Why do businesses go bankrupt?
Is it …
- bad management?
- can’t find product market fit? (whatever that means)
Nope. Business go under for only one reason. They run out of money.
Sales are the most important aspect of any business. Without sales, your business can’t function. In fact, without sales, your business isn’t even a business, it’s a hobby.
With that said, you would think that learning sales would be the top priority of every entrepreneur, right?
Strangely enough, most of you avoid sales. Why? Because sales are uncomfortable and they require you to make yourself vulnerable to rejection.
So instead of actively trying to sell your services, you post pictures on Instagram and work on your “branding”.
This is a losing formula. If you truly want to be successful, you must get good at sales.
In this issue, I will show you 3 simple and effective tactics that will help you close more deals.
This issue is sponsored by The Copyblogger Academy:
Get access to the systems that have generated $20+M in sales and over 100,000,000 readers.
Our Academy gives you 9 full-length courses, a year of ongoing education, and 1:1 coaching lessons for less than most marketers charge for 1 underwhelming product. (4.91-star average rating from 1300+ students).
>> >> Click here to learn more.
Tip # 1 – Mirroring
In the book, Voss says that “mirroring is the closest thing to a jedi mind trick you will find in negotiation.” He’s right. Mirroring is the simplest and most effective tool I have for negotiation and the pitching phase of closing deals.
Mirroring is simple. You simply repeat the last sentence back to your prospect in the form of a question.
This tactic accomplishes three goals.
First, it makes your prospect feel like she is being heard. That’s what people really want out of a conversation. They simply want to feel heard and understood. Mirroring does this to perfection.
Second, it keeps you from getting stuck and from being put on the spot to defend your position. If you ever find yourself in a position where you don’t quite know what to say, simply use a mirror and you’ve given the control to your prospect.
Lasty, it keeps your prospect talking until they reveal the actual meaning behind their words. At it’s core, sales (and negotiation) is the practice of unveiling and discovering information. Nothing does this better than mirroring.
Here’s an example.
Prospect: “I need you to come down on price.”
You: “I’m sorry. Come down on price?”
Prospect: “Yes, we only have $4,000 a month in our budget right now and we actually have someone in house managing our Instagram account. So we don’t need help with that. But, we do need help with all the other services you proposed.”
You: “Understood. I’d be happy to remove the Instagram management service from the contract and send it back to you.”
Prospect: “Great. I’ll sign the contract this afternoon.”
With mirroring, you never find yourself in a back and forth position with your prospect. You’re not defending your position, but you’re allowing them to explain their way into the sale.
It works like magic. Add mirroring into your daily life. Use mirroring when you buy coffee, or strike up conversation at a party. Use it at every occasion, and you’ll be blown away with how well the tactic works in building report and building bond.
If you’re shy, use mirroring at parties and you’ll somehow become the person everyone wants to be around, because you are the only one encouraging others to talk about their favorite subject, which is themselves.
Tip # 2 – Writing
I know what you’re thinking.
“Really Tim? Writing? This isn’t a sales tip.”
I’m here to tell you that 90% of the business I have generated over the last 12 years has come to me through my writing.
Because when you write on a regular basis about a certain subject matter, you become an authority in that particular subject matter. When you share your journey, you build a tribe of people who look to you as their leader in a particular domain.
It’s not until recently that I’ve had a sales team. All of my growth from the last 12 years has been through SEO or through people following my newsletters and then either replying to an email or sending me a DM to inquire about my services.
Let me show you.
How It Works On TimStodz.com
Every Tuesday when I send out my newsletter (the one you’re reading right now), I get anywhere from 1 – 4 leads from people who inquire about my services.
The craziest prat is that I hardly even market my personal services through my newsletter. There is a small link at the bottom of my newsletter template that I don’t promote or advertise.
When people click on this link, they go to a landing page and through the description, they tell me everything I need to know to discover whether this is a viable lead for me or a potential deal I would be interested in pursuing.
It’s the leadership I show by taking initiative and the authority I’ve built by sharing my experience that incentivizes people to want to work with me.
The Same Is True For Copyblogger
Every blog post published on Copyblogger is published with a call to action that also collects leads for our agency.
When people click on the button, they get sent to a landing page that is very similar to the one I created for TimStodz.com. Except these leads are for Digital Commerce Partners, which is my content and SEO agency attached to Copyblogger.
It has been through this method that we have generated around 40% of the revenue for Digital Commerce Partners. The best thing about these types of deals is that there is little marketing expense attached to the deal, which makes the profitability quite high.
One Last Example, The Census
A few weeks ago, I told you about a newsletter I’m creating for the behavioral health industry. Through the newsletter I will generate more business for Stodzy Internet Marketing.
Over the last 3 months, I’ve slowly built an email list of almost 2000 subscribers.
Every Wednesday, I send out an issue and each issue has a call to action to give away a free marketing audit and consultation.
When people click on the link, they get sent to a landing page I created specifically for these types of deals. The landing page is on treatmentleads.net.
So far, I’ve generated 5 appointments through this landing page. I haven’t closed on any deals yet, but I have two big leads that are still in the pipeline. In my CRM, I have them both labeled as 80% chance of close.
We’ll see what happens.
The point I’m making is that writing has been the main catalyst for all my sales. The best part is that when prospects fill out a form and inquire about my services, they are hot leads.
They have already shown me through their actions that they respect me, they follow me, and that they believe I can help them. I’ve established myself as an authority in the industry. As such, my closing percentage is very high.
Tip # 3 – Listen
Yes, I’m being dead serious.
Every single one of you is talking yourself out of deals. Why? Because you think that your prospects want to hear about you, your services, and exactly why you’re the person to fix their problem.
P.S. – This is the first meme I’ve ever made lolol. I can’t figure out how to get the spacing right, but I think you get the point. Memelord Tim.
Let me tell you a secret.
Your prospect doesn’t care about you, they only care about themselves. They want to tell you about their problems, their past successes, and about how if they could only solve this one problem, they would have a much more successful business.
So let them talk about themselves and learn to actively listen.
The Hero’s Journey
There is a great book written by Donald Miller called “Building a Story Brand.” The book makes the case that the hero’s journey is the main methodology you should follow when bringing your prospects down the sales funnel of your business.
Most people treat themselves as the hero of the story.
But you are the guide. You are Obi Won, and your prospect is Luke.
You are not the center of the story and you are not the one going through the journey., You are simply there to guide your prospects through their journey of self discovery.
The hero’s journey is a classic framework for story telling, prospecting, sales, and even sales copy.
If you follow this framework, you will be able to build a bond with your prospect in a way that connects their success to your success.
As the guide, your incentives will be aligned.
You Can’t Guide If You Don’t Listen
If you could train yourself not to interrupt your prospects and not to talk about yourself, you will close so many more deals it will feel like cheating.
The problem is that it’s hard, much harder than you think.
You must train yourself to actively listen. Not just hear, but LISTEN.
What is your prospect saying? What is the fear and deep underlying desire behind what she is saying?
Most of all, practice.
I promise, active listening is a skill that requires work and practice. Once you learn how to listen properly, your conversation rates will explode.
If It Were So Easy, How Come Everyone Doesn’t Do It?
The reality is that everyone can become a better sales person.
To be a good sales person, you don’t need to be charismatic or charming or even smart.
You simply need to understand the dynamics of human interaction.
People are selfish. It’s not that they don’t care about other people or that they are mean, it’s simply human nature for all of us to look after our own interests.
Sales is about the alignment between what you have to offer and the best interest of your prospects. If you can align those two agendas, you will have more business than you know what to do with.
So once again, we ask ….
“How come everyone doesn’t do it?”
The final answer: Because they’re scared.
The harsh reality of sales is that it comes with rejection. You will be rejected over and over and over again. Rejection hurts. It’s an irrational pain, because rejection is never physically dangerous, but the feeling of rejection is so powerful that it forces you to act in a way that is against your own self interest.
If you’re willing to face the dragon of rejection, then you will get good at sales.
Once you get good at sales, you will have built a super power that will open the world up to you.
The only limiting factor is your ability to handle discomfort.