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This post contains everything you need to know about how to go from an entrepreneur to a CEO. There may be some of you that never want to have CEO in your job title, but the true purpose of this post is to give you the do's and don't's of how to drastically grow your business.
If you've ever tried to go out on your own with contract work or your own business, you know this is what it feels like:
It's terrifying. There's a tsunami at your back and you don't control the velocity or force. You're in survival mode, dumping out heaps of water bursting through the ship's cracks all by yourself; trying not sink to and stay afloat. You're responsible for getting your employees safely home to their families, you're trying to make your own family happy, and of course, you've gotta make sure the customers are happy too.
Unfortunately, this miserable juggle is completely normal in the first season of going out on your own, but for your own sanity, you CANNOT stay there! It's not sustainable for you or your business. No matter if you've been in this season before or if you're there now, I hope you'll be able to glean something from these common mistakes entrepreneurs make.
Six Reasons Entrepreneurs Stay Stuck
1. They Don’t Think Sales First
People are scared to think sales first. They want to perfect their product and brand, and believe everything needs to be perfect before they can start selling. The thing is, you have to create revenue to go to the next base camp. You need money to conduct research in order to perfect your product and brand.
I think the best way to think sales first is to take a look at your sales funnel. What I mean by that is, focus on the pathway that leads a prospect from initial interest to checkout. Is it an obvious, easy path? Is there fabulous customer service along the way? Can I put customers on another path to keep them coming back?
If you've got money falling out of the sky because your sales funnel is working, then inevitable criticism a young business will face will hurt your pride and reputation way less.
2. They Try To Do Too Much
I've said this before, and I'll say it again, but automation trumps determination. If you're an entrepreneur, I'm going to assume you feel spread thin, and here is my advice. You need to automate everything you can! You are only you, and you do not have the capacity to do it all. You are going to run out of time. Create email automations, create delivery automations and automate everything you can.
Additionally, you also may be trying to do too much with your product, but you don’t have to be all things to all people. In fact, the best products are the ones that focus on a specific population and one bleeding neck pain. I hope that takes some weight off your shoulders and gives you freedom to be a scalpel. It exists to do one thing and one thing only. If your customer avatar has three bleeding neck pains, don’t try to heal them all. Focus on one and master it.
3. They’ve Never Identified the Life Cycle of Business and Where They Are In It
Have you ever heard anyone say work on your business, not in your business? Sometimes, we're so close to our business that we can't see the landscape. I really think this diagram is going to help you zone out and see the bigger picture.
Les Mcuein created this diagram to illustrate what predictable success looks like.
Basically what you see is the lifecycle of any organization. Within this cycle he identifies four leadership personalities.
The visionary is the squirrel chasing light bulb person. They're the idea person, but they stink at follow through.
These are the implementation folks. They get results. Visionaries need operators to come alongside of them to get the job done. So visionaries love operators and operators love visionaries because they motivate and inspire them to run.
This is someone who loves systems and processes and is great at organization.
This is the person that helps the processors understand why the visionary changed their mind 6 times before lunch.
Think of those as characters in this business lifecycle story:
Phase 1. Early Struggle
In the early struggle, a visionary has an idea, but is stuck. He's frustrated and doesn't know how to implement. Once an operator is on the team, she can show the visionary the steps to take in order to pull the business along into phase 2.
Phase 2: Fun
This phase consists of lots of, "Wow! Things are happening! Things are working! We sent an email, we got a sale. Somebody bought our stuff! How did they even find us? We have success stories now! There's only two of us on this team, but we're killing it."
The visionary is overjoyed as his ideas are playing out before his eyes. He cheers, "Let's keep going!" which leads the business into phase 3.
Phase 3: White Water
This is exactly what it sounds like. You’re holding on for dear life and just trying to keep everyone in and stay alive. This is not because things are going horribly wrong, quite the opposite actually. You've got a lot of business, you're just not sure how to handle it all. During this phase, Business2Community says your challenges are increasing revenues, increasing customers, and effective management. This is a terrible place to live as a business and put a ton of stress on the team.
The reason why this phase happens is because there aren't any processes, systems, or delegation in place. So, processors get hired here to develop systems that stabilize the business.
This is where you find predictable success, but don't let the processor take over! Don't allow them to do checklists for the sake of checklists. Remember, the visionary always needs to take control.
It's important to know your leadership style, and also know the leadership styles of your team. Check out this link to see what your leadership style is.
4. They Forget to Risk
Sometimes entrepreneurs and small business owners misunderstand the use of risk. Risk is a massive opportunity, and an asset to be leveraged. I don't mean go stand in the road and hope gold falls from the sky without getting run over. Obviously there are calculations to be made, but if you're so averse to risk, you will never get to go to the next level. Use it wisely, but don’t be afraid of it.
5. They Don't Put Metrics in Place
A business metric is a quantifiable measure that is used to track and assess the status of a specific business process. To be effective, business metrics should be compared to established benchmarks or business objectives. ( I use CYFE as my metric dashboard so that my numbers are always in front of me).
In other words, you can't fly the plane with your entrepreneurial hunch. If you’re just looking out the window and not watching the instruments, you don’t have control over the aircraft.
Your metrics can be activity based or measurable metrics. For example, one of our activity metrics at my company is that we respond to all customer inquiries by the end of the day. One of our measurable metrics is to keep our customer turn rate below 10% monthly. If we can maintain those metrics, I know we're doing a good job of keeping our customers happy.
When you've establish accurate metrics, they give you control. If you need some help brainstorming, here are three primary things you need to be able to measure in order to grow your business.
- New Customers- Once you get in the groove of your business, this can be something you take for granted. It's easy to forget that in order to keep growing, you need prospects and you need new customers. On average, how many customers are you generating each month? What is your cost per lead?
- Average cart or Transaction Value- On average, do you know how much someone spends at your business or on your website? You want that transaction to be as high as possible. These first two metrics are super important. New customers X a high cart value = cash flow.
- Customer Life Time Value- It is our tendency to focus on this one first, but customer lifetime value is more of a long game. The first two metrics are actual oxygen tanks to the plane. This is something you install as an extra fuel tank once the plane is already up in the air. With that said, it is so important to have repeat customers, and to be able to measure how many you have.
It's crucial to be able to measure these metrics, so that you can increase them. And if you can increase them, your business is going to grow exponentially.
6. They Don't Hire to Core Values
You have to hire awesome people and you have to hire to core values. Even if you are in a profession that requires a high level of skill, you need to hire to core values. You will find yourself in way less HR problems if you do this. You could have the most talented employee with all the right credentials, but if they are not coachable, if they are not willing to receive criticism, get ready for havoc to wreak and the ship to sink.
Entrepreneur.com says, "Entrepreneurs work hard to build and cultivate the culture of their organizations. But company culture doesn't result from an edict from upper management. It’s made up of the work and values of every employee. Each new hire can contribute to sustaining or eroding that culture."
That could not be more true. I have worked very hard to establish a certain culture for my business, and I'm sure you have too. If you're new to this idea of culture and core values, I'll share the core values I hire to to give you an idea of things you may want in your business culture.
So if you interview with me or my team and one of these irk you, we know that my company is not a place you need to work. This is a good thing for us, but also for our candidates. It means you didn't get on the wrong bus and take someone else's seat.
Also, your business is not a rehabilitation center. Jack Bailey says, "Hire slow, fire fast." Don't keep people around who have bad attitudes and skills in hopes that they will get better. I'm not saying don't be empathetic, but if someone is sinking your ship, ask them to leave quickly.
Ultimately, I think the first step into growing your business is awareness. I hope you'll take some time to process this for your own business, and that this post will help you sail the ship safely home.
Clickfunnels vs. Kajabi: The Ultimate Review of Two Fantastic Platforms. Click here to access the “inside information” on two industry juggernauts.Read More
14 Things Your Customer Wants More Than Anything...but Will Never Tell You In Public: Periscope Edition
The other day I broadcast this short, but rich, training on periscope(you can follow me at @jrhodesbiz).
The business that succeeds is the business that understands the customer the best. Enjoy!
-PERISCOPE EDITION - @jrhodesbiz -
People want to GAIN: 1. Health 2. Time 3. Money 4. Popularity 5. Improved Appearance 6. Security 7. Praise From Others 8. Comfort 9. Leisure 10. Pride of accomplishment 11. Advancement 12. Increased enjoyment 13. Self-confidence 14. Personal prestige Follow Me On Periscope @jrhodesbiz
Everyone wants to sell more, right? Do you ever get to the part of the sales conversation and not know what to say to nudge the customer over the conversion line?
That's what this video training is about. I just hosted a LIVE Google Hangout about 9 closing techniques and thought I'd post it here too. I also mention Click Funnels, my marketing funnel software of choice. I've got some pretty slick bonuses for you if you sign up with my link(right here). You can read more about that at the bottom of this post. Hope it helps:
Closing Techniques REVIEW:
1. Transition - TIME: "I can't cover it all in the time that we have, but I'm excited to provide you with this offer which will give you all the time you want and future results that you desire.
2. Transition - QUESTION: " Let me ask you a question. What if I helped you implement this so you could have "X"?
3. Transition - ONE RESULT: " If all this did was (enter desired result) would it be worth (price of your product of service).
4. Transition - TOOL: Remind them that money is a tool to be used in exchange for better results and benefits.
5. Transition - EXTRA: Would you rather invest your disposable income in more liabilities or something that is an ironclad asset like (your product/service).
6. Transition - COMES BACK: Remind them that money comes back each month, but time does not. You can help them save that time.
7. Transition - EXPOSURE: If you don't take my offer, you'll slip back into your old habits. If you want change, you need repeated exposure - the full system.
8. Transition - INFO ALONE: Info alone is not reliable. You need accountability/coaching to see you through to the end.
9. Transition - CHEAP VS EXPENSIVE: "I could price my product cheap and sell as many as possible...or more expensive so we could devote more resources to you.
I use these techniques and about a dozen more every day online and offline. I use them the most online with my marketing funnels I build with Click Funnels.
I'm a proud customer of Click Funnels and also get paid an affiliate commission when people click on my links here to start their own Click Funnel account...at no extra cost to you. PLUS, I provide some pretty amazing bonuses to help YOU save time and make more money.
When you sign up through my link, I give you TWO of my high performing marketing funnels PLUS TWO of my online marketing courses. See below:
The human mind is a funny thing. It's a maze full of trap doors that customers use to escape the sale.
Your "pitch" can disappear through one of those trap doors faster than a steroid driven fastball.
Then...you're gone in their mind and the customer has moved on.
So, let's not let that happen. After all, we're the good guys right? Our products are noble and our customer's best interest are in mind.
Let's "Jedi Up" with these 10 hacks to make sure our little Houdini's don't escape.
Jedi Persuasion Trick #1 - VIP Them - Ask Them To Be In A Group
People want to feel special. It's primal. You set me apart from "them" and I feel special. Pick me for your kickball team and I'm a prince. So, ask them to be part of a group like my private facebook group for marketers/entrepreneurs you can join right here for free(I'll have to approve your request).
Jedi Persuasion Trick #2 - Threaten What They Value
Mention that they are wasting, saving or losing the things they desire the most. Most people value money, time and how much energy they have to put into activity to obtain it all. Threatening these values is like a kung fu touch of death.
Except it's a kung fu touch of persuasion(stupid illustration I know).
Jedi Persuasion Trick #3 - Ask Them For Help
People love themselves. Let's just face the brutal facts. This means they love what they know. Ask their opinion on something and you'll hold their attention longer.
Long enough to take control of the conversation and get the sale.
Jedi Persuasion Trick #4 - Leverage Peer Pressure(social proof)
Show that large amounts of people have taken the action you are asking them to take. They are 20 times more likely to trust you. This gives them scapegoats to blame too if something goes wrong(AKA they don't execute).
Jedi Persuasion Trick #5 - Do A Flash Sale
Giving people a limited amount of time to act is a huge leverage point. All of the over-achievers in your customer base will instinctively feel like they need to take action. You'll end up doubling your sales just by using time, which is out of their control, to limit their escapability.
Jedi Persuasion Trick #6 - Tell Them Not To Do Something
Again, people love their own desires more than yours. Tell them not to do something and they will do it when you aren't looking. "Don't open this email" is a great subject line. "Don't read the rest of this blog post or else...". Damn. Lost you.
Jedi Persuasion Trick #7 - Introduce Something NEW
Fear of missing out is a real psychological pressure point. People love being the first to know something. That's why the grocery stores still sell celebrity gossip magazines. Tell them something is new and they have to engage. It's in their nature to do so.
Jedi Persuasion Trick #8 - Don't Give Too Many Choices
If people have to entertain more than three buying options they will not likely convert. Don't segment your offer into weakness. Keep options scalpel-like. Use precision when surgically delivering the offer to your customer and they will convert.
Take for instance my favorite sales funnel/website builder weapon, Click Funnels. Their pricing table is perfect. No more than three options...
Jedi Persuasion Trick #9 - Use The "Yes Path"
People are 1000% more likely to purchase instantly if you get them to answer questions with a "YES" before you ask them for money. No matter how obvious the questions, just get them nodding their head and they will give you their credit card.
Jedi Persuasion Trick #10 - Be Relatable
Tell a story that highlights your struggle so they can see you struggling too. This rips your out of the ivory tower and puts you on level ground with the commoner that you want to be your customer. They need to know that you understand what they are going through.
Go be a freaking Jedi...you don't have to be a genius to do the above. I've told you what to do. Don't wait on Yoda to come along. Use the force.
Comments on my dazzling use of graphics are welcome. That is all.
That's what it takes, right? To dominate in business? To make tons of money and find "Freedom"?
I use to think that.
Until I discovered that there wasn't a single version of Gandalf's hat to fit me.
Normal guy here fighting all the hype the internet sells you. Plenty of that crap to go around.
And you know who eats it up?
Everyone...at some time or another.
"Get rich quick", "The easy way to do business", "I made $13,567 in my pajamas eating Lucky Charms".
Why do we want these schemes to be real? Because we have something that is special to us.
Something that means a lot.
A dream. An escape. A better place in time.
Greener grass to smoke...
By the way, this is me and my family. Cute.
They mean a lot to me. They are why I work smarter than I use to.
I want more for them. End of story. But, that's just me...
Who/What do you care about? What makes you wish that you could be a gray marketing wizard(or even white if you're a LOTR nerd...)?
I don't know much. But...
Here's what I know.
There's no magic wand when it comes to marketing or building a business.
There's a framework needed. It's more like architecture than finding a silver bullet.
That doesn't mean you have to wait forever for construction to be done on it though to see results.
So, that's where people get tripped up. They get discouraged when the street drugs that internet bozos sell them don't deliver a life full of ecstasy.
Street drugs. Lots of them out there in advertising land that make you feel like that freaky caterpillar in Alice In Wonderland.
Nah, you need a system. Think like the old board game, Mousetrap...
Each part of that multi-colored wonder board works together for a common purpose.
In marketing, things should be systematic. Measured. Optimized. Measured again. Optimized again.
You feel me?
Thing is, most of our empire building attempts usually end up looking like this...
You been there? Buncha pieces layin' around and you don't know which to pick up first...
That's ok. It ain't over yet.
This is what you want, right?
Big. Awesome. Functional.
Something that delivers with a bang while you sit back and watch it twirl.
That's what a sales funnel does. It's the mousetrap that delivers the win for you and your business even when you aren't looking.
A sales funnel, that works, allows you to stop looking for magic wands and silver bullets.
Build a sales funnel. Start now.
Don't know how? Confused on where to start? Let me show you a tool that I use every day that cuts out the fog of confusion.
Click Funnels. You should, at the very least, start a free trial of Click Funnels at this link now.
I use Click Funnels for ALL of my marketing sequences and sales initiatives.
If you have an online or offline business, Click Funnels can deliver more leads and more customers to your business...Bottom line.
Plus, you can build ANY KIND of funnel your particular business model needs.
Different Kinds of Sales Funnels
No matter what kind of business you run, there's a funnel to be built.
- Consulting Business/High Ticket Coaching
- Webinar Funnel
- Product Launch Funnel
- Software Funnel
- Service Based Sales Funnel
- Optin Funnel
- Membership Funnel
The list goes on.
Here are three helpful diagrams to give you an idea of what funnels should look like from an anatomy level:
Do you pay attention to your sales funnel? Can you see it or is it more like a unicorn that you keep hearing about, but can't ever get a glimpse of?
Please share your comments below!
So you want to get people to pay you for your product or service.
Excellent. You are in the right place.
Here are the main essentials to making sure your sales funnel doesn't have any "leaks". Leaky funnels, after all, equal diluted sales.
1. Take A Step Back - Get Clear
Ok, you crazed fanatic. I know you're excited. Just pull the reigns back a bit and think there Sparky.
...Oh, you're scared...fearful, even, that your idea won't work?
Or you're so fired up that you can't think straight...like The Tazmanian Devil?
Join the club. It's natural. The fear and/or the craziness comes from a lack of clarity.
Often times, thinking gets bypassed in the scurry we call entrepreneurship.
"Close your computer(after you read this whole thing, of course). Dust the cobwebs off your notebook and write. Write out what you want to do."
Write down your goals and when you want to achieve them by.
Write out why you want to sell your "thing" to begin with. More money? Save the planet? Feed more animals?
You don't have to write a ton...just get some thoughts out of that crazy ass brain of yours. When in doubt, use the below to give you structure.
2. Identify Your Customer
Who is he? Or is it more likely a "her"? Could be both...
Dial this in super close right now.
Do your best to identify the following about them:
-What represents their desires?
-Who/What do they see as a villain?
-Who/What do they see as a hero?
-What do they want?
-Who gets their attention te most?
-Do they have money to spend?
-Who is their best friend?
-What do they hate?
-What do they love?
These are great guide rails for your copywriting. Copy will be CRUCIAL as you begin to persuade them to buy with your emails and sales funnel pages, etc.
3. Pinpoint The "Bleeding Neck" Pain
Spend a ton of time right here.
Picture the customer that you identified in step 2 running around like they are in an episode of The Walking Dead.
What's wrong with them? How can your product heal them RIGHT NOW.
"They don't care about your product. They only want you to fix their problem. They only want a better version of themselves."
If you know what their bleeding neck pain is, you will know how to hook them in your approach...
...earn the right to have a conversation with them.
This piece is massive.
4. Agitate The Pain
This isn't a sadistic tactic. It's for real. The point isn't to make them wallow in self misery.
Humans are dull. Humans are disctractable. Humans self medicate.
That mixture of natural flaws(that we are all born with) is a recipe for no sales.
So, you have to twist the knife a little to remind them that if they don't reach for the solution, there are consequences...
...like living with that pain a second longer.
5. Make A Compelling Offer
Now that they are downright angry with their problems/pains, it's time to be the good guy.
Remember, they don't care about you or your widget. They only care about the greener pasture...the other side of the fence...the better place.
You need to sell them that in order to you sell your product.
Pro Tip: Leverage scarcity and limited time offers to immediately increase sales.
Pro Tip #2: Provide only ONE call to action. If it's an email...one call to action. If it's a sales page in your funnel...one call to action.
Options confuse and water down decision-making.
"A large percentage of people who read an ad and decide to act will forget that decision in five minutes" ~ Claude Hopkins, Scientific Advertising
Don't turn your offer into a Subway Sandwich shop with a thousand different combinations.
Focus your customer...for them.
1. Take A Step Back - Get Clear
2. Identify Your Customer
3. Pinpoint The Bleeding Neck Pain
4. Agitate The Pain
5. Make A Compelling Offer
Now, drive traffic to your sales funnel and make that cash register sing! (or make those credit cards swipe...whatever)