 45. Why? Because when I do that, I can write similar characteristic of what each of these group of people wants and then if I will think about marketing, I will see how to reach those people. I will think:
- What do they want?
- What do they need?
- What businesses work with those types of women?
- Who can I partner with?
- Which media I can reach, whether it’s online media or it’s a print publication?
So, you can do. If you narrow down your avatar, it can be one, two, it can be several, but once you know that person, try to stay away from ‘I can sell my product, or I can offer my services to everyone.’ Just describe who is that ‘everyone.’
Even if you think about your service, for example, if I will say, I do headshot photography, this is my service, who are those people who I can reach?
If you don’t want to narrow down it by the ages, try to think about what other qualities you can summarize to market to people.
If I would offer the headshot photography that can be a business portrait for executive or this can be the headshot for actors. Those are two different groups of people.
They spend their time in different places. They read different media. They need even different headshots.
So, you can do with your service or your products.
Then, once you know that, you know where to market to them, and you may think about the ways how you can reach this audience.
If you go to number two. Number two was the consultation. You know who you want to work with or if you want to get more clients where you can reach them and you meet your clients, or somehow you deliver your message in you attract the right people.
Now they either call you, send you email, message you. This is where you’re actually going to sell. When they reach you out, you need to ask as many questions as you can so they can tell you what they want and when you start listening to that, you can adjust your service or your product and offer exactly what they’re looking.
On this stage, the more effort you put into consulting the person, the better chance that you will sell or sell more than that person plan.
When you work in business for some time, you will realize that 90% of people ask the same questions. It’s not going to be a lot. That can be different variations of questions, but the main point is going to be the same. So, for your business particularly, you can do it even for each category of the audience which you narrowed down in the first step.
Write down all the questions your audience, your clients ask you. Believe me, it won’t be too much.
When you write them down, answer the questions, answer them on the paper and then try to practice that. You need to memorize the answer because sometimes you lose the sale just because you don’t feel comfortable in that or you just cannot answer right away, so the best way, write it down and then practice.
You can just go by yourself or get a friend and just have the conversation. Someone will ask you a question, and you answer. You can play the role play with your friends, pretending that they’re your clients and they will ask different questions, so you will have a variety of options to practice how you will answer.
Then when you answer, you can even do a recording and then look at yourself from the side and see if you like how you answer the questions and will the person who you talk to really believe you or you need to change something there.
Once you know these questions, once you memorize the answers, there is a good exercise from Brian Tracy, that he wrote it in his book The Art of Closing the Sale.
So the exercise was he offered to talk and offer your service or product to hundred people within a certain period of time. When you know your offer, you can just go to networking events, you’re going to go outside, you can practice it everywhere.
Your main idea, your main goal is just practice offering, answering the questions, trying to sell, but not the sale itself. Once you focus on providing value to people and trying to help, instead of focusing on the sale itself like ‘I need to sell,’ ‘I need to sell,’ ‘I need to sell no matter what.’ It changes the game.
Here is the main point, if you’re struggling with money, cover your back with another work.
Otherwise, you are ready to sell yourself very low. Because what happened? If you need money, another person will feel your insecurity. They may ask you about the discount or extra services, and more likely you give it and then you won’t be satisfied with a sale.
Practice a speech with everyone you can reach, and it does it matter if this person is not truly audience. Your task here is just to practice and be as confident as you can when your consult your potential clients already.
Then the third step. Talking about providing the product or service, for some businesses it’s your actual work. So if you’re not truly satisfied, if there is not 10 yet, write down what you don’t like there.
In my example, I also had a photo shoot and post-production. In this part I would think about how you can provide people more experience bringing more value, save time for yourself.
If I would think about what’s missing, for example, post productions take me a lot of time, or I need to do a photo shoot in different locations, which again, I need to go all over the city. I don’t want that. So I will write it down, and then I’ll think how I can improve this point.
If you, for example, selling your art, you’re an artist and what you can do to give people more experience, whether it’s going to be a package for your art or you could even do it within the consultation. You can show the picture inside of the…
You can do a collage when you have your art in the room, under the sofa, or on the wall, wherever, so people can really see and then they will imagine how it’s gonna look in their apartment or their houses.
Also, when you think about providing your product or service to other people think if you would like to have it for yourself, would you like it? Would you leave it as it is now or would you improve it somehow?
Because you also go to different places. You experience different work or different services, and you can compare your product and your service to others.
Would you buy your service? If not, why? Or if you would improve something, what would you improve there?
Then, the fourth step is gonna be a sale.
Well, it can be on the stage of the consultation at the end of the consultation, but it can be after delivering a product or service.
If you’re not satisfied with your sale, there can be different things. If you don’t have enough clients, you might have not enough money. If you don’t have enough clients, you need to go back to marketing and look at what’s missing there.
If you sell not too much as you want, this is a problem of the consultation. Probably you didn’t talk, you didn’t explain enough, you didn’t educate a client enough so they would be ready for your price or to buy more.
If you feel that you have enough clients and you educated them well enough, but still at the end of the day, you want to have more money, raise your prices then. And when you raise your prices, you either deliver more service, or you better consult them, you explain them more, or you change your audience. You go to other clients who will respect your work, respect your service, and they will pay accordingly. They will pay what you want to charge them.
One of the key points when you sell something is listening to the person. Often people will tell you what they want, what they need and you need to listen and refer that to them. And when people are thinking, when people didn’t say, ‘No, I don’t want to buy it’ or ‘I want to buy it, but this is not the price,’ while they’re thinking, shut up and wait.
This is the thing when a lot of people lose the sale. Because when someone is thinking and you think that probably they think about the price or they’re not satisfied with something, you start giving them other options and solutions. Of course, they will want to have a discount or to have some extra stuff, but probably they are just thinking about how are they going to pay or when they are going to pay or where they will put your art.
So don’t think about what other person think. Just listen to them and wait for their decisions.
When they know ‘No, it’s too expensive,’ then you can start offering something or negotiate the price or either give them the extra service, but till a person says you, yes or no, just wait and let people think about it.
Number five. Follow-ups, getting referral clients, getting more sales with this client, all of these go after the sale.
You delivered your product, you provided your service, you got your sale and what’s next? One thing which I recommend you to do is to get a testimonial. You can use it on your website. You can use it on your social media. You can use it as a reference and show other people how your experience looks like, what people think about what they say about you.
Then you can ask people directly if they know anyone who would be interested in your service or who you also can offer your product. If they know someone you can ask about the introduction. If not, that’s okay.
It’s also good to follow up from time to time. You can send the Birthday or Christmas greetings. In this case, you are a mind about yourself and people will appreciate that. That you remember about them either.
It’s going to be a little reminder ‘Here I am, here’s my business. Do you still remember about me?’ But in a nice way like ‘Okay, here’s a Christmas. Merry Christmas to you, to your family and how’s your daughter going? When last time she has done a photo shoot? Maybe we can update her pictures?’
Why not? You can get an extra sale. So in this part, let’s write down what is it from 0 to 10. Do you get referral clients? Do you get testimonials from clients? Do you get more work from the same client? If no, write down everything and then think how you can improve this experience, what value you can bring to people after you deliver your service? So you can get more sales from them, either from referrals or from them directly.
When you finished with all of these five steps or if you added some extra steps to this, like when you wrote down everything, what’s missing for each stage of your sales process, then you see the problem and you need to look for the solution to that.
When you wrote down everything, what’s missing at each stage of your sales process, now your turn to write down what you can do to improve this exact missing part.
When you start working on this, on the improving these parts, then I would suggest you start with something which you can fix right away, or you can improve right away. Then, in that case, you will raise your standards, your value, your service, you improve different parts of your business very fast.
What is the biggest part you’re missing? What is your weakest part? Is it marketing? Is that consultation? Is that sale? Then put more effort to that to master that.
If for example you got stuck in consultation. Then practice more, write down those questions and practice with your friends.
If you get stuck with marketing, then look for the ways where your audience hangs out and how you can reach more people.
If you don’t have clients then your marketing sucks and then you need to do something with that.
I would recommend you to go through these five steps every half of the year so you can look at your business and look at what’s missing and then what you can improve, how you can bring your business to the next level.
Marina Barayeva is an international speaker and coach who helps women entrepreneurs become recognized experts and confidently sell their services. She is also a TEDx speaker, has presented to audiences in Asia and North America, and has been featured in such media as ArtPeople, CCTV, China Radio International, and others.