Today can we talk about why I hate selling stuff, even though part of my job is teaching people to sell stuff? I hate selling because you have to stay on it.
You have to keep selling and marketing far beyond the point where you feel any reasonable person would have purchased, bought, added to cart, or checked out.
When I like stuff, I buy it. Period. On sale, not on sale, 3 left, 37 left, don’t care.
The vast majority of people hem and haw and put off decision-making and “think about it” and ponder it and ask questions and talk to their friends about what they should buy and then, eventually, buy the thing at the last possible second or when the ‘deal’ runs out.
I’m still learning this after 8 years, and it’s still frustrating as hell, but I want to reiterate: most people hate making decisions and avoid them at all costs. I truly think I’m broken in this department, since I’m mostly like, YUP NOPE no nuh-uh no way YEEESSSSS no no no no no no no no no no fuck yah.
This is what I’ve learned about this staying on it by carefully watching my own impatient tendencies and my peeps’ procrastinate-or-bust behaviors for years and years.
Stay on it rule #1: at LEAST 50% of sales come in at the last possible minute.
When I launched my Sales Without Shame program a few years ago, over 50% of the introductory sales came in during the final 48 hours of the offer. This time around, that procrastinators’ percentage for the Brave workshop Early Bird pricing ending was actually 83%. Had I not sent a series of ‘This is your last chance’ e-mails about Brave, I’d have missed out on 83% of sales.
In case your eyes are glazing over that number: EIGHTY. THREE. PERCENT. Of sales.
That means that if you want to move $1000 worth of product, failing to let your peeps know about a deadline means you’ll walk away with only $170. (That’s an exceptionally procrastination high percentage, but it points to a bigger issue.)
Continuing to push sales at the last minute is the hardest part of marketing by a long shot.
By the time your promotion or your next product/thingie/service/class is even announced, let alone coming to a close, you’re sick of talking about it. You’ve had to come up with seemingly endless ways to discuss your own best features and benefits, and you’re all out of buy-it-now-juice to sprinkle on your potential customers. I know.
But if the doors close at 2:00 p.m., plan on a deluge of action from 1:30 to 1:59 p.m.. Don’t give up and say your efforts aren’t working during the hours beforehand, like your asshole brain will tell you in order to keep you from sending that last e-mail or making that last post. Don’t let your peeps coast through the deadline without mentioning it many, many times.
Humans need deadlines and will naturally put off decision-making until they are forced to make a choice. Your repeated messages as the deadline approaches will naturally cause decision-making, and therefore sales.
If your doors never close — if you’re always perceived as available and capable of taking clients — potential clients don’t have this sense of urgency. They don’t have to hop on board or get in line because you haven’t given them any reason to do so.
Deadlines for promotions naturally regulate the flow of income to your business.
No promos? No deadlines? No one is beating down your 1:59 p.m. doors, since absolutely nothing happens at 2 p.m.. That probably means lower income for your business.
Stay on it rule #2: you can always try again.
Since I launched the Brave workshop at a time when actual, literal tenets of fascism were being introduced in my country — SURPRISE THE PRESIDENT HAS BEEN IN OFFICE FOR 48 HOURS IT’S ALREADY A SHIT SHOW — I got considerably less attention than I had planned with each marketing message I sent.
I could either a.) blame myself for being unable to rise above the collective dread, fear, and outrage sweeping through the nation, or b.) extend the timing of my offer and keep letting peeps know about what I had made and why it mattered.
Sometimes, events entirely outside of your control mean your promotion completely fails or you get precisely no attention when you had planned on hitting it out of the park. That doesn’t mean you give up and start over. That means you get creative. You can extend the offer, find a new way to talk about it, or start sending personal e-mails asking for help with promoting to your friends, one-by-one, who tell their friends, and you get your sales the painfully old-fashioned but incredibly effective way: by word of mouth.
For stay-on-it rules 3, 4, and 5, give the latest episode of That’s What She Said a listen.
P.S. This is part 4 of the 4-part Crash Course in Sales! Start by reading part one right here.
P.P.S. You’re right, marketing sucks. Make it better.