The Authentic Sales Process That Sells More (And More And More)
Let’s imagine you’re puttering about online, and you see someone who fixes a problem that has been driving you bonkers (or that you you’ve been wasting valuable mental bandwidth trying to figure out).
This person is rocking a cool vibe, seems like a credible expert and is using words that have you thinking “YES!!! They get it! Where do I find out more!?”
This problem that you have isn’t as dire as a clogged toilet (which is extra dire in the time of COVID quarantine, yes?) or a pounding migraine that hurts so bad you can’t think straight, but it’s something you’re at least somewhat motivated to solve.
This isn’t a nice to have, it’s a need to have. And it seems like you’ve found the solution in this new-to-you expert.
The only problem? There’s no clear way to figure out how you can hire them to help you. 🧐
Sure, their Instagram is on POINT with tasty little awareness building nuggets about the problem you have and how important it is to fix it, and plenty of relationship building “I’m a real person that you can trust” pictures.
Seriously, you might now be obsessed with their goldendoodle/corgi/adorable kiddos.
But how the heck do you hire this person?
Their checklist opt in gave you a taste of what you should be doing to fix your problem — but it left you wanting more (pro side note: this is the sign of a great opt in), without any clear way to see where to GET that “more”.
You did a little more digging, and found a waitlist page for a program that sounds kind of like a good fit. But there’s no date of when it’ll re-open.
Your feeling about this person is going a bit from “yes yes yes!!!” to “meh….maybe”.
And then life happens.
You move on to other things, your problem only agitated from that taste of success via the opt in checklist…with no solution in sight.
Occasionally you remember them when their adorable goldendoodle/corgi/kiddos show up on your Instagram, but in a fuzzy “now, why did I start following them?” way.
So here’s what happens, depending on whether they’re a launch based business without evergreen offers, or a funnel based business that keeps all offers close to the vest.
If they’re in a launch based business — days, weeks, or months go by before you get another email from them shouting about a new program launch that they are SO SO SO excited to share with you.
Or if they’re on the funnel based business model — you likely received a few emails from them after you signed up for that checklist. A “yay, you’re on my list, here’s your checklist” email.
Then a “how’s it going with that checklist, ps I have something cool to share with you in my next email” email. And then a “you really need to buy this, now” email…followed by a few “you’re about to lose your chance”, “buy it now or it’s gone forever” and “you must not really want to solve your problem” emails.
And you know what?
Sometimes you buy. Sometimes it works.
When you have enough people following a goldendoodle/corgi/cute kiddo expert, it working SOMETIMES is enough to generate some serious jealousy inducing revenue numbers. #SixFigures #SevenFigures #EightyNinetyFigures #Lolz
But that doesn’t make launches and funnels (without transparent evergreen offers available 24/7) the ONLY way to run your online business, and it certainly doesn’t prove that it’s the RIGHT way.
Because here’s the thing.
Short “buy now, or lose your chance” launches and pushy sales funnels only work for SOME of your people, SOME of the time.
And if they aren’t ready before your cart closes, or before your final sales email in the funnel reaches them…then you lose that sale.
Even more so, you lose an opportunity to help someone. To create a lifetime client relationship with that individual that so needs your help.
Good thing there is another way, eh?
It’s something that Ross O’Lochlainn calls “Open Every Day”, and it’s something I call “a breath of fresh air for your business”.
Or ya know, treating your people like the individuals that they are.
Understand that not everyone is going to be ready to buy when YOU’RE ready for them to buy. And slapping a “well, I’m forcing them to choose *now* because they need that push” sticker on it doesn’t make it true (or right).
Again, forcing people to decide DOES work. For you. In the short term.
But it burns bridges with the people who don’t buy because they missed the email/weren’t ready, generates a lot of stress for all involved, brings in people that aren’t necessarily ready to complete/take action on the thing they purchased (which creates extra work for you, and less jaw dropping testimonials) — and if we’re talking dollar signs, I truly believe in most cases, it will reduce your long term profit via lost sales, refunds, customer service costs and costs associated with always having to find new people for your launch/funnel.
Instead of forcing people to buy using false urgency, and high intensity sales tactics — how about we switch to supporting people in making the right decision for them?
Not only does that feel better on the sales end — it feels better on the customer end too. And if you have a real business, offering real solutions, you’re still going to have A LOT of takers. And it won’t only happen during a launch window, or as long as you’re pushing new people into your sales funnel.
Now, if you’re thinking, but Erin, “I *like* launches/sales funnels!!”, or more likely “but I already have a lot of time/energy/money invested into my launch/sales funnel!” — I get it.
And you don’t need to swear off launching or sales funnels. You certainly don’t need to throw out your existing launch plan or the complicated sales funnel you just outsourced for cha-ching dollars.
Instead, simply promise me that you won’t make launches or sales funnels the foundation of your sales methods. To start moving in the direction of more supportive sales methods as the core of your business. To be transparent in how people can work with you, and make it easy for them to buy on their own schedule.
Consider those launch or sales funnels efforts as the icing on your revenue cake, with an underlying “always available” stability (the cake stand perhaps?) where people can easily see how to work with you — and how to buy from you, THAT DAY.
Not when your launch opens, not when they open sales email #3 in your funnel, but when they think “I need it, I want it now, *click buy*”.
Whether you sell bespoke 1-to-1 packages, or low cost digital offers (or both), offer transparency and support to your people. Make it easy for them to pay you, and get help solving their problem.
Support them in making the right choice for them, at the right time — rather than using “buy it now, or ELSE” urgency to jack up their heart rate and FOMO.
And they will thank you for actually treating them like a human that you like, by buying (at the right time for them), and buying again (also at the right time for them).
We can all treat our people more like the individual humans that they are. And as online buyers become savvier, they will begin to demand that we do.
So rock the launch and tweak your funnel, if you choose, but remember to also have an offer or two always available — and ditch the “my buying timeline is more important than yours” mentality.
Till next time! Your supportive selling friend. 🤓
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About the Author
Erin is the queen of customer-centric selling and building deep relationships with your customers.
She’s also the CEO of MemberVault, an online tool that makes supportive selling easier for online businesses. So you can get your paid offers up and visible on your MV site — and then focus your energy on staying front of mind via social media/email, and creating supportive sales conversations (automated or manual).
Read more of Erin’s tips and strategies in the Authentic Sales section.
Enlightened marketing for businesses who want to sell with soul and make a difference in the world. Impact & income…