“Really, my business is fine. I just need to increase sales!”
Sound familiar? We hear it all the time from our clients in the Coaching Program. Well, I have a secret to tell you.
You don’t actually want to spend your time trying to increase sales. At least, not the way you’re currently doing it.
“More sales” is a deceptive, seductive and seemingly simple solution that doesn’t necessarily get you what you really want.
Now don’t get me wrong. We at EMyth want you to increase sales. We believe that we have a vested interest in your success as a business owner. We know that more volume increases your profits which increases your business’ ability to thrive and grow and ultimately leads to your ability to get exactly what you want from your business.
We call that quite simply: “More life.”
But more sales should be the result of having a clear vision and taking action to achieve that vision. Without that clear vision, more sales won’t happen – and even if they did – you wouldn’t know how it happened, you couldn’t sustain it and you wouldn’t know what to do with all those sales when you got them.
You may not like hearing this. You may not be ready to hear this. It may even touch a pain point in you to think we’re saying that you’ve been “doing it wrong” up until now – to think that agreeing with the above statement is an admission of failure – you may be reading this with hesitancy, tempted to continue in your incorrect thinking rather than confronting the harder issue. Don’t. Take a step back and let’s look at the whole picture. We can do this.
See the whole picture
What is the whole picture? Well, it’s your vision for your business and your life. You have yours (at least, you should), I have mine and Steve Jobs has his. Each vision is different, but there is a piece of the vision that looks the same in each business, a need all businesses share – a common denominator: the need for sales.
Unfortunately, you can’t wish more sales into existence; you can’t grind your teeth and furrow your brow and “do do do”, hoping and praying that more leads come in - banking on a belief that there’s some kind of law of the universe that demands adequate compensation for your effort. Money for sweat. Freedom for time. It doesn’t work like that.
The world of business is a world where YOU are the center and surrounding you are ideas, systems, and working relationships. Like pieces of a puzzle waiting to be fit together, these parts are meant to work in tight symmetry to achieve an end result – a result you have imagined, declared and nurtured from the very beginning - the whole picture.
Understand a great sale
So we are agreed that you need sales. And, more often than not, more than you have now. But the whole picture - your vision - demands more than that. You don’t just want to settle for sporadic bursts of mediocre sales. No business can hope to survive on a series of one-off encounters. You want consistent sales. Great sales.
What makes a sale great? Is it a great product? A great price? The great service behind the product? It is all of that – but it goes even deeper than these basic assumptions.
Can you remember a time when you made a purchase that you knew – just knew – was the right purchase to make? Maybe it was a new car, or a computer, or simply the best hamburger you’ve ever had. Chances are there was a reason you knew it was the right purchase. You got a signal. Something felt right. You were confident in your decision. You were the right person to buy it, in the right place at the right time. No guilt. No frustration. No reservations. Just pure excitement. Satisfaction.
What makes a great sale is your confidence in the transaction. It’s getting what you need when you need it. If you feel confident in your decision to buy and confident in the seller’s ability to deliver, then you have made a great purchase.
The problem is when business owners approach their prospects more concerned with how the customer can provide their business with what it needs, rather than the other way around! They think they can manage the relationship by telling the customer why they should feel confident in their decision to buy - without providing any room for the customer to actually experience that reason. This is what has contributed to the stereotype of the “pushy” salesperson. The act of persuading a customer to spend as much money as possible is not a great sale. Not for you. Not for your customer.
What ensures a sale is giving your customer an experience that satisfies a need they’ve always had – even if they didn’t know they had it. It’s touching a deeper part of them than the computer, the car or the hamburger could ever fulfill. It’s an experience they want to relive over and over again.
They need to feel that they are in control of the exchange and are getting what they need. The only way to achieve that is to get to know them so well that you can deliver exactly what they need.
Do you know your target market? Do you know who your best customer is and what they want? Why they buy? When they buy? Do you know the emotional connection that you need to make with them so that they feel understood and confident?
Better yet, who do YOU want your client to be? You may be relieved to know that you don't have to settle for just anybody. You can be selective, too – just like they are.
Know who you’re selling to
1. Once you have determined whom your most desired and valuable customer is, create a profile of that person. Imagine their story, imagine what they look like. Why are they coming to your business? What do they want from you that no one else could give them? Have fun with it, give them a name. For now, let’s call your customer Jim.
2. Think about Jim’s characteristics. Write down your understanding of how Jim needs to feel—in every interaction—in order to be inspired to make a purchase. Pretend for a moment that Jim is your only customer and think about what you might change in order to cater to him and him alone. Remember Jim in every business decision you make.
3. Calculate your lead generation efforts to draw Jim to you. Your employees should all understand Jim’s profile and be able to treat every customer with the exact amount—and kind—of attention that is needed. As if they were dealing with Jim over and over again.
If the marketing (profiling), lead generation (advertising), lead conversion (sales) and client fulfillment (delivery) systems of your business work together in unison, then a refreshing and exciting interaction occurs with the people you wish to appeal to. That’s when you will experience sales, or, as I prefer to think about it, when your ideal customers will demonstrate their confidence in you.
And do you know what happens when people feel confident? They buy. They enter into agreements. And they feel empowered to tell other people about their experience.
You don’t want to just increase your sales, and we don’t want you to either. But you do want to increase your customers’ confidence in the fact that you know exactly what they want and how to deliver to them each and every time.
By changing your focus from sales to the genuine, meaningful customer experience, “more sales” simply becomes a byproduct of a healthy business.
That’s a secret worth telling.
Tell us your secret:
How do you go about understanding your ideal customer?