If you’re ready to have more control over your sales process and see more predictable money coming into your business, then listen to this new podcast episode.
Hope and Pray versus Proactive Sales
I was teaching female Welsh startups to help them understand the foundations of business success. We discussed niching and USPs but one of the start ups was an artist. One of the obvious ways to market yourself as an artist is to feature in a gallery. The problem with this is you are hoping and praying someone will walk in and like your stuff.
Of course, there are things you can do in this process to make it more controlled such as inviting people in. I’m not saying this wouldn’t work. You can make a lot of sales through a gallery. But how else can we create a predictable sales flow into your business? Artists can look at a B2B angle. This particular artist does a lot of floral images, so we discussed reaching out to places like the Eden Project, Kew Gardens, and other businesses that have relevance to the artwork.
This way we can start to predict sales. For however many organisations you reach out to, you can start to predict how many will buy. It’s a see-how-it-goes process but done properly it will give you the data of how many sales you can predict. You know how much outreach you need to do to predict those sales.
We know this in our travel business based on our leads, conversions and the cost per sale. We’ve run many campaigns and can now know what percentage of sales will pay in full, monthly or a deposit. Therefore we can predict cash rather than secured bookings.
Hope and pray marketing
Hope and pray marketing is putting your product or service out into the world and then hoping someone will come along and buy it. This approach relies heavily on luck and can be challenging for new businesses. New businesses take this approach as they worry about being too salesy.
It can be a real fear for new business owners as they don’t want to turn people off. I have sympathy for this as within the coaching industry, people can get this very wrong. The proactive sales approach may not work depending on your ideal client. I know that I was following bad habits when I first started out. It’s taken me a while to learn etiquette. If you’re ever unsure about a sales tactic, ask yourself how you’d feel about it. How would you like to be sold to?
There are times I’ve written emails to tens of thousands of people and had replies because individuals think it’s been written specifically for them. This is when you know you’ve cracked good marketing copy. If you have to do something en masse, you want people to think you are writing personally to them.
Proactive sales involve actively reaching out to customers and engaging them in a way that provides and builds a relationship with that person. Building a relationship is key to proactive sales. This can take many different forms. It could be cold calling, email marketing, or social media outreach can work. The key is to find and connect with potential customers rather than wait for them to come to you.
There is a difference between hunting down clients and putting yourself out there. You won’t find anyone who wants to work with you if you’re hiding so visibility is key. Cold calling is pretty essential if you want to work with corporates. Depending on your industry, you might not need to do cold calling. It may be that you need to get out there and get yourself in front of your ideal client. This is being proactive.
Other ways you can be proactive is by taking people on a journey and providing useful call-to-actions. It can be as simple as delivering a talk to your ideal clients. You can have several call-to-actions such as booking a call or downloading a tool. Or it could be catching up with you afterwards. You are pulling people to the next level. You are taking them out of the friend zone and into a deeper relationship with you.
Take action on a daily basis
It really depends on who you want to work with as to what will work the best.
However, sitting and waiting for people to come and find you is not a great way to run a business. You can have people easily coming to you and converting but they have to know about you. You have to start the ball rolling in the first place.
Proactive marketing allows you to take control of your sales process and generate more predictable revenue. When you have the data, you can predict the monthly sales revenue. This will take you from hoping you’ll hit your sales targets to knowing you will because you’ve taken a specific action. What are you doing each day for business development to get you where you want to be?
If you think about how you want to be warmed up, you might need to take a different approach. You might want to engage with someone on social media first as part of your business development plan. You warm them up first and then invite them into bed with you.
By building relationships in a meaningful way means you build trust, and credibility, and then increase the chances of being paying clients.
Proactive not pushy
It’s important to strike a balance between being proactive and being pushy. You need to maintain the balance between being authentic and not putting people off. While hope-and-pray marketing may seem the easier and more passive approach, it’s ultimately much less effective. By being intentional in your outreach efforts, you will build a stronger relationship with potential customers.
What would this look like for your business?
There are several approaches you can take for proactive sales, depending on your business. This is how I work with my clients to look at their sales funnels and their businesses. Sales funnels can be super simple. We craft sales funnels together. Some of my clients craft multiple sales funnels, build a team and then the team works on some of those routes to sales. It’s not just all of you putting in the effort.
Once you know a sales funnel works, you can start to predict your sales and then work on other areas. We want to create several flows from different angles. Some will work better than others. You will find 20% of what you do is most effective.
The key to this is what you put into the sales funnels that get people moving. You can be proactive, you also need the messaging to attract the right people. To make sure your sales funnel is worthwhile.
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