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Lesson 7 from: Market Your Service Business Without Spending Hours on Social Media

Tara McMullin

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Lesson Info

7. Conversion

Next, learn how to start sales conversations with the right people to help clarify how your business can help solve their problems.

Lesson Info


finally one of my favorite parts of marketing conversion, this is where we make money, this is where we close deals, this is sales in many ways. So conversion starts with the question, how am I gonna start sales conversations with the right people and that kind of idea of starting sales conversations is sort of how we make the bridge from marketing into sales. Marketing is getting that conversation started, sales is closing the deal, we're going to kind of wrap all of that into this section. When we're thinking about closing a deal, we want to think about what makes someone decide to invest in a solution and there are a number of different things that can make someone say, yeah, today is the day I put money on this problem and it's gonna be different in every business, every industry for every segment of customers, but typically there are a few things that we can look at to sort of examine, Alright, where might this be following for me in my business first and foremost is timing, timin...

g is hugely important when it comes to investing in a service. So think about the past clients that you've worked with, what kind of timing was involved in their decision to invest with you. It could have, it could be timing in terms of sort of life timing, it could be timing in terms of the timing, in their own business or in their career or in their relationship or in their family, whatever it is that you're helping with, how does a timing component come into helping someone realize, oh yeah, now is the time I got to do this. So timing is the first thing, the second thing is a change in circumstances, when things change in someone's life, work business family, whatever that change, can prompt a decision to get started in a new direction or to sort of step up a commitment to a particular project, which might mean investing in working with you. So any kind of change in circumstances you can pinpoint is being like, oh yeah, that's the time people decide to buy is a good thing to take notice of third people buy when they're fed up, when they are at their wits end, when they are tired of the way things are, they decide to invest. Now a fed up buyer is not always the best buyer, but often our job is to sort of walk people back from the edge of being fed up, so what does it take for someone to reach that sort of end point of exhaustion or anger or frustration that makes them say something's got to change, I need some help, I'm gonna hire someone again, think through your past clients, what were they fed up with and when did that happen? And then the last one a little bit more positively were a lot more positively someone can decide to invest in a solution when their goal suddenly crystallizes, right? I think if you think about your own buying patterns, um, if I think about my vying patterns, I know that often I'm sort of walking through life carrying around vague aspirations or vague ideas of what I might want to do next and then all of a sudden get an idea and that goal or that project sort of crystallizes into something really tangible and as soon as I know what it is that I really want or what I want to be working on or what I want to make in the world, that's when I can tell, oh, I'm gonna need help with this piece and if providing that particular piece is working with you, that I mean that I'm ready then to have a sales conversation with you. So timing, changing circumstances being fed up or noticing that a goal crystallizes. There are lots of different reasons that someone might be ready to put money on working with you. But those are sort of the big four buckets that I like to think of when I'm trying to figure that piece out. So once any of those circumstances happen, you're gonna get a lead, someone's gonna show up in your inbox or fill out your intake form and say, hey this happened and I am so ready to work with you, can, can we talk about what that might look like and you're gonna say yes, absolutely, can't wait to talk talk to you about this now, that kind of conversation could happen by email, it could certainly happen over phone or zoom, there's lots of different ways that that sales conversation might evolve. And so we're kind of talking about sales conversation broadly speaking here. It does not have to be a phone call. Um but we need to think of about that process of talking with someone about working with us and what they need to know. And so that's the next piece we need to think about. When we think about conversion is what does someone need to know in a sales conversation to hit the buy button or to pay that invoice or to say yes to that proposal. So first, the first thing I always get out of the way when I'm talking to a new prospect is what's your goal? What is it that you're trying to accomplish here? What's your vision for this? I want to make sure that I understand their goal and maybe even can build on their goal because I can use that goal as a way to build out an incredible, propose to really get them emotionally invested in the project. And just to make sure that everything that we do after they say yes, helps them build toward that goal. So that's the first thing I make sure I do in every sales conversation. The next piece is just customer knowledge. Tell me about yourself, tell me about your business, Tell me about how this all fits into your life. I want to learn as much about that prospective client in a sales conversation as possible. The more I know about them, the better I can understand whether they're a fit for me and my business and what I do or what we do. Um and again I can kind of get an idea of what working with them is going to be like so I can better guide them through the process. The next thing that needs to get covered in a sales conversation is actually on your end and that's process. Every time I'm in a sales conversation I want to walk people through the sort of 10,000 ft view of what my process is. So you know, first we're gonna do this and then we go into stage two and stage two looks like this. Stage three looks like this etcetera. I want them to know that there is a plan behind everything that we do because the more they know there's a plan, the easier it is for them to say yes. The more confident they're going to feel in investing in a solution with you. And then finally I cover pricing in that sales conversation. There's different schools of thought on this. Some people really like to keep pricing to the very last moment, right? They want to get a yes out of someone before they tell them how much it costs. I hate that. So I am very, very upfront with pricing, that's why we put pricing in our services guide. It's why I'm very upfront with it during a sales call, I never, ever, ever hide the cost of working with me if I can possibly help it. So that's something that I'm going to cover in that conversation as well. I'm going to tell them a little bit about what they can expect to get for that price as well. So customers goal, the knowledge that I need of who this person really is and what they're about, then I'm going to share my process with them and I'm going to share pricing as well. So here's our career coach back again. Let's take a look at how they might piece together this conversion part of their marketing strategy. So first question is what makes somebody ready this career coach says, well, Tara, you know, people tend to come to me when something has changed at work, so a change in circumstances, there might be a new opportunity, they see a project that they really want to work on or a job opening, that they really want to go after and they might come to me or there might be a shift in leadership, you know, one great boss leaves and a new boss comes in that you just don't really jive with and you're like, okay, it's time to jump ship. So any of those different changes in circumstance might make someone say, you know what I need a career coach, so that's perfect second, what do you need to cover in a sales conversation? This career coach says something like, well I want a prospective client to know that they aren't alone, that whatever they're experiencing right now, there are hundreds of people out there that have experienced something similar. I also like to share a past client story that aligns with their, so it doesn't have to be perfect, but you know, I like thinking about who else I've worked with, that maybe has a similar emotional residence or a similar uh circumstance that's changed and kind of talked them through how I helps them, that helps them understand my process a little bit better and at the same time I can talk them through the process and show them that it's not one size fits all. And then third, what kind of activity is going to allow you to do those things, this particular career coach? They're all about the one on one sales conversation, I think that's a great idea, but they're also really interested in maybe trying something a little less high stakes, so they're gonna give that monthly roundtable discussion ago as well. They can cover a lot of the same stuff that they would in a one on one sales conversation, but maybe they do it a few people at a time and maybe they can actually help with some networking by connecting people who show up to that round table. So that's an example of what conversion can really look like in a service based business again, conversion is all about answering that question. How will I start sales conversations with the right people? This is a great time again to get that workbook out and think through these conversion questions for your own marketing strategy as we put this strategy together as you work through that workbook, you're going to come across the Discovery questions, the evaluation questions and the conversion questions and you're going to have an opportunity to choose activities for each of those things. I highly recommend you choose one activity per topic per you know, one activity for disk, one activity for evaluation, one activity for conversion you might find that you want to experiment with other things as you go, you might find that you do need a second activity in one of those but start simple because most likely your business marketing does not need to take nearly as much time or energy as you expect it to. So Discovery evaluation conversion one activity at a time. Now to show you what that actually looks like in my own service based business, let's break this down one more time. So this is sort of a marketing strategy case study for yellow house media, our podcast production agency. So for Discovery there are really two activities that we rely on. One is an activity that I did a couple of years ago that I don't need to think about anymore and the other one is an ongoing one that I also do not need to think about because it happens via our clients. So the first one is referrals referrals happen regularly in our business. Our clients love us and they tell their friends who are thinking about starting podcasts, you've got to talk to my producers, they're really great. So that's probably the number one way we find clients is just simply through client referrals. But then the second way is pillar content and this can actually play really nicely with referrals. So I mentioned SEO content earlier, that's really what this pillar content is all about. There are a number of articles on our website that are 58 10,000 words long that really walk someone through step by painstaking step on whatever it is that there Thinking about with their podcast. So just for instance I have a whole 10, word tutorial on starting a podcast. It walks them through the 10 steps that we utilize with our clients. So not only does that bring people in through search, but it also commit days some of that information that would be in the evaluation part of our marketing strategy as well. So referrals Pillar content. Next up, as I mentioned earlier, we have this services guide that really helps us in the evaluation phase. So someone gets referred, they come to our website, they read one of our articles, they're like whoa these are exactly the people that we need to hire but we've got some questions then they go to our services page, they download the services guide and they read through and most of their questions are going to be answered in there. The only thing that we don't get into in that services guide is the technology piece. I say that for wowing people on a sales call so that services guide is going to serve as the key piece of the evaluation phase of our marketing strategy. And as I said as well, those articles that pillar content that also is really helpful for evaluation, which is a good time to say to that. That means that yes different kinds of activities can serve multiple purposes as well. And then finally the conversion piece of our marketing strategy is filled with a free consultation so someone fills out our intake form, we check it over, make sure there's not any red flags, if there's red flags we say, hey we're not the right agency for you. Otherwise we schedule a free 30 I call, I get to hear about what their goals are, what their vision is for the show that they want to put together and then I can answer any questions that they have and walk them through our process, go over pricing with them and anything maybe that they missed in the services guide and our conversion rate on those calls is near 100%. There are only a few calls over a three year period where we did not close a sale from one of those free consultations. So that's it. That's the marketing strategy that we used. That. Yellow House media, absolutely zero social media, absolutely zero constant content creation and absolutely zero email marketing. I've dabbled with some of those things and I decided you know what they have zero results for us so I don't do them anymore. Um This is what it takes to keep our pipeline healthy to make sure that our client capacity is at a level where we like it to be. And it also means that we're not spending tons of time on marketing. In fact we spend very very little time on marketing. So that's how that three part marketing strategy works at our business. Yellow House Media. So again get that workbook out, work out your own three part marketing strategy and then meet me back here to talk more about marketing ecosystems.

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Ratings and Reviews

Matthew Whitenack

Tara is great. I have been looking forward to new content from her. This class is major departure from her earlier classes. In it, she essentially argues that we spend less time on marketing, doing fewer activities....because that nonstop whirlwind of content creation didn't actually help her business (which makes me question what I learned in her earlier classes). I think this new class could greatly benefit from more specific examples of where she suggests we meet our ideal clients since she's suggesting it isn't on social media or in their email inboxes. I don't think I have enough information to actually "do" anything after taking this class.

Onyinye Onyejiaka

Wonderful class. I love that her practical tips are realistic.


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