Hey Rainmaker, I want to share my selling secret weapon…
This is one of those things that is really, really simple.
Like, so simple you might just think it’s dumb. Or stupid.
Bring on the insults!
And if you’re the kind of person who wants flashy, or complex, or whatever sophistication you might think it takes to be successful, you might as well stop reading.
In fact, yeah. You should really stop.
Because I want to keep using this stupid-simple approach to beat the pants off you, any time I’m going up against you in a selling situation.
You make me look good. 🙂
Every time the fax machine would ring, they’d say, “Roy! How the heck?!”
Back when I was straddling the marketing and sales functions selling IT training, there was one solution we offered that was about $30,000.
Now, I don’t remember exactly what my commission amount was, but that amounted to a big commissions check!
And it was the kind of sale that everyone in the company wanted to make. But it was also the kind of sale that didn’t happen a lot — as a company, we usually only sold a couple per month.
And just about every month, this would happen for one or even two of those sales.
The fax machine would ring. It would trigger a Pavlovian response in the sales department. All our ears would perk up, our chops would get whetted, and inevitably at least one of us sales dogs would leap up, run across the room, and grab that fax off the fax machine before the paper cooled.
And when it was anybody else, they’d say, “Roy! How the heck?!”
Because I’d closed another one of those $30,000 deals.
It took me a long time, but I’ve implemented this same system in my copywriting and consulting business, too…
When you have a steady deal flow and checks coming in every month without doing much work to stimulate it, it’s easy to not set up the system to make sure this keeps happening.
But in the last month I’ve been working with a coach who has forced me to go back to doing what I know works. With the intention of booking out my time even further into the future, having clients happy to pay me more, and making sure I not only deliver but over-deliver on all my products and services.
And so I’ve been implementing this same system in my business again.
And guess what’s happened?
Right now I’m pretty much flooded with demand for my copywriting services.
I have three more calls later this week with potential clients, and I’m a bit concerned that I’d be able to even take them on.
After all, in terms of big projects, I’m booked until February 1st, tentatively through April 1st, and I have more people interested in my time than I have time to give them.
But of course, I’d rather have this than the other way around — and I’m sure you would too!
Okay, enough bragging, what’s my stupid-simple system?
This follows one really simple assumption, and is the application of one really simple principle.
THE ASSUMPTION: You’re selling something worth buying to people who want to buy it.
You have to have a good product or service. Worth buying, at least. Something that your target customer or client sees good value in. That they’ll be happy after having bought it.
If you don’t have that, you have to get it. You need to sell something that people want.
Also, you need to be talking to people who will actually want to buy what you offer.
I’ve always hated the idea of selling ice to Eskimos (or, more accurately, Inuit and Yupik indigenous people). Why the heck would you even TRY to sell them ice? Only a scumbag would be proud of selling ice to Eskimos — because you’re taking their money and giving them something they don’t really need.
But, let’s say you’re selling water in the desert. Now, that’s a pretty honorable thing to sell. You’ve found a need, and you’re filling it.
So that’s what I’m talking about with selling something worth buying to people who want to buy it.
THE PRINCIPLE: If someone should buy your product but hasn’t yet, you’ve either not given them enough motivation, or haven’t put it in front of them at the right time.
So, assuming you have something worth buying and are offering it to a market of people who want to buy it, you need to close the sale.
For those who are ready to buy — that is, now is the right time — you simply have to be there with an offer.
That’s easy. That’s how you make low-hanging fruit sales.
But that’s only a tiny sliver of the market.
There is a much bigger section of the market who will buy eventually, when the timing is right AND when they have enough information to move forward.
Often the timing will become right when they get enough information to make their decision to move forward.
Other times, you just have to wait for them to have the money in place, or whatever else needs to happen to bring the purchase to the top of their priority list.
Either way, staying in touch with helpful information — or ANYTHING — to stay on their radar will move you closer to the sale.
Now, here’s the tactical application of this principle…
I’ve written before about having a list of ideal clients you’d like to work with. About how you need to be intentional about who you reach out to.
(And I often write about this for copywriters, but it really applies for everybody.)
Here’s what you need to do.
Get a CRM — that’s a “Customer Relationship Manager.”
I used Salesforce selling IT training, currently I use the free version of Insightly.
Come up with a list of people you want to contact, and potentially work with.
On a regular basis (mine is currently weekly) schedule time to reach out to one person of your “to contact” list.
First, create a contact record in your CRM. This is their basic contact information, on file.
Next, reach out to them. Offering to schedule a short phone call to discuss fit is a good idea.
Then, create a task, linked to the contact in your CRM, to follow up.
If they haven’t scheduled the call, follow up to try to get them to do that.
Once you’ve had the call, follow up about what you talked about there.
And when you do one follow up, schedule another. And another. And another.
The more recently you’ve been in contact, the less time you should schedule between follow ups. The longer it’s been since you had any interaction, the more space you should put between reaching out.
And then, every day, check your tasks, and do the follow up.
It will start small. First a couple contacts, that you’re reaching out to on a semi-regular basis.
Eventually, it grows. Dozens of contacts, with only the hottest scheduled for frequent follow up and some scheduled for once a month “staying on the radar” touches.
This is really simple stuff, but it works…
For the most part, outside of my new work in nonprofits, I’m relying on inbound lead flow to populate my new contacts now. As well as people I meet at conferences, like AWAI.
But the system works as well for that as it worked when I was doing proactive prospecting.
It’s all about systematically tracking who you’re in contact with, and staying in contact with them, to stay on their radar.
When you do this, you have to act in a likable way.
If you’re a jerk or a pushy sales creep, you’ll only be found out faster with this method.
But if you have a genuinely good offer, and you’re selling it with the client’s best interests at heart, and you’re kind in your contacts, this will generate business.
The hardest part?
“Just do it.”
For every 100 people who read this, 20 will think it’s a good idea. 5 might start to implement. And 1 will actually stick with it, at least for a little bit.
But in reality, that’s probably generous. It might take 1,000 readers for this to really become a part of the process for one superstar.
And yet, for that one superstar, this stupid-simple way to make more sales will be a total and absolute breakthrough.
If that’s you…
Well, shoot me a note once you start to get results, and I’d love to share your story.
Yours for bigger breakthroughs,
Editor, Breakthrough Marketing Secrets
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