My sales success didn’t always come easy, in the process I have been told to fuck off, sat through every awkward and tense encounter you can imagine. Ive written this Sales Playbook so you don’t have to go through the shit I’ve been through. Ive tested this on the road, refined and built a successful business off the back of these! These tools have helped me land $50k+ projects and they will help you too!
I grew up hating sales – but deep down knew I had a talent for it. I sold near out-of-date chips and bubble gum through a primary school playground for above RRP. I’ve flipped surfboards – vehicle parts – water tanks – I’ve worked retail and won sales awards and now do most of the sales for my own business closing projects over $50k+.
The two truths of sales:
1. Sales can be a dirty game without ethics
2. No sales = no business.
The takeaway – Be aware of the first. Accept the second.
Be Ethical Being unethical is short term greedy, being ethical is long term greedy! Do not fuck people over! It does not pay dividends it hammers copper nails into the roots of your tree! Do not overpromise. Do not guarantee things you cannot! Do not take advantage of those who are vulnerable e.g. Some time I am in a meeting with a client and i can see their business is on the rocks, they are struggling and they come to me to turn that ship around – they want me to say that my product will fix everything and have them wealthy in 3 months… i never sugar coat the truth I tell them there are risks and that they should know them and proceed only if they are in a position to take the risk. 1. it is not fair on the vulnerable person looking for a silver bullet who does not exist and 2. you are at times taking on an impossible task to save a flawed business model with an SEO strategy? Bottom line do not do it.
Know Your Value You will never be worth more than you believe you are worth! Set revenue targets and your aspirational hourly rate. Price setting is important – Its in the 4Ps of marketing you learn at University (LOL) – but seriously you need to price set in accordance to the marketplace. If you have no idea what the market rate is for your services, cold call your competitors and act like a customer. Establish the lowest price and the highest price and start somewhere in between. Your price must be realistic yet profitable for you as a business.
Be Bold You must be bold. When you are selling your product face to face the person is buying you! You are the representation of the brand. You must be confident, self aware and fearless in the meeting. You must enthusiastic about your product / service – if you don’t care they wont care! “Your customer want to know that you were put on this earth by God to deliver this service to the world – it is your life’s calling and nothing less”
Do Not Fear Failure!!!! Sales success is built out of pieces of your broken ego.
Your ego will be dented, and bruised to begin with. Once you truly no your value nothing will effect you but this will take time.
I have had all sorts of crazy reactions to my proposals such as “are you fucking kidding me with that price???” by an old school gangster type of client who then made me tell 4 other members of staff one by one as he commanded them into his office to hear what he deemed my profanity!! haha. Guess what… It was a test…. To see if I had the mustard to stand by my business and my word.. After the barrage he invited me down to his private pool room and challenged me to a game saying “this is to see what you are made of”.
I won the game of pool. I won the contract and they became my biggest client that year!
The take away here is back yourself!! No matter what shit comes out of the clients mouth stand tall.
Always bet the house on yourself. If your product is the best in your category and your prices is fair – go down with the ship do not accomodate bullshit.
When to say no
Be willing to walk away from bad clients, con artists and unethical people.
If you cannot see yourself doing business with someone for a lifetime, do not do business with them for a day!!
If you spider senses are going off and things just aren’t adding up in a conversation with a client. Be direct and polite – but turn down the project. This is extremely hard to do when you have no cash flow… but know this – something better is waiting for you – its a test from the universe – be the hero!
I have been in this position. i unknowingly was being recruited to help with the marketing for a Multi level marketing scam ahah!! A mates dad reached out to me to get me to do the marketing – it wasn’t till i had wasted hours in meeting scoping the project that I realised the board of this company was full of convicted fraudsters and the product was in fact a multi level marketing scam!!
I said no to what would have been my biggest pay day… Im glad I did as an even bigger pay day came a month later.
Lead With Price – Do not wait for your customer to ask for the price in the early days lead with your price.
The client does not care about your product.
This is probably the biggest mistake i see in sales or marketing.
A team works on a project so closely they become consumed with the technical details, what the product can do, how great it does it and all the other boring shit no one cares about.
The client wants to know how the product/service will improve their life!!!! How quickly it will do it, how much it will cost and how much effort it requires from them. Period.
they don’t want tech specs, they don’t care if you are the first in Aus to do it, and they do not care that you offset your carbon emissions!!
Those are cherries they want the cake!!
You need to create a narrative for your client.
Generally a meeting starts with small chat – then progresses into getting to know their business where the client generally will spill the beans about all the problems and issues they are having. You have to articulate these problems back to them better than they can. You diagnose the issues in their business then you prescribe your products as the remedies to their pain. The better you tell this story the closer you are to making the sale!!
Arm your self with Psychology principals:
– Use the consistency principal. People are highly congruent with their past pronouncements
– If you are selling, you are the one asking the questions, listening to the answers and placing your product as the solution.
– When selling uneducated audiences use stories and anecdotes to bridge knowledge.
– Always show the higher priced items first
– Upsell with lower priced accessory items after the higher priced item has been settled upon
Have a Sales Strategy + Script to guide your meetings if you do not have a sales script you will probably fail – you wont tell a compelling story, you will miss important questions and the meeting will run off course. its never been easier to use a sales sccript at most meeting are now online! Clients will lead you off course with what is front of mind for them, you can find yourself pitching marketing services to a client and 5 minutes later they are telling you how bad their receptionist is and they will ask you how to fire them?? You need the script to keep you on track or you will waste time, lose your clients attention and lose the sale!!
Click here to download my sales script template
Have A Proposal System After you get off you call you need to have a proposal you can send to a client immediately! Strike while the iron is hot!! You have won the contract, cash in!
– Pandadoc is great for E-Sig I use this for agreements
Xero is great for easy invoicing
– Stripe is great for setting up recurring payments / subscriptions
You need an email template, proposal template and invoicing template.
Click here to download my proposal system template
He who cares less in a negotiation – wins.
You cannot stink of desperation. How do you do this when you are starting out? its hard – thats why people tend to charge less when they start out to win jobs till they get momentum and confidence.
Ways to be more confident in you business sales negotiations?
have strong lead generation = more options
have safety money = have 1 years salary in the bank
do work for high profile or well known brands to get prestige/reputation
produce business content and become a thought leader
Dress for success
What you wear matters! if you are starting out you need to dress smart.
(don’t dress too crazy like wearing a suit when you client is in shorts and a t shirt)
Shave you face lads – Do your make up ladies
Washed hair – short nails
Crisp clean clothing
Wear Cologne / Perfume
*some creative industries are different… I get it… but at least try and be the best dressed in the room. Even if you are in the start up world just trying to dress a little better will go a long way
Click here for tips on how to dress for success see our other post!
On the day
Shake hands firm
If over a meal – you pick up the tab
How to get better at sales??
Read – Influence by Robert Caldini
Try & Sell more – More shots on goal = greater chance of sucess
The First Step – Stop Caring What People Think Once you’re past caring what people think you start caring about how to leverage the most important part of your business.
– Being ethical means being long term greedy. Being ethical pays off in the long term! Short term thinking does not scale well. Ethics and wisdom scale far better.- He who cares more in any negotiation will probably lose! – When selling uneducated audiences use stories and anecdotes to bridge knowledge.- Smile- Be Early – Dress Sharp- If you are selling, you are the one asking the questions, listening to the answers and placing your product as the solution.
– On a long enough time line your customer will tell you their problems, you often don’t need long.- You always pick up the tab- Your products will never be worth more than you think they are worth- Always show the higher priced items first – Upsell with lower priced accessory items after the higher priced item has been settled upon
How to get better at sales? More shots on goal! More leads! Books that help – Robert Cialdini – ‘Influence’