When it comes to the world of selling our work, we can focus on making big-picture financial goals, the advice of endless(ly dull) business books, and implementing complicated strategies until the end of our days.
But even if you’ve got the right tools in place, the right pricing in your business, and the appropriately weird marketing jiving with your peeps, there are tiny tweaks that can make the difference between making the sale and ending up penniless in a moldy apartment, curled up with only your Ramen and Netflix for company.
Attitude tweaks, simple reframes of everyday situations, and offering fewer, fewer — always fewer — options to your peeps can go a long way toward making the sales that fluff your bank account with more than enough money for ramen, Netflix, and the rent every month.
+ First: ditch the question marks when you talk about pricing.
Question marks never inspire confidence.
“It’s three hundred dollars?” leads to endless haggling.
“It’s three hundred dollars.” makes the sale. (And yes I know that’s grammatically far from correct but dammit, the period makes the point.)
If you can’t say your pricing with absolute certainty, practice in front of the mirror. Say your pricing aloud to your pets, your plants, your kids, and Siri. I don’t care who you practice with, but practice. You’ll notice a big decrease in haggling, negotiating, and generally trying to talk down your pricing.
+ Next. Give up on being offended by people asking for discounts.
You can freak out every time someone asks for a discount, a special, or a deal. OR you can accept that they’re just asking. They ask, you say “no” or tell ’em about your latest promo, and you move on.
They are not demanding one of your kidneys for their ailing grandparent or forcing you to offer your work at much less than its true value in the world. They’re simply asking.
The world does not have to value every single thing you put into the world. YOU DO.
You value your work by creating and then consistently maintaining your pricing despite the relative merits of the person who’s asking, how persuasive he or she happens to be, and whether or not they happen to have a really compelling sob story on tap at the moment.
+ Pare it down.
Ever been in the Target late at night, looking for a simple thing like toothpaste, and faced the wall of 97 toothpastes with absolute dread? Me, too.
Piling choices onto more choices makes even your most loyal clients stumble around your shop or your service menu like lost sheep.
Where you’re offering 8 options, can you get it down to 5?
Where there are 5 options, can you get it down to 3?
Feeling bold? You do the one thing, the one thing, and only the one thing. Slash the other stuff from your store.
+ Throw out/delete/give the finger to that one product or service.
The one that doesn’t sell.
The one you can’t stand.
The one you added when it seemed like a good idea, but you stare at it like it’s a pile of dog poo every time you see it offered on your website.
Gone. Done. BOOM.
No angst, no drama, no consulting the interwebs and 3,422 of your peers in that one Facebook group before you cut it loose. It frees up energy for the stuff you really, really love.
+ Give your peeps a time limit.
Offers that never expire fail to inspire the clicking of the “buy” button — and for good reason. There’s no sense of urgency, and we can always get it later. Only ‘later’ never comes, and you still have to buy your ramen and watch your Netflix and pay your rent, yes?
Give a client who’s on the fence 24 hours, 3 days, or 1 week to act.
Whatever the time frame, it’s much more likely to work than making an open-ended offer that’s good for the next year and a half. By then, a major appliance will have broken down, her kids will have had a medical emergency that emptied the bank account, and she’ll have completely forgotten that she ever wanted your goodies in the first place.
People buy when they a.) can’t handle not having something any longer — the rarest of occasions — or b.) when they’re up against a deadline.
The sale ends tomorrow. The promo code expires in an hour. They’re going to run out of your size in that fabulous sweater. Christmas is coming. Her birthday is next week.
Deadlines motivate your peeps to buy like teasing them with products, lovingly offering them services, and giving them all the time in the world simply can’t.
For further reading: 5 reasons your latest promo fell flat.
+ Limit quantities.
We want what we can’t have. When there are 27,000 of a thing, we’re much less likely to buy it now than where there are 2.7 of the thing.
Small batches, tiny quantities, limited time offers.
Timed shop updates.
3 or 4 spots on the calendar opened up at a time.
Keeping your products small batch and artisanal like a model hipster citizen requires no further effort on your part, but it’s much more likely to get your peeps buying than when you seem to offer unlimited quantities of your wares.
+ Hold a flash sale.
One graphic and one promo code, valid for 24 hours. For no good reason.
Post everywhere. Done.
(Psst! Here’s how to hold a sale without breaking your brand.)
+ Do the thing you’ve been avoiding.
Better yet — do the thing you’ve been avoiding for more than six months.
Yah yah, you KNOW you have to talk to her about that cross promotion, or hold that event you’ve been talking about for months, or reach out and follow up with every client who’s inquired about your services in the past six months. But…it’s so much easier to curl up with a screen and ignore the world!
I know. I know it’s easier to “work” by playing on Facebook, answering e-mails, and fulfilling only those orders that come in without regard for garnering any more orders. But the thing you’ve been avoiding? Do it. (Also this takes more than 30 seconds but sending the first e-mail or text to get the ball rolling can, arguably, be done that quickly.)
Your future self — who’s currently sipping a lovely artisan beverage at the new place in town while fulfilling a record number of orders — thanks you for putting in the effort.
+ Keep going.
So your last sale didn’t work, or no one bought, or you only sold 3 of that thing and you have 300 in your garage? Cool. No one else on the planet knows that.
There’s no need to pretend that a worldwide text bulletin letting people know that you’re a Grade A Big Time Failure has been sent to billions of people.
Pick yourself up, make one of the sales tweaks offered here, and keep going.
Find a way in. Keep on keeping on, my friend. You’re more amazing than you know.