Sometimes it feels like it’s just not worth it. By ‘it’ I mean the grind, the building, the hustle, the relentless quest to create a brand. Business. You have a quest, a mission, a purpose. To aid you on that quest you have a product or service that solves the problem, you even have an audience. So why are you not getting any sales? When was the last time you plucked up the courage to just ask for the sale?

You get up every day and you disseminate your message across all your social media platforms, you engage with people, you have meaningful and insightful conversations. And yet, you end up still struggling to get paying clients. When you’re in that place it can be demoralising, it can be unnerving, and it can make you want to give up. 

You are doing all the right things, now you need to ask for the sale

If you are in that place, you need to keep going. Right now you’re building the foundation, but, there is something you do need to change. When you have those meaningful conversations when you are providing value and helping people you need to actually ask for the sale. You have spent time curating a community of people that look up to you and respect you. So now you need to start asking for the sale.

You need to tell people, “This is what I do, this is how you can buy, and this is why you should buy.” If you don’t tell people, then people won’t know. Even if they do know, they won’t do it. They won’t go and buy it, you need to remind them and you need to remind them often. Remind them that you have a paid service that they should be subscribing to, that you have a product that they should buy, you have a solution for their problem and all they have to do is give you money. It is a fair exchange. 

It is only fair, commerce is just an exchange of value

Sometimes it can feel like it’s immoral or unethical to ask for that sale, to tell people,” you need to give me money.” But that’s not true. Commerce is an exchange of value, a fair exchange. When you’re giving it all away, when you’re building up your brand and creating that goodwill, if you don’t follow that up with how and why they should buy your paid service or product, you will be stuck giving it all away forever.

Giving value is a wonderfully useful and constructive way to spend your time but you do need to follow up with what they should buy and how they can do it. Those people don’t want to take advantage, they don’t want to rinse you up for everything you’ve got and then leave you high and dry. I mean, there will be some, but most of those people are grateful for the help that you provided. Those people are more than happy to put their hand in their pocket and reciprocate to make that exchange of value, an actual exchange of value. It is easily done.

The position you are in is common be easily navigated away from

The biggest thing preventing that from happening is the fear you have of asking. But don’t be scared. The worst thing that can happen is they say no, and that is not a bad thing at all. That just means nothing has happened.

Nothing happening isn’t a bad thing, I would say it is about as neutral as it gets. But if you do ask for the sale then good things can happen. So make sure that when you’re having those meaningful conversations, when you are engaging with people, and you’re sharing value, that you actually follow it up by asking for the sale. It’s really simple. People appreciate the direct nature of it, they do, especially those people that you are helping. So make sure you do. 

Nobody appreciates being a charity case

You’re not charging for the help and that can make people feel uncomfortable. They don’t actually want to treat you like a charity so make sure that you follow it up. Follow up those value posts, those meaningful conversations, and useful insightful engagement with asking for the sale without being too scared to ask for the sale. Don’t talk yourself out of it. Just do it. It’s really simple and it’s really easy. But it is something that you need to make a habit.

So when you have that conversation, let’s say someone has asked you for some advice and guidance, and you are happy to provide that advice or guidance. Then, do so. But, follow up by informing them that there is further help you can provide with your paid services. 

Give value but don’t give it all away for free

So if you are, let’s say for the sake of example, a coach and someone ask you for some advice, and it’s your field of expertise, they will have a specific question for you. You can give them a brief but valuable answer for them to take away, that they can act on, that they can put into place actually create some momentum in their own life. Not too much, just a little bit. Enough to be able to follow up with asking them if it’s okay to tell them about your paid services.

In this process you need to be asking them questions about their needs and requirements, then you pitch. You tell them this is the product or service that you offer, give them three good reasons why it would be beneficial to them, then you tell them how they can buy it. You make that process as easy as possible.

What if they say no?

If that person says no, that they can’t buy your product or service, then it is important that you take note of who that person was, what sort of help they asked you for, and how often they ask you for help. Because it could well be that that person is a freeloader, and that’s no good for you. It’s also no good for them. So make sure that you make note of who you help, how often you help them, and what you help them with. And those people that continually say no to your paid services. You need to stop providing them with quite so much value. 

Value matters, impact matters, but so does paying your bills

Every time you have a meaningful, useful, and insightful conversation with somebody and you provide them with value, you must follow up by asking for the sale. When you implement that your number of conversions will go up. Also, the number of people freeloading from you will go down because they’ll feel awkward. They’ll feel uncomfortable because people don’t like to say no, especially when you’ve helped them for nothing. You’ve helped them for free which creates obligation and reciprocity. So make sure that you ask for the sale, and do so often.

You have too many bills and overheads to waste time on people that have no intention of ever buying. You have too much responsibility to be a charity. Yes, helping people is wonderful but help that people will truly implement comes at a cost. They will pay. If they are unwilling to pay then they won’t do anything especially constructive with the help you have given them in the first place.

Sales is scary, really scary

If you would like to learn how to sell then there are some recommendations that I can make. First and foremost, what are you currently doing to prevent the sale? If you’re not getting the sales then you are doing something that prevents that from becoming a reality, so what is it? Figure out what that is and work to overcome it. This is something that requires a reasonable amount of self-awareness, which is something I have previously written about. You can find that article here

If you get people on call but cannot quite get them over the line then it would be worth reaching out to a sales coach to help you properly sell to people on the phone etc. Someone that can teach you how to close. I personally would recommend Sarah Jayne Astral. She is someone that I have the utmost confidence in. She has taught me and many others a thing or two about improving our sales game. You can find her by heading over to grab yourself a 1:1 training session and it really will change things for you.

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