Business Success


  • Written by Ashley Ann

I love to teach everything about business! Especially starting businesses, staying in businesses, scaling your businesses. I teach things for the free 99 what other people charge hundreds and thousands of dollars for. Today’s focus is on Sales. I am always breaking down common mistakes and things that we can do to combat them. Today, I thought we needed to roll into how we actually sell, because you can have all these strategies, systems and funnels all day long, but if you don't have these things in line that we're talking about today, they're not going to work because of what's going to happen. You're going to generate a bunch of leads, but you're not gonna be able to close the deal. It is very frustrating to be talking to people, seeing people engage with you, people visiting sites, sliding into your DMS, having people ask you for help, people calling you on the phone but for some reason, you can't get them to convert into a sale. Right? When I speak to a lot of small business owners, a lot of y'all tell me that you have a fear or don’t want to come off as pushy or salesy.

So, I thought that I would start sharing some tips and tricks with you guys this week on how you actually sell without having to be salesy and not having to chase down clients and customers and getting people to work with you. I promise not to take you all too fast so we're going to go through five of them today.

Number one, I see a lot of people on social media, making the mistake of always leading with a pitch. I don't know if any of you guys reading this are committing this crime right now, but I definitely know everyone has seen this, right? For example, pages that do nothing but just post what's for sale. Everything is an offer of new inventory, what's on the site, how to get to it etc. or you talk to them and they instantaneously hit you with an elevator spiel and you're like, “wait, I was just saying hi.” Now the only way that works is if you have an extensive marketing budget. People are always trying to tell me things like, “Fashion Nova and Pretty Little Things don't create any content and they're selling millions.” Okay, but they have multimillion dollar marketing budgets. They are out here paying almost every influencer that has at least a hundred thousand followers. Every reality television star, tons of singers, tons of actresses, tons of TV and media personalities and personnel to rock their clothing.

They are doing more traditional marketing and because they are saturating the market and you see them everywhere and on everyone's behind, this is why they don't have to create content and they can just put up new inventory that's in their store and make a lot of sales.

Typically in boutiques or with clothing we see that they are going to need not only to post pieces once, they may post it three or four times and they're going to show you different variations on how to wear that piece or different ways that you can put those products together. Then, they're going to be running retargeting ads and they're going to be sharing about them in their personal lives inside of their stories, to be able to make these sales. So pick up what I'm putting down. Instead of leading with a pitch or just being salesy or sales, sales sales you need to work on starting conversations. You start conversations in the comment. You start conversations through using the polls through using the, “Ask me anything” stickers, but when people slot into your DM, which they will, because they will have questions about some of your products or what exactly it is that you do, or just wanting to say hi, you can start the conversation.

Here is a basic template that you're going to use. Number one, you're going to hit people with a greeting, “Hi, how are you?” then tell them “Thank you, I'm happy to connect with you” and whatever else you want to say. Y'all know I normally say, hey yall hey or hey boo so the next thing after we hit someone with a greeting is we need to immediately go into our offer. You want to start with your free products or services or your lead magnet.

So if you have a coupon, you'll start with a coupon, a checklist or ebook, whatever you’ve got that's free, we're going to start with the free 99 or the lead magnet. You're going to say, “Hey, if you click the link in my bio, I, you can get a free appetizer or you can click the link in my bio and you can get free shipping or 20% off your first order” or whatever you are offering for free. If you click the link in my bio, I have a brand new ebook on branding that you can get for free. We're going to start with something free and then we're going to move into our low cost or our lower cost products.

Here you're going to say, I also have products about whatever it is that you talk about that range from the dollar amount minimum to whatever the cap is. If you have a higher tier, you roll into the higher tier products at that time and you're going to tell what they are, then you're going to go into the problem solving. Then you're going to find out what's been your biggest challenge so you can say, “what's the most important thing for you to work on in the next 30 days” or you can say, “what are you looking for?” We're going to try and figure out a challenge or desire or a problem that they have. If I had a boutique, of course, I'm not going to say, what's your biggest challenge. If I have a boutique, I may say something like, “how long have you been looking for this item” or “what occasion are you shopping for?” I may even say, is there a special occasion and normally people can tell you exactly what it is that they're trying to pull off.

If you're a service provider like me, I want to know especially for a business builder. I want to know what you've been struggling with and what's your priority? Is it branding? Is it sales? Is it marketing? What are you trying to accomplish in the next 30 to 60 days? Use common sense and curtail this to your business but what you're doing right now is because you just gave them a catalog. This means that, one, you just took an opportunity to build your list. The second thing that you just did is you outlined the price points so now you don't have to worry about people wasting your time because they can't afford your services or products, or people getting mad at you because for some reason, they thought you were supposed to be doing everything for free. You’ve told them about your free resources, “I do free live streams and if you click the link in the bio I offer this item for free” (whatever it is that you’ve got for the people.) I just gave you an outline and so now whenever they tell you that they need help, they may say, “Oh, I would like to work with you one-on-one, I would like to come into a class, or I need to find a pair of jeans and I need them to be shipped to me before Friday, I know it's last minute, but can you help me with that?” You can get specifically to what that client is looking for with that simple format. Write it down, put a star by it, save it and start using it. You're going to be really amazed at how this is going to save time for you and for the customer and everyone is going to be where they want to be in these streets!

Number two, trying to do one size fits all. This kind of bleeds into number one a little bit. You really need to try and figure out what level of assistance that client or customer is looking for. Everybody does not want the same thing. Some people want DIY, some want a book, some want to be in a small group and some people want to work with you one to one. Some people want to browse on their own and others may want a personal shopper. There are people who are trying to purchase your product or your services from you. Especially if you have physical products. Let's stick with the example of a boutique, if I have a boutique, there are some people that just want to go to the site and browse around on their own. Then, there are other people who don't have a lot of time to browse. There are some people that don't have a lot of taste and so they will tell you things like, “I know what I like, but I just don't know how to find it.” They may be looking for a personal shopper.

Now, I do this all the time with events, even though event design is a service, this is one of the first things I have always asked girls to do. We started using this for my clients who have online boutiques and it's worked wonderfully. So, if they're looking for something and they have something specific in their head, I may say, “Oh, is there, is there a look that you're inspired by?” or “Is there something that you want to try and create for yourself?” If you have a picture, you can send it to me and I can see what I can put together for you. When I do my Bridal clients, I say, “Send me three to five photos of events that you love. Don't worry about the price, just send me what you like so that I can get an idea of your style and your taste.” It’s the same thing because the clients that just want to shop will say, “Oh no, I'm just going to go over there and peruse on my own. In that case you would say, “Okay if you need help with something, let me know. The other people that don't have the time or they don't have the taste are going to be so excited by this and they're going to be over the moon for you to pull items for them. Here you would say, “Okay, here are the tops I found for you, here are the pants I found for you, here are the dresses and here's the accessories and this is what I think you need to put together for the look or to help you accomplish what you're trying to achieve.” A lot of times when my clients do that, those customers literally buy every single thing that was built for them. So what you can do is you can build a cart for the customer and just send them the link and say, “Hey, it's all inside of your cart. All you’ve gotta do is check out.” Again, figuring out what level of assistance people want. Everyone may not want that level of assistance but a lot of people are really going to appreciate you going the extra mile and showing that you really care about the customer.

If you're a service provider, we need to figure out, “Are they, again for me?” My biggest thing is, “Are you looking for one-on-one service or are you looking for a small group? Do you want a product or a book?” When people hit me up, all y'all say all the time, “Oh, I want to work with you one-on-one” and I always say, “Okay, I'll work with you one-on-one boo, but can you afford it?” So we get right into the prices because you don't need to be following me, waiting for me to respond to you for a week or two weeks or four weeks or however long it takes me to get to your message in my DM only to find out that working with me one-on-one was outside of your budget. Especially when you probably could have caught whatever program was on sale or came into my flagship program, InstaCoin Academy and been well on your way. So for me, I think it's very important to figure out exactly what people are looking for, and this is why I'm pro putting your budget out there or putting the prices out there so that way we all know what direction we're going in.

Number three is no research. If you guys are noticing you're not actually being salesy at all, you're just being helpful. You're providing good customer service and you are genuinely trying to learn what your customers need. So if we're focused on serving and trying to find what someone needs, we will find that all of a sudden, we will start making a lot of sales without actually having to like hustle people to buy stuff from us. Look, y'all, you have got to stalk and chicken hawk all day long. Do you know how easy it is to make sales? When you put yourself in front of people who are good fits for your audience, if it's a good product market fit, a lot of y'all are struggling with making sales, because you're trying to make people who don't care about your product, who don't care about your service, who don't really see a value or a benefit in it. You're trying to make them see value and benefits in it. That's exhausting. Why are you trying to convince people that they need your offer? Why are you trying to convince people that they need to listen to your podcast or come to your event? Why not just find the people who already are going to see a benefit in it because they already have that mindset? I know the light bulb just clicked on for somebody because y'all have been out here working yourself to death. I know because I used to be guilty of the same thing. I don't even know who started this, but it's definitely been taught to me and has been taught to a lot of other people and it's wrong.

When people teach that everybody's a potential customer. No, they are not. Everybody is really not a potential customer and that is the truth. You all are out here trying to sell wax to somebody that doesn't even have a car. When they live in New York and they take public transportation they don't care about rim cleaner because they don’t even have rims. It Doesn't make sense and I see people doing this all the time. Then what you do is you put yourself in a corner because now you feel discouraged but you really put yourself in a position to never win from the beginning. This is because you were out here trying to convince someone to be a customer for you that never was designed to be a customer for you in the first place. That’s where stalking and chicken hawking becomes a solution to this.

Let's really start thinking about who is using our products and services and more importantly, where they hang out. Psychographics are a lot easier to figure out than demographics. I'm just telling you not what I think but I'm telling you what I know. If we can figure out commonalities about our audience like is there some type of community or group or a self identifier that they're all using? This is why hashtags bring you back such good results. Next thing next, where are they hanging out? For example, what store do they shop at, what social media pages are they on, where are they getting pop culture news from, what TV shows did they used to watch in their childhood? Once you know this, you can run an ad on that page and find more of them that like what it is that they identify with as a collective. I do really well on natural hair pages and on organic skincare pages, even though it has nothing at all to do with business. One thing I noticed is that most of the people in the Kingdom that were attracted to me were all on these journeys to be the best that we can be in every way and that we want optimal health, optimal finances, optimal spirituality, optimal relationships etc. We are just out here trying to maximize our life in every single way. So does natural hair have anything at all to do with making money? No, it doesn't, but that's where my people are and those are psychographics.

A lot of the people in my audience too, are on all kinds of different and really specific diets so I may do well on a Keto, Vegan, Paleo or Atkins pages and going into those types of pages and fitness communities, I'm going to do really, really well. Again, it is because the Kingdom members are into those sorts of types of things. So if you don't really know where your customer is but if you can think about what they like, what do they wear, what do they watch, what do they eat, what do they drink? Do they like to cycle? Do they like to swim and so on.

A lot of the Kingdom members that I found love CrossFit and are avid weight trainers, not so much cardio, but y'all were really into weights and weight training and are really into body exercises like resistance bands and jump ropes. So at the end of the day, do these things have anything to do with building a business? Nope, not one bit, but it was me stalking and chicken hawking which meant I went to my ideal client's pages and started thinking about my ideal customer and what it is that they do and what their life is like. Then it was trying to show up on pages that they like. Motivational pages and quote pages are where a lot of my people are because we are small business owners, so we need to try and keep our energy up. We need to try and keep our vibrations high. We want to be able to stay fed so that we're motivated to go out and get it. Even when we can't see the results. So any type of motivation, empowerment, encouragement, quote pages, I typically do really well on them too. That said, you just have to really sit down and think about your customer and show up on those pages. So stalking and chicken hawking is how you actually get more sales without having to be salesy.

Now the caveat to that is when you put yourself inside of your customer's way, this gets us to number four. Number four is that most people make the mistake of trying to sell. You guys can attest to this when y'all have first met me, whether it be through an ad, whether someone shouted me out or whether I targeted you, whether someone shares a live stream, I do not sell. I share. I teach my clients to share, not to sell. So we are putting together content that's going to be informative, educational, entertaining or thought provoking and those are your content. Those are your content types and if I can answer a question for you, solve a problem, give you a perspective, if I can create space for you, explain a process, give you the steps, show you how to wear something, if I can do a who wore it better, tell a joke and make you laugh, if I can do any of those things, I just increased the propensity of you coming over to follow me. Once you follow me, it's going to be really, it's going to be a lot easier for me to get you to join my list or buy something from me, period. That's just the way it works.

I see a lot of people that are just out here running ads trying to sell something instead of thinking about problems or questions that their audience has. If we can really think about problems, questions, and desires and share information revolving around that, that's how you're going to grow sales. Every time you're doing that, you're establishing yourself as a resource. This is how we are in the position where we now start to get tons of requests about products and services. People will really tell you, I need your services, I need your help or I want to buy something from you. For example, I get DMS all the time from people telling me, “Hey, I need help with X,Y,Z or I went through your product catalog and I'm not really sure which one is going to be the best fit for me. Can you help me figure it out?” I'm not having to work in sales or to chase down people telling them that they better buy something. I am not threatening people that if they don’t buy from me that they will be poor or broke because some people use scare tactics, right? They go into all of this other stuff instead of literally just saying, let me inform, let me figure out what my people really want or let me figure out what people really need and let me put this information out there for them. This way, you can make sure to catch the right attention and invite people to come into a relationship with you or follow you. If you will switch over to sharing instead of selling, your sales will go up. Even if you sell retail products. This means, showing people how to use them or the results that they get from using them.

Think about when you see an infomercial late at night. They're selling you something but the majority of the time with the infomercial, what are they doing? They're showing you how the product works. They're pointing out pain points or things that typically agitate you, right? They show you all the other alternatives that normally don't work or what you probably have tried that didn't give you the result that you wanted. Then they say, “We've created this and this makes it super easy for you.” Blink, blink, blink.

That's how it works. So, just think about, instead of selling, say, let's share, and you just want to share whatever information, content, thought or energy into the world. Then just make sure you include the call to action. This way, someone can connect with you or follow you. You know, if you want to say, “Hey, download and get my free ebook, course, coupon or whatever” you absolutely positively can. I personally like to invite people to follow me first? And then once y'all follow me, that's normally where I start working on list-building. In the past when I was list-building just straight up and down from cold audiences, people would get the download or the ebook, but then I had to come back really, really hard against so many messages not landing into the inbox or because I'm not showing up daily through content.

Someone would have signed up to get that free thing and let's say it took them three weeks to open the email where after three or four weeks, they honestly have no idea who I am anymore because they haven't had a daily interaction with me. Take me for example, I prefer for people to follow me, then after they follow me, I like to then make offers for you guys to pop on a variation of lists because now you're going to know who I am. When I was doing it the other way around I was getting a lot of people on the list but again, it was really difficult for me to build a relationship with them. It was literally taking me twice as long to convert someone into a customer because if they didn't open up that email immediately, they wouldn't know who I am at that point. Alternately, if they open up the email, but they have no other way of getting in contact with me, can't see a post, didn’t see a story or watch a video, it's going to make it really difficult for you to remember. You may even like whatever you got for free, but you would not understand. Most people are not going to naturally just take the step to come over and research you and find out more about you and the company or the brand so just keep that in mind.

Number five, just winging it is getting y'all in a lot of trouble. A lot of y'all just out here doing what I like to call ramming which means, random acts of marketing. Y'all are just doing a little bit of this and a little bit of that. Thinking that you can do something that you have seen another person do because it looked good for them. Sometimes even thinking that you don’t know what you are doing but that you are just going to wake up, go out there and see what happens.

There comes a point in life that we have to stop just winging it. Okay. This is your business and you're trying to create. I'm not gonna say all of us have been there, but I feel like most of us have been there before. I know I've definitely been there before, but if we want constant results, we cannot just be out here just winging it. Especially when it comes to sales. Y’all will tell me, “If I see somebody I'm gonna talk to them.” No, that's not how it works. Instead, I need you to set super specific goals at the top of the month and at the top of every week. You should literally be reviewing your sales goals. You need to know how many participants or how many units of that product or service that you're trying to move. I have my stuff broken down daily. Now that's not to say that, some days I'm not going to get more or some days I'll get fewer but there's a kind of average. Normally at the end of the week, I hit my goal and in most cases I exceed the goal.

Now, when we talk about goal setting, people always just talk about the units or the participants you want to buy into whatever it is but people forget about the other goals that you have to set to go along with it. For example, I don't just set my goals for how many units of a product that I sell. I actually set a goal of how many emails I'm supposed to be sending, what lists they need to be sent to and what time of day it needs to be sent out at. This is because I have noticed that if I can get an email out to y'all before 10:00 AM in the morning, I am going to have a higher open rate because more of y'all have a chance to see it before your day gets really hectic. Specifically, if I can get that email out between 7:15 AM at 8:30 in the morning, my open rates are going to be all the way up to almost 40%, just because y'all are able to open it. That's a time where a lot of you guys are not bothered by your job, your man or woman or your kids yet.

Most people wake up and not most people but most millennials and generation Y wake up and take your phone right to the bathroom with you. Sometimes even when you wake up first thing in the morning, you’re on the phone before even brushing your teeth. That's just the truth. So, if I can get my email out to you, earlier in the morning, so it's showing up in your phone on the first thing, more people are going to open it. It is what it is. If there are more people that open my email in the morning, then by the time five or six happens, I can resend it to the people that didn't open it and I can get my email open rate up anywhere from another 10 to 15% that it wouldn't have gotten before. So I have a goal for myself. If I'm sending three emails this week, I know I need to send these emails in the morning and then I know where I have to send them. I also know for my audience, when I'm going live, if I can send the emails about 10 to 15 minutes out before I actually pop on the stream is going to work really well with giving you guys enough notice. That way you can get on in and watch but not take too long to start the stream that you would forget.

Now, if I decided to send an email at eight in the morning and then say “I'm going live at one o'clock today.” I'm not going to have the same amount of turnout as before. So, I like to have goals to do things at certain times. For example, I want to send three emails this week. I'm going to say one Monday, one Tuesday, and one week on one Thursday and I need to make sure that they're sent before 8:30 AM. So do I want to write them all out the night before and schedule them? Do we want to try and get up every morning and send them out? That's going to be up to you. The point is that there's a goal. I also have a goal with how many of my DMS I'm trying to respond to each day. Typically, I know I need to be trying to respond to at least a hundred DM’S every day at a minimum because that has a direct correlation on what my numbers are at the end of the week. I've learned that. So when we get into goals, we're not just saying things like, “Oh, I just want to sell.”

Instead it would be more like, “I want to sell 50 units of my ebook”. Well, how the hell are you going to sell them? You should have a goal like, “I'm going to post six times a day, every day, this week.” It may not be six, but maybe it's five or four. You should also know what type of content performs well. That is information you will find by looking at the insights. It’s important information you need to get from your insights and the type of content they like for me. I also look at what people say so I know personally, what they want.

During my birthday week, I offered these bomb birthday bundles. I wanted as many people in the Kingdom as possible to know about the birthday bundles and about another free training I specifically had created with different types of content that I know were going to perform well. I also created some other ones just so I can have more awareness. I got them out and I knew what time I had to get it posted by, that was the goal.

So when you're setting your goals, don't just say, I need to sell 15 units of this, or I need 30 people to register that. Now, we gotta get to the goal. Well, how are we going to let them know? Is it going to come through sending an email every day? Are you going to post it in your stories every 24 hours? Do you need to make eight graphics before midnight so that you can have a different graphic to put up every day, two times a week?

Break it down for yourself. For example, do I need infographics, do I need to do one or two IGTV’s, if so how many? What do you need to do? To start, you will need to write that down, stick with it and follow through. Remember that you can't control your outcome but you definitely can control your input. Typically if you're doing a better job with your input and it's more streamlined, you're going to get more sales. Also, putting up content is an easy way for you to make sales without you ever having to ask someone for a sale, blink, blink, blink.

I've just given you tips 1 through 5 of the secret sauce for how you can get your sales without being salesy all for the free 99! Did you notice that none of them will cost you a dime? That’s how easy it is! Now go out there and murderlize it!

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