I understand that the word ‘sales’ can make you feel a tad uncomfortable, especially for my creative entrepreneurs out there. I say sales and you hear ‘selling your soul’. The sound of the word sales creates pressure, and for many of the business owners, I speak to maybe even a little anxiety (or a lot).
I don’t want to overwhelm you and I want to assure you that sales doesn’t have to be hard. Let’s stare that big green one-eyed monster in the face and break it down together.
First I want to share with you that sales was not always in my DNA, in fact I would go as far as saying that I hated it. I would find all and every way to procrastinate until I was at the bottom of the boom and bust rollercoaster and necessity would drive me to hustle and get back up again. I was good, really good at riding the boom and bust rollercoaster and if you know my story, you’ll know that the stress of it got me eventually. Fortunately I experienced some paradigm shifts when it came to sales and my mindset (thanks to my Uncle Allister), and the game started to change for me.
In fact, it’s one of the reasons that I now serve agency owners to crack the Growth Code and pave their path to permanent profits. Because I know all too well the exhaustion, the emotions and how draining it is to ride that boom and bust rollercoaster and flirt with entrepreneurial poverty. Yes I went there and we might be too proud to admit it but agency and business owners sometimes don’t pay themselves consistently, or what they deserve.
Back to the mindset shift I had, I want to share that with you, and my hope is that it will bring you to think about things differently and change the way you’re looking at selling. Then we’ll get on with your sales goals and how to achieve them.
You will hear people say that selling is a numbers game. Well my friends, that’s technically true but actually selling is a people game. You see, selling is serving. If you are looking at your prospective client in front of you and you know that your agency, your consultancy or your services can genuinely help them to improve their life or business, then selling is helping them to make the right decision for them. Let me say it again - selling is serving. If you get that, you are not only going to smash your sales goals but feel fulfilled by the experience.
Step one, setting sales goals
Before you set a sales goal which I’m going to talk about in a few seconds, I want you to forget about all the times you’ve set a goal and not hit it. When I work with coaching clients on goal setting, we first of all look at which gap we’re focused on. You set a goal to hit £1,000,000 in revenue but you “only” made £750k. Are you focused on the fact that you fell short or on that fact that hell yeah you made three quarters of a million, you made bank! Don’t focus on the gap, a person with a growth mindset doesn’t do that.
With that out the way, let’s focus on what we do want. Let’s decide on a good goal. Now it amazes me how many business owners know they should set goals but haven’t created clear and specific goals that can be measured in space and time. Most of the time when I ask someone to set a goal they’ll say something totally random and pull a figure out (it’s usually to generate a million and we stop there). My point is that I want you to set a good goal (not a random goal). Then I want you to set a stretch goal.
You are a business owner, you need to know what your good goal is and plan to hit your stretch goal. If you don’t do this and really take the time to think about it how on earth will you know where you’re going? It’s like getting in the car and driving with no endpoint in mind and without setting your destination in Google maps.
So pause, have a think about your good goal and your stretch goal.
Step two, what does your sales goal mean to you?
When your goal is intentional, clear and not random, it will be exciting and compelling to pull you into action. Once you’ve decided on your goal, I want you to really think about it and answer some questions. I ask these questions to my coaching clients when we set goals and there’s method behind it. Go with me here.
What will it mean to you to achieve that level of revenue, that level of sales?
Why is that important to you?
What will you able to do when you’ve achieved that level of sales that you can’t do now?
What are you willing to do without compromise to achieve that?
You’ve set vague, random goals in the past and not hit them. But by getting very specific and exploring questions like these, you’ll find that the sales figure isn’t the key driver. It’s the means to achieve an end. It will help you to do things that are important to you. That is what is going to help you achieve your sales goal.
I can’t stress this enough so let me say again, it’s often not the money or the sales target that’s important. It’s the things you can do that are important to you. Maybe you can buy a bigger home, save and invest or take your family on a vacation. Lord knows when I owned my agency, after we left the exciting startup phase and headed into the survival trap I didn’t take a holiday or a day off for three years straight. Luckily that changes once you crack the growth code and that’s why we are setting goals and creating a map to help you achieve them.
Step three, how are you going to get there?
When we set ourselves big stretch goals it can look pretty scary. It doesn’t have to be, I often work with my coaching clients to build a model for the business of what achieving that goal looks like. That sounds super sexy but really it’s just a spreadsheet that we plug some numbers into and it shows you what that goal looks like broken down.
If you don’t have a super sexy spreadsheet to create your business model, that’s ok. I’m going to talk you through a few things I want you to look at in your business. We’re going to start with clarity and simplifying things. Simple is always better and easier, remember we’re trying to make selling easier here. In your business, and I’m sure you might find that like many businesses who I speak with, you have multiple offers or multiple services that you sell. There’s also a temptation to sell lots of things because we think having lots of things to sell will help us hit bigger numbers. Not always true. So if you’re an agency and you do websites, apps, branding, print design, videography, graphic design and maybe you do more things, take a long hard look at all those revenue streams and ask yourself which one (or two) are your real money makers?
If you try sell all things to all people, first off you don’t have the time, money or resources to do that. Dilution is not the solution. Think of any millionaire or billionaire you might know or can think of, I bet that he or she has ONE THING that has made their real money to start with. Tony Robbins, live events and seminars. Robert Kiyosaki, real estate. Sara Blakely, Spanx and Jamie Kern Lima, IT Cosmetics.
When I first started out in my coaching business, I did try to create all sorts of things and create new things for every client that came along. I was spread so thin and it made it difficult to sell. In my coaching business now, I have two core offerings, yes there are a couple things that orbit those core offerings but I focus on two. My 12-week Clients Like Clockwork® program and the Growth Code® which is my signature one-to-one coaching. As for my team, they focus on the Clients Like Clockwork® program as the single, core message to work with. The other products or programs generate organic sales, of course I have goals for those but my energy and resources, focus is on the core results and revenue drivers. When you simplify and focus on fewer things you’ll feel less overwhelmed too, it’s a win-win for you and for your clients.
When you know what your one or two key revenue drivers are, it’s time to look at the price point of that service. This is where the business model is super handy as we can work backwards to figure out how many sales you need at your ticket price, what your conversion rate needs to be, how many leads and prospects you need to bring into your world on a weekly basis.
I love, love, love doing this exercise with clients. I was recently doing some goal mapping with a one-to-one client who owns a PR agency in New York. We worked it out backwards and to achieve her $2.2m revenue target, we only needed to find nine new clients and make a few other tweaks to pricing. The best thing is that we already had momentum and several strategies that could achieve that. There was a little more to it but the “oh, well that’s not so hard then” penny drop moments are what I live for! (We then went on to set a stretch goal).
Ok, so at your price point for your offer, how many new clients do you need to achieve that? Press pause and work it out.
Step four, what resources do you have?
Whether it’s just you managing the company and wearing all the hats or you have small team around you, it’s really key to look at what resources you have already that you can leverage to help you achieve your sales goal. You might already have a website, money-making assets, a virtual assistant or you may have some capital to test ad campaigns. Looking at your current resources and what obstacles you might have to achieving your goals is a missed step and it’s what will trip up the best of us.
You already have some level of success at selling what you do. Take a long hard look around at your resources, assets, your capabilities, what strengths you can work with. And on the flip side, what barriers do you have or what obstacles are there that you need to work through to clear the way for your success? This is often where a business coach can really help you and give you the accountability to do the things you need to do to reach your goals without compromise. That’s not a shameless plug at all, it’s a genuine invitation for you to find the support you need to reach your goals and go further faster.
You might know from my social media that I ride motorbikes and this last winter out in Spain I was riding my bike on track, something was off. I was really nervous, after lockdowns I hadn’t ridden in a long while and maybe there was a mix of things going on. I wasn’t enjoying myself. So I hired a coach. Steve Brogan from the Superbike School and it was the best thing I’ve ever done. In half a day he had me riding with more confidence, taking corners faster and safer. So I am a huge advocate for getting a coach in any area of your life or business especially where you’re setting goals.
Step five, it’s time to execute on your targets
Now, as I mentioned you have a clear specific goal and you know what resources you have. If you have a team supporting you, everyone is working towards the same goal and rowing in the same direction. You’ll want to split out targets so that your team are executing the plan. I don’t want to head into this in too much detail as it’s a whole other episode where I’ll be doing a deep dive into your sales processes.
In summary, you want to know how many people you’re speaking with, how many sales calls or discovery calls you’re having, enquiries or quotes going out and so on. You have to schedule the time to work at it and there’s one key ingredient here - CONSISTENCY. All these metrics have to be tracked so you can step back and see if you’re on track towards your goals (or not). You need to check in with the GPS and adjust course if needed.
With my business model and breaking it down like we have here, it becomes so simple. I want you to see how this can be applied to your business and how you can set goals that really excite you and how to go after them with consistency. Now you’ve set some goals, I hope that you’re not only interested but committed to achieving them.
What do you need to do to stay accountable and find a way to actually achieve your sales goals and get them done?
If this has got you thinking about setting goals and having a stretch goal that excites you then I am so grateful to have been a tiny little part of that. I can’t wait to see you enjoying sales, celebrating your goals and all that you’ve achieved. And if there’s anything I can do to help or you have any questions, DM me on social media the word GROWTH or email me email@example.com