“A salesperson’s ethics and values contribute more to sales success than do techniques or strategies.”
~ Ron Willingham
In this piece, I talk to you about something that so many of the business owners I work with struggle to implement — regularly letting your audience know about your products and services. I plan to share with you an approach for sharing your offers authentically and to give you a suggested plan to make sure you do it.
A while back I asked members of my Mastermind, the following question:
How often are you putting your paid offerings in front of your audience (and how)?
And I was a tad taken aback by the response, the vast majority of the women said that they weren’t doing it at all or if so, were doing it rarely and infrequently.
Now I shouldn’t really be surprised because the kind of business owner that is attracted to my work tends to be so precisely because they don’t like the sales and marketing aspect of running a business. They like my work because I focus on generosity and giving versus manipulation and hard selling. I myself have built a successful business, selling as infrequently as possible AND…
It’s so, so, so important to be letting your people know what you have to offer on a regular and consistent basis.
A chilling parable
Years ago I heard a story that had a huge impact on me, I have no idea where or how I heard this story and despite searching online (many times!), I’ve never been able to find it since. So this is my version of it. It’s the story of a doctor who moved to a remote village.
He didn’t want to tell the villagers on his first day there that he was a doctor, lest he come across as bragging or full of himself. That first night, shortly after he arrived he heard a commotion in the early hours of the morning, but didn’t think too much of it. The next day, he awoke to find the village in mourning. When he asked what had happened, he was told that a little girl had come down with fever and died because the nearest doctor lived miles away and they couldn’t get to him in time.
Of course, the doctor was devastated, he had assumed that a doctor must already live in the village and by not letting the villagers know his profession, a young girl had died.
Now whilst people might not die as a result of your silence about what you have to offer, it’s my honest belief that when we fail to share what it is that we can do for others (on the regular), we are depriving the very people we are trying to help from accessing products and services that could help them to live happier and healthier lives.
So, with that said, how do you let people know what you are up to without feeling like a sleazy car salesman? It’s easier than you think.
A simple reframe
I want to offer you a reframe from the sleazy car salesman stereotype to the courteous waiter.
We’re all familiar with the sleazy car salesman stereotype. The slick salesman who will use every trick in the book to get us to buy a car, even when said car is not in our best interests to buy. We see him as pushy and aggressive in his use of sales tactics and for conscious business owners like us, the thought of coming across as even slightly salesy in this way leaves us feeling cold.
Now think about when you go out for a meal in a restaurant and those points in the evening when the waiter brings over the menu, first so that you can choose your starter and main course and then again later so that you can see the desert menu and, if so inclined, order some coffee.
Do you feel sold to in those moments? No of course not, you’re usually grateful if the waiter or waitress comes over without you having to make eye contact and wave across a crowded dining room. When they come to ask if we want desserts or coffee, we don’t think “uff, I wish this guy would stop trying to upsell me!” No, quite the opposite, we consider it to be a service, one of the very reasons we’re out for dinner in the first place.
But at the end of the day, the waiter is in fact simply sharing what is available for you to buy. Yet for some reason, we never feel sold to. Why is that? Because waiters don’t have a vested interest in how much we spend, they aren’t trying to manipulate us into buying the most food possible. They are simply sharing with us what is on offer and we feel this.
When we can embody the courteous waiter as we share what we have to offer, we too can sell without feeling salesy.
Creating a schedule
What I’ve done to get over my own resistance to sharing about my products and services is to create a schedule for it. I now recommend to all my clients that they too create a schedule of sharing offers, gentle invitations, if you will, to buy something they have created that could help the very people they are trying to serve.
What I recommend my clients do, is to create a schedule for sharing offers/CTAs (calls to actions) that incorporates both those things you have on offer that are paid for as well as things you have on offer that are free. I have a tab in my content schedule spreadsheet just for this purpose (see image below). In it, I have details of all of my offerings, such as my online trainings (paid) and also invitations to subscribe to my newsletter or join my facebook group (free) plus the copy that I would use to share the details with my audience.
I then have a slot for these once a week in my actual content schedule that details where and when I’ll share this information (usually on Instagram or Facebook). I recommend that you share one of your offerings after every 5–7 pieces of valuable free content. Given that I publish content every day and I alternate between sharing about a paid offer and a free offer, I can do this weekly.
If you are not sharing free content as regularly, then your schedule might be different. However, I would recommend not going more than a month without sharing details of one of your offers with your audience at least once. At this rate, you’ll only be letting your people know about your offers 12 times in the whole year.
The reason I love to have a schedule with the copy pre-populated in a spreadsheet is because it makes it easier to share. Given that most conscious business folks I know (myself included) have some resistance to “selling”, automating the process as much as possible really can help. If I have to write the copy every week when it comes up in my schedule, you can bet that I’ll skip over it as soon as resistance rears its head.
It takes a bit of work up front, but once created, a pre-populated, schedule makes the whole process of regularly sharing your offers so much easier.
Some advice about your sales copy
Speaking from personal experience, the hardest part of getting this system set up is creating the copy that accompanies each offering. Here’s my best advice on how to do that. Stop worrying about trying to make it sound enticing, convincing or exciting. That’s where we start to feel inauthentic and salesy and as a result, resistance comes up.
Instead, remember the courteous waiter and simply share clearly and transparently what you have to offer that might help your ideal clients. I like to include all the details (no hiding the price over here) and also say who it’s for and who it’s not for so that people can self select in or out.
The key for me is to always stay out of the realm of trying to convince people that it’s what they need and instead to present clearly what’s on offer so that they themselves can decide if it’s something they want to buy or do.
Of course, this doesn’t mean excluding the potential benefits of your offer, but that’s very different to some of the sales copy you’ll see on the internet that focuses on pain points and uses manipulation and inflated promises to try and get the sale.
My sincere hope?
That after reading this, you’ll see the importance of sharing with your audience, details of your products, services and other opportunities to go deeper with you, without a fear of coming across as pushy or salesy.
And that you can totally do it in a way that provides a service to your people.
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