This blog is the third blog of our 8-part Rhythm Series. You can learn more about what rhythms in business are here and why I believe they are the foundation of any successful, sustainable, scalable creative business. Be sure to click here to subscribe to my email list so you’ll be the first to know when the next blog drops each week.
For a lot of entrepreneurs, sales can feel…icky.
You might feel this way too! Do you associate selling with “selling out” or being pushy and aggressive?
Immediately you think of…
When sales involve being pushy, forceful, or judgemental you want nothing to do with it.
But when you confine the idea of “selling” to these situations, you limit your ability to sell in a way that feels GOOD for you and your clients.
What if you could sell YOUR way? In a way that…
This blog post is all about shifting your mindset from one of selling to one of service so that you can get consistent, sustainable rhythms in place that will let you show up and sell.
When you can truly embody your offers, stand in your truth, and feel confident in what and how you are delivering to your clients, you’ll realize that you are doing your community a disservice when you DON’T show up to sell.
Selling can feel really HEAVY. That’s because when we are in sell-mode, we work out of a place of needing to DO more.
When we feel the need to DO more we…
The list goes on and on…
And I’m not saying that these tasks won’t help you sell at all. What I AM saying is they aren’t sustainable (financially or energetically). What happens is we fall into a negative rhythm of feast and famine where we sell, sell, sell. But, then the leads dry up and you sell nothing. So you sell really hard (again), make a bunch of sales, until those leads dry up. And so on, and so forth…
There’s a better, more authentic way to spread the word, without sacrificing your budget, your energy, or your values. Until you commit to selling in a way that feels aligned and realistic for you, sales will always feel a bit “off”.
Instead of focusing on the next big sales trend or throwing money at your problems, I am going to teach you how to establish sales rhythms in your business that focus on the Customer Journey and Client Experience first and foremost.
The goal of sales rhythms is to maintain a steady stream of warm leads and reduce the feast and famine cycle that occurs in so many businesses. Stop worrying about where your next paycheck is coming from! Sales rhythms will allow you to be confident in the long-term viability of your businesses while helping you stay in touch with what your customers truly want.
When you put these sales rhythms in place you’ll be able to ditch the ick so you can build a better relationship with sales and successfully sell your offers with confidence and authenticity.
One of my favorite quotes in business (and in life) is,
“If it’s not a hell yes from you, it’s a nope from everyone else.”
Before you do anything else, you need to get really clear on the products, offers, programs, or services in your suite.
It is essential that you feel passionate about your offers as well as your sales processes & tactics. You have to sell in an aligned way (aligned for both you and your target clients) that you feel confident and comfortable with!
When was the last time you thought to yourself, “do I even LIKE what I’m offering?”
If you don’t love it, why should your clients?
Whenever selling feels hard, daunting, or cumbersome… you might take a look at what and how you’re selling first. Because if it’s not a hell YES for YOU, it’s definitely going to be a hell no for your audience.
Before setting new sales rhythms, it’s time to get crystal clear on your ICA, your offers, your USP, and your current sales process.
If you don’t know where you’ve been or where you are, it can be impossible to plan where you’re going! As you work to establish new sales rhythms in your business, you will first want to take stock of what is already happening.
We all have rhythms in our workflows, whether we realize it or not. The question is…
While this does require a bit of initial work to get things up and running, taking time now will save you lots of time and energy in the future.
Let’s explore the current state of your sales rhythms in more detail.
You’ve likely heard this before, but most of the time cliches are cliches because they’re TRUE!
“If you’re talking to everyone you’re talking to no one.”
Make sure your offer is speaking directly to your ideal client so they feel seen, heard, and understood.
Consider who you’re currently calling in and who you WANT to call in. Are they the same client? If not, you might look at the messaging around your offer (part of your marketing rhythm).
As you define your ICA for marketing and sales purposes, explore the following:
All of these things will overlap with the work you do to flesh out your marketing plan, but they are also essential so that you can clearly target who you are selling to in your sales rhythms.
Now it’s time to review your suite of programs, services, and products. I suggest implementing this as a quarterly rhythm so that you don’t wake up one day wondering how you’ve created someone ELSE’s dream business, but not your own!
COO Tip: Remember! Even though reviewing your offers can be leveraged as a quarterly rhythm, you can come back to this anytime you feel unaligned in your sales to get back on track.
First things first: do your offers light you up? They may serve your audience, but they need to serve you as well if they’re going to be sustainable! It’s hard to sell something you don’t genuinely enjoy doing!
Next, ask yourself which services, products, or programs can you shed or reinvent? Taking the time to make sure you love everything in your product and service suite will make selling way easier because you’ll be EXCITED to talk about them.
This information will help you get clear about what you are promising through your offers. When your offer is dialed in, you’ll be able to sell in a way that feels fun because you know what you’re offering, why you’re offering it, and how it is serving your audience.
What sets you and your brand apart from others in your industry? While you may adjust and tweak your USP over time, it is a rhythm you should tend to annually as your business evolves and grows. Using your CEO time to reflect on your USP is a great way to integrate this rhythm into your big-picture planning each year.
To unearth your own USP, consider what makes YOU different. Highlight what makes working with you so special (hint: look to past client testimonials if you aren’t sure. They’ll help you see what they loved most about working with you).
COO Tip: Remember, YOU bring the flare that sets your business apart. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel in your industry or niche to stand out. Focus on what makes you and your brand unique. This can especially focus on your client experience (more on that later). It’s not just what you do but how you do it that makes working with your brand memorable.
Before you can create something new and improved, you have to evaluate what has and has not been working for you. Even if it feels effective, it is important to consider if the sales technique you’re using can scale and be sustainable over time. If you hate the process or feel exhausted, it may not be worth it, even if it works!
To help frame your rhythm-setting decisions, reflect on these broad prompts related to your overall sales process:
Then you can zoom in to the details of each of your offers. By identifying the offers you want to focus on, you can take time to fully bring the ideas to life! Don’t shy away from the nitty gritties!
How does your sales process work for your offers?
Document all parts of your sales process from initial contact through to payment. As you set new sales rhythms, you’ll be looking for opportunities to streamline, optimize, and clarify each part of the buying process for your customer.
Brainstorm, implement and feel free to pivot until you find the sales rhythms that are truly supportive. Remember this is a process, and there is no one-size-fits-all sales rhythm. Allow yourself to get curious and go through a trial and error process.
Now that you’ve taken inventory of your current sales rhythms, you’ve likely noticed a few things that you’d like to improve, streamline, or replace. It’s time to leverage this information and craft rhythms that will make selling feel easy, aligned, and effective.
Your sales process needs to include rhythms that can be repeatable and optimized. You want to create a consistent, streamlined, and predictable experience for both you and your clients. Over time you’ll be able to refine the process and start working smarter not harder.
Plus, solid sales rhythms help build better and more accurate projections for your business. This in turn helps your finance rhythm and is key to a sustainable business with healthy cash flow!
Sales rhythms are unique because they can be more customer-based than they are time-based. Your sales rhythms need to be dialed-in to support the different parts of your customer journey.
To set your sales rhythms, you’re going to look very closely at how your customers come to you, what they need from you, and how you can continue to serve them at multiple touchpoints throughout their customer journey.
Let’s get started!
No matter if you sell a service, a program, or a product, your customers will most likely flow through these stages:
As we craft sales rhythms we will want to tend to our customers at each of these touchpoints to ensure we’re maximizing our efforts, cultivating an intentional client experience, and staying connected with them after the initial sale is done.
Each of these stages offers an opportunity for you to set sales rhythms that make sense for your business. As we explore each of these stages, I’ll offer suggestions, ideas, and inspiration that you may adapt to fit your needs and craft your unique sales rhythms.
Believe it or not, your client experience begins now! The initial sales rhythms that you introduce into your business will often set the tone for the whole relationship.
As you consider how your audience will be introduced to your brand, I invite you to ask yourself, “how can I make this initial client experience unforgettable and in line with my brand values?”
Let’s explore a few ways that you can nurture your audience at the “cold lead” stage while they consider if they would like to buy your product or invest in your services.
As we build out more and more of your business rhythms, you’ll start to notice that different aspects of your work blend together and overlap. Early on, your sales rhythms will rely quite a bit on your marketing efforts and your engagement practices. That’s because at this stage in the customer journey your audience needs to get to know, like, and trust you and your brand.
Marketing is like a handshake that can set off a sales process. That’s why sales and marketing are often bucketed together. As you build relationships, authority, likability, and trust with your new audience members it is important to provide valuable marketing content. You can do this in a way that feels aligned to you.
Each of these types of content marketing will help your audience experience some mini “wins”, and show them that you know your stuff!
Consistent marketing practices will help make the sales part easier. Your marketing does a lot of the heavy lifting at this stage so that once your client is ready to buy from you, they are familiar with you and your offers.
Content isn’t always enough. You can think of content as an invitation for your audience to engage with your brand. Marketing rhythms directly extend into engagement rhythms. Engagement involves all the ways that you directly connect with your audience and clients. As we establish these rhythms, we want to make sure we’re showing up authentically.
We’ve all received those aggressive, random DMs at one point or another. You know the ones I mean… they feel abrupt, pushy, “salesy”, and quite frankly, out of touch. I know this isn’t the energy you’re trying to bring to your audience. Instead, take time to genuinely engage.
This might include…
(these are all things I do religiously!!!)
As your engagement rhythms develop, they can become more robust. Over time, you’ll also be able to map out intentional touchpoints along the customer journey. You want to find a happy medium between not being overbearing without ghosting them either!
Here are some examples of engagement rhythms that support your sales:
COO Tip: A helpful stat to keep in mind: According to a study by Brevet, “ 80% of sales require an average of five follow-ups in order to close the deal.” When people hesitate to follow up or don’t establish this as a rhythm they’re quite literally leaving money on the table.
Once you commit to regular engagement rhythms, selling will be easier because you will have most likely developed a rapport with the people you’re selling to. You’ll know more about their lives, their current challenges, and their unique business goals. This makes it easier to show them how your product or service will specifically support them.
This stage of the client journey will look different depending on the type of business you run: service-based or product-based. You’ll also want to consider how you run it; selling virtually is often different from selling in real life.
While the nuances are unique, there are some consistent, key principles. At the end of the day, your main goal is to make the first step of your sales process extraordinarily obvious. Then, you will clearly map out every next step that ultimately leads them to the sale.
Service-based businesses often require more personalized sales rhythms. While you may not be pointing your audience towards a BUY NOW button, you do want to let them know how to begin the purchase process. Often service-based businesses do this with some variation of the Discovery Call.
Here are some sales tools and rhythms that you can put in place to streamline this part of the “Getting to Know You Stage”:
Selling in person requires some unique details. If you are a maker or an artist, you might find yourself selling at an event or a craft fair! If this is you, here are some sales rhythms to consider:
Listen up! Because this is the meat and potatoes of your entire sales rhythm strategy!!! My #1 sales strategy is focused on your current clients. When you invest time, energy, and attention into creating extraordinary client experiences for the people you serve, your sales strategy is essentially set! When current clients feel cared for, heard, and supported they’re going to stick around a lot longer.
Hello, client retention!
Retaining loyal, raving clients is WAY better than chasing new clients. Your client experience will change your sales process forever. It is better (and more sustainable) to retain your current clients than attract new ones.
If you are constantly focusing on finding, attracting, and persuading new clients, you’re going to be left exhausted!
It’s better to pour your energy into your current clients. You worked so hard to win them over in the first place! They have already shown they value you and your offer and are willing to invest in your business! Continue to work with them in the same capacity or new ways. This will develop loyalty and they will feel supported by your commitment to their business.
When you focus on client experience through over-delivery and anticipating their needs, you’ll grow your business without relying exclusively on traditional sales methods.
Let’s explore how to craft an incredible client experience to increase your client retention rates and bring more ease and sustainability into your sales rhythms.
Consider how you can go above and beyond. It’s not just about the WHAT but the HOW. Presentation counts.
Create simple sales rhythms in your business that create an enjoyable experience for your client. Consider physical packaging or even ways that you can make a virtual presentation clean, organized, and easy to use.
Always be one step ahead! A great way to over-deliver AND sell is to stay on the pulse of your client’s needs.
When you actively consider your clients’ needs, you’ll be able to naturally continue your work with them by guiding them to the tools and resources that will help them meet their upcoming goals. They’ll feel like they have a true partner by their side with their best interest in mind.
Allowing your offers to grow, develop, and expand with your clients’ ever-changing needs and desires can help you innovate and serve your ICA at every touchpoint along their journey.
Think of low or no-lift options that will have a high impact on your client’s experience and their impression of working with you!
When you commit to going above and beyond in your client experience, your clients will look forward to the experience and find joy in, not only your offer but the entire process!
The end result is an experience you love and feel proud of. Better yet, you’ll spend more time focused on your clients, and in your zone of genius, instead of throwing money at paid ads or desperately trying to attract interest in your offers.
The sale doesn’t end when you sign the contract, when your customer clicks “buy”, or when your project comes to a close! Sales should be an ongoing, continuous rhythm that extends beyond the “sale” itself.
Too many entrepreneurs fail to keep the conversation going with their clients past the purchase or the deliverable. When you do this, you miss out on opportunities to sell more in the future, build a portfolio of strong testimonials, and seek out referrals for future projects.
Here are the essential sales rhythms to engage your clients after the initial sale is done.
Once you’re working with a client, the sales process isn’t over! During or after your work together, you should be listening carefully to find opportunities to further serve your client.
As their business evolves and grows, you may be able to customize your offers to support a new phase of their work and help them solve their biggest challenges!
Thinking of ways to continue to serve your customers after their purchase can be a huge improvement to your sales process.
For example, if you sell skincare products that typically last your customers 60-days, put a sales rhythm in place that leverages your email marketing platform. Automate an email to remind them they might need a refill soon! Or, you can recommend a beautiful handmade accessory like a soap dispenser to accompany their initial purchase.
You’re not just selling, you’re making sure your customers have the best experience possible.
Ask for feedback from current and past clients. I am always shocked when I learn how many entrepreneurs overlook this essential piece of their sales process.
Your clients will provide you with the words you need to SELL. When they share their experience via a feedback form or even a testimonial video, they’re connecting directly with your ICA for you!
You can talk all day about how great your offer is, but when your audience hears it from your CLIENTS it rings differently. When you’re able to share testimonials, potential clients will be swayed by social proof (keep this in mind as you outline your marketing rhythms).
At the end of any client contract, ask! It’s as simple as that. You may provide questions or prompts to help pull out the right details or information. Also, never hesitate to request a video testimonial! The worst they could say is no, and the best they could say is sure and then you have powerful video content to share with the world!
If they aren’t ready to continue your work together just yet, set a rhythm to touch base with them in the near future. Mark this on your calendar to remind you to follow up. Be sure to anticipate where you expect them to be in the next 3 or 6 months. What might you offer to anticipate their needs and capture their attention down the road?
Maybe you feel your work is done with this client? That’s okay. It’s the perfect opportunity to incorporate a rhythm of asking for referrals. Asking for referrals can become a sales rhythm as part of our off-boarding process.
Asking for referrals can also be a rhythm you put in place if some time has passed since they purchased your product or since you worked together.
Be sure to let them know if you offer a referral fee for any successful sales they send your way. You can choose to offer cash incentives.
Alternatively, you might choose to offer a discount for your services or products in the future. This kind of referral program is a gentle encouragement for them to work with you again when the need arises. Plus, you don’t have to give them anything upfront until they work with you again, which is a win-win for everyone involved!
Let’s talk conversions. Once you’ve intentionally established sales rhythms for your business, allow them to settle in. After you feel you’re in a groove, it’s a good time to assess and measure the impact of these new rhythms on your sales.
This is the opportunity to make sure you have sales strategies and processes in place that are actively working for you. As you nurture and move potential clients towards entering into your sales process, you’ll want to reflect on the following:
I recommend evaluating your sales rhythms quarterly to assess your progress. I suggest creating a scoreboard or report card that you update each week. This will help you capture your numbers and trends at a glance so you can make adjustments and reinforce the rhythms that are helping you close more sales, serve more clients, and find success in your business.
There is no such thing as a “one-size-fits-all” plan for your sales rhythms, but there are some tried and true rhythms that just make sense! Here’s some advice to help you choose the right rhythms.
Selling is less about “doing”, pouring time, energy, and money into ads, promotions, or sales tactics and more about “being” of service to your clients. The best sales strategy starts with rhythms that tend all parts of the Customer Journey and nails the Client Experience. When you sell from a place of service, it will come naturally. Over time, dare I say, it may even feel GOOD!
Cheering you on as you implement sales rhythms that help you reach your goals and serve your audience with integrity, passion, and alignment.
This blog is part of an 8-part series on creating Rhythms to support your short-term and long-term business goals. So far we’ve explored CEO Time, Financial Rhythms, and Sales Rhythms.
Next, we’ll chat about operations rhythms in your business. Be sure to subscribe HERE and keep your rhythm-setting momentum going so you can tackle those business goals and resolutions!
I am so excited to help you put rhythms in place for your business this year. I encourage you to…
With the right rhythms in place, your business will be humming along in the new year creating space, systems, and strategy that will help you to actively work towards, meet, and even exceed all the goals, resolutions, and dreams you have in mind for the year ahead!
Want to check out our previous rhythms blogs?
THE 8 RHYTHMS YOUR BUSINESS NEEDS THIS YEAR (INSTEAD OF RESOLUTIONS)
CEO TIME: WHAT IT IS, WHY YOU NEED IT, AND HOW TO MAKE IT HAPPEN
FINANCES: HOW RHYTHMS WILL HELP YOU SHIFT FROM SCARY “F” WORD TO F YEAH!
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