Your clients are calling for a change. No matter what niche you play in or how you market your products and services, clients show the demand for change with reduced open rates and declining conversion. Through this, they are telling us that it’s time to change the way we court and close our clients.
Gone are the days when e-zines, special reports and never-ending email campaigns are enough to win the trust of our potential clients and move them to a buying decision.
Today’s consumers are begging us to stop all the hype and elevate our sales process to the level of significant – even sacred – communication.
“Houston, we have a problem.”
I could cut the tension with a knife, as the silence hung on the line like a thick fog. “I feel awful,” Linda sighed. “I don’t know what’s happening. I’ve held 20 strategy sessions this week and haven’t closed a single client. I’m so sorry, Jane.”
It was the fall of 2016. Linda, a team member who had been with me for years, was feeling frustrated. She was dedicated, smart and wanted badly to do her part to meet the company’s revenue goal for the month. Our recent experiment of transferring the enrollment conversations over to her, rather than me, was proving to be more challenging than I thought.
What Linda didn’t realize was that I was feeling awful as well. Mario and I were counting on those sales to meet our overhead expenses for the month. No new sales meant one of two things… more expenses on the already maxed-out credit cards or we would need to forgo taking our owner’s draw… once again.
What was even more frustrating was that I knew better. We were on our 6th business so it wasn’t like we were new to business. We’d taken two of our businesses to the million mark and beyond and sold three. I “get this” business thing and know how to turn an idea into a reality. But this time, my uneasy feeling was more than nervousness about meeting our financial obligations. The knot in my stomach was that, after having gone through this sales struggle before, I knew the process was broken. It’s just that I wasn’t sure where the break was and there wasn’t much time to figure it out.
So knowing that all great answers come from empowered questions, I asked…
“How can we refine our sales process so the sales are consistent, prospects are deeply served?”
And so it began… my quest back in 2012 to discover a way to refine and perfect our own sales process. To create an experience whereby we could offer our life-changing programs to coaches, consultants, speakers and authors, who have a deep desire to serve more clients, have a meaningful impact, produce a consistent flow of revenues that reflect the value they offer and provide a tool that could be relied upon to get results.
Like any good journey that ends in success, my first step was to look at where we were and be honest about what was not working. Only from a place of awareness would I be able to find the solutions that would turn it all around.
What’s Not Working
While not always easy, I’ve found the single most important step in turning things around is to take an honest look at what wasn’t working in our business.
Here’s what I came up with.
Problem #1: Our List Growth Had Slowed Down
While many avoid number crunching, I took a close look at the stats from the past few months and noticed that list growth was down. While before, our special reports and free content was inspiring opt-ins, now it had slowed down. It seemed that the market was requiring more than free content to capture the attention of prospects and earn the “opt-ins” we so dearly wanted.
Problem #2: We Didn’t Know What They Needed
Another challenge I discovered was not truly knowing who was on my list and what they truly needed. I had no way of knowing where they were in their process, what was keeping them from success, or what missing pieces were holding them back. I wanted to help those who raised their hand and opted into my list, but had no way of knowing what they needed.
Problem #3: We Weren’t Articulating How We Could Help
A third thing that wasn’t working with our sales process, at the time, was that we were not articulating well how we could help create the results prospects were wanting. We weren’t standing out in the crowd or highlighting my 30 years of business success to show exactly what areas of one’s business we could improve. I needed a simple and efficient way to show prospects what they were missing and how I could help.
Problem #4: We Were Talking To The Uncommitted
Next, I took a close look at the stats from the past few weeks of enrollment conversations and noticed a HUGE problem… we had been talking to people who were neither ready to invest nor open to getting the support and guidance they needed. In short, we were doing a dis-service to all involved by engaging in conversations with people who were uncommitted or underfunded. We were spending time with the “tire-kickers” and the “brain-pickers.”
How About You?
I had done the hard work of looking at what was keeping us from sales success, knowing it was the only way to move forward. How about you? Are you willing to head towards greater financial reward by looking at what’s not working in your sales process?
If yes, which of the following are true for you with regard to your process for courting and closing your ideal clients?
- Feeling that your sales process is somehow out of alignment with your core values
- Not really knowing who is on your list, what they need and how you can help
- Not articulating clearly how you can help them create the results they desire
- Giving your precious time to people who are either not ready or unwilling to invest
- Lacking a step-by-step process for effective enrollment conversations
As you check off those that apply to you, stand in a place of possibility. What would be possible if you had a solution that addresses each of these challenges? Imagine what the impact would be if you had a tool and process that would forever change how you attract, engage and enroll your ideal clients.
Finding The Solution
“We Can DO This!” That was the subject line of the email I sent to my team that late Monday night. Tomorrow was our weekly team meeting during which I was planning to share my revelations. In the email, I shared the 6 problems I had identified and asked each person to reflect on what they thought we could do differently to create a quantum leap in our monthly sales.
It was a great meeting. The energy was high and each person came with some great thoughts about what needed to happen for us to create a quantum leap in sales.
Five Powerful Intentions:
- Create meaningful connections with the people on our list
- Help prospects discover where they’re on track and what missing pieces are holding them back
- Clearly articulate how we can help potential clients fill in the gaps for greater success
- Identify those we are meant to serve who are ready to invest in creating the shifts they desire
- Design an enrollment process that deeply serves the client while we discover if it’s a fit
As we settled on our 5 intentions, our resolve to find the solutions increased.
The Solution That Changed Everything
What I’ve learned over 30 years of growing businesses is that the fastest path to finding solutions is to ask empowering questions. So, I began to imagine the ideal solution.
What if we could…
…know exactly where someone is on their journey to grow their business?
…see exactly where prospects are on track and what missing pieces may be holding them back?
…provide relevant next step trainings and offers based on what they truly need?
…assess their willingness to invest in getting the support they needed?
The Birth of a New Tool!
Trusting I had an idea worth pursuing, my tech savvy husband and his programming team set out to design assessment software that would allow prospects to discover what missing pieces were holding them back.
After tinkering, testing and tweaking, we created a system for easy assessments. Our online assessments were enabling us to talk to the right people, create meaningful connections and conduct effective enrollment conversations that were resulting in record breaking conversion.
By adding these 3 commitment statements, we were able to only give our time to those who were “committed” to creating the shifts they desired.
- I am ready to discover what I need to do to take my business to the next level.
- I am open to investing in the support and guidance I need to make my business more profitable.
- I highly value the offer of a complimentary Business Acceleration Session and, if eligible, will book one soon.
Then, something else started to happen as well. As soon as we began using our assessments in our own sales process, interest quickly spread. It seemed my clients and colleagues were grappling with the same challenges we were facing. They too wanted a solution.
Without intending to do so, we had developed a new tool for personalizing your online marketing efforts by harnessing the power of self-assessments.
So, with an eye on our mission to empower entrepreneurs to have the profitable business they always wanted, we founded Smart Biz Quiz to allow experts everywhere to experience the power of assessment marketing for 14 days… absolutely FREE!
With Smart Biz Quiz, you’ll…
- Attract ideal prospects and connect with them in a meaningful and powerful way
- Weed out those who are not ready to invest in getting support
- Offer next steps based on where the prospect is and what they truly need
- Come to enrollment conversations knowing their challenges, strengths and how you can help
- Integrate quiz results with your back office to build customized nurture campaigns
Ready to join the movement?
Jane Deuber is a business strategist with 33 years and 7 successful start-ups to her credit and helped over 15,000 entrepreneurs experience greater fulfillment and improved profits through her programs and products. To learn how Jane and her team can help you expand your reach and increase profits, check out her two companies, Global Experts Accelerator and Smart Biz Quiz.