Do these practical steps to never work with the wrong client again

Do these practical steps to never work with the wrong client again

Working with the wrong type of client can cost you time, money and let’s be honest it can be draining! 

The best time to say no to a client is early on before you’ve even started working with them. 

But how do you know if they’re right for you?

You qualify them!

In the early days of business, you might say yes to clients and work that comes in regardless of where it comes from. 

This can be an important part of figuring out how to improve your product and service or finding your niche. 

But once you’ve been in business for a while, there’s a point where it’s time to start saying no. And initially, this can be uncomfortable. 

Sometimes we’re not even aware that we’re still holding on to the wrong type of clients.

So my question to you is… 

Are you working with your ideal clients? And by ideal clients I mean those that light you up to work with and you can help them?

Because listen up… if they’re not right for you, you’re not right for them! It’s just the way it goes. 

I want to share a really simple process that helps you qualify your clients early on so you never have to work with the wrong type of client again. 

All you have to do is come up with a killer set of 3-5 questions and make sure you ask these of everyone before you work with them. 

Let me outline it for you below.

What do I ask? 

The best way to come up with your 3-5 qualifying questions is to think of your non-negotiables when it comes to working with (or selling your product to) someone. 

Then craft your questions around these. 

  • Non-negotiable: Must have a minimum of 10 staff members
  • Question: How many team members do you have?
  • Non-negotiable: A specific set of industries you work with
  • Question: What industry are you in?
  • Non-negotiable: They must be local to a certain area
  • Question: Where are you based?
  • Non-negotiable: They need to have a baseline level understanding of the work you do 
  • Question: Have you worked with a [insert service or product] before or what’s your understanding of [service or product]
  • Non-negotiable: There’s a minimum investment amount required
  • Question: Have you thought about how much you’d like to invest in this?
  • Non-negotiable: You want people to show up or be committed to your service/solution
  • Question: Why is now the right time for you to xyz or what do you want to get out of xyz and how committed are you?

Simple right? It is oh so simple and oh so overlooked. 

ACTION: Take a few moments now, to write down your non-negotiables and what the questions would be for you to ask them. 

Top tip if you’re an online or product-based business. You can follow a version of this process in your website copy and make sure you price accordingly so that you’re speaking to your ideal client. 

How do I ask them?

A barrier is sometimes not remembering to ask the questions in the moment or not knowing when to ask them. The solution to this is creating a process that becomes second nature.  

Depending on your business if it’s online, or in-person, selling will depend on how you ask them. Below are some examples for different types of business. If you get stuck on this and want to pick the brain of an expert in this space, book a complimentary chat with Nicky here

  • If you have a booking system in place (like acuity or calendly) you can add some questions for the prospect to answer when booking the appointment. 
  • Use Typeform or Google Sheets if you don’t have the above systems in place
  • Verbally when you catch up with your prospect, make sure you have your questions in front of you as a part of your sales conversation and record the answers somewhere… even a word doco is better than nothing. 

However you do it in, getting to ask these questions early on is key to saving you time and future headaches. And it doesn’t have to be complicated! In fact, the simpler the better!

What if they’re NOT the right fit….#awkward!

It’s pretty simple really. You can politely tell them that you’re not the right fit, or not the best person to help them. 

If relevant you can be specific about why, but you don’t have to justify your decision. 

You’re allowed to choose who you want to work with.

Read that again 👆

A great way to do this without feeling like sh*t can be to have some referrals in mind. If it’s not the right fit for practical reasons ie. they’re too big or small, you can pass on the details of someone else who can help. 

And remember, even if you don’t have a referral for someone else who can help, you can still end the conversation on a positive by wishing them all the best.

What about the “not now”?

Another common problem is that you overfill your cup, and your calendar, because you’re saying yes to the right type of client but you’re too busy to fit them in.

First, ask yourself, why do you keep saying yes? 

  1. Is it because there’s an underlying scarcity belief and you’re scared if you say no the work will stop coming?
  2. Is it because you feel bad and don’t want to let people down?

It’s okay to tell people you have a waitlist or to let them know what date works to get started in the future

Read that again 👆

I’ve had future start dates with clients six months ahead and clients keep saying yes! 

The biggest expectations we often have, we put on ourselves. And most of the time people will wait for you. If not, that’s also okay.

Qualify the right clients by making sure the price is right!

If you undercharge, your ideal client will overlook you for being ‘too cheap’. Understand who you’re wanting to sell to so you can price, package and communicate directly to them. 

If the concept of understanding your ideal client is new to you, check out my recent article here.

Nicky is a Sales & Business Growth Coach helping  women in business embrace the art (and heart) of selling.

Sales is at the heart of every successful business, without sales, your business is a hobby. And without scalable sales processes, your business will be stuck.    

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Save time in your business by knowing how to attract your ideal clients

Save time in your business by knowing how to attract your ideal clients

The quality of your sales conversions comes down to the quality of your sales conversations. And this starts with knowing exactly who you want to work with and how you can get in front of them. 

If you’re finding that you’re wasting time on enquiries that aren’t converting to paying clients because they expect you to be ‘cheaper’ or ‘quicker’ or you just know they’re not the right fit…it could be because you’re not clear on, and therefore not attracting your most ideal client. 

Working with your ideal client is the sweet spot of finding the person you can help the best who is also the person you want to work with the most. 

Let me ask you this… if you were to hand over your sales and marketing to someone else in the team, would they be able to pick it up and keep running with it? 

Getting clear on who you’re targeting means you can put processes in place so that all the sales work in the business isn’t reliant solely on you. This saves you time, and money.

There are two key parts to making sure you’re being as efficient with your time as possible when it comes to reaching your ideal clients. 

  1. Be crystal clear on who your ideal client is and how to get in front of them
  2. Know if they’re cold, warm or hot (and I don’t mean in a sexy movie star kinda way!)

Be crystal clear on who you want to work with and who you can best serve and help.

Do you know these things about your ideal client?

  • Likes and dislikes
  • Needs and desires
  • Hobbies and interests
  • Pet peeves
  • Demographic 
  • Stage of life they’re in
  • How they’re feeling
  • What they want instead of what they have now
  • What keeps them up at night
  • The problem you’re helping solve for them
  • Why are they looking for you

If you don’t, take some time to map it out. If you want a hand with this, let us know as we have many templates and tips to help you go deeper with this! Email Nicky here. 

TOP TIP: Give your ideal client a name, it makes it more relatable and personable so you can really start to speak to them in your marketing and messaging. 

Now you can start to look at where your ideal client is hanging out. 

What media are they consuming, what social platforms are they hanging out on, do they go to in-person events? Can you see that if you position yourself in these places you’ll start to get noticed by the right type of people… your type of people. 

Cold, Warm and Hot Leads.

Now, to know if they’re cold, warm or hot is to first understand what the difference is and which of these phase’s people are coming into your sales and marketing funnel from.*Don’t have a funnel yet? Book a chat with Nicky and she can help make this happen. 

Cold… brrrrr oh so cold! These are prospects that either don’t yet know you, who you are, your brand or they’re not familiar with the type of work you do. What does a Coach do again…?!? 

They also might not realise that they have a need so they’re not yet in the ‘awareness’ phase of the buyer’s journey. 

Warm… things are starting to heat up! Now they’re starting to get to know you, trust you and like you. They’re familiar with who you are and the work you do, it’s just not the right time to work with you… yet. 

They might be getting into the ‘consideration’ phase of the buyer’s journey which means they’re aware that there’s a better way but they’re not quite sure what to do about it and they’re considering their options. 

Hot… we like it hot baby! Okay now, these types of leads (prospects) are either really familiar with you and/or the work you do, they’re hot and ready to buy. 

They’re not only aware there’s a better way of doing things, but they’ve also considered you as an option to help them and they’ve decided (yes this is the ‘decision’ phase of the buyer’s journey) that you’re the one to work with. 

This is the stage that your prospects (leads) become paying clients. And fingers crossed, if you’ve done the work above, they become clients that you adore working with who see value in what you provide them.. win/win! 

Understanding if you’re working with cold, warm or hot prospects allows you to manage your time efficiently and you can set up systems to move cold leads through to warm and hot without it being too hands-on… because let’s face it your hands are full enough running every other aspect of your business! 

If you want to learn more about attracting your ideal client or creating a funnel that speaks to cold, warm and hot leads come along to our Masterclass on the 8th March 2022. We’ll also be covering off ‘How to open and start a sales conversation with your ideal clients’ in the Masterclass. 

 

Nicky is a Sales & Business Growth Coach helping  women in business embrace the art (and heart) of selling.

Sales is at the heart of every successful business, without sales, your business is a hobby. And without scalable sales processes, your business will be stuck.    

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The 3 best sales beliefs to have in your business are…

The 3 best sales beliefs to have in your business are…

The biggest thing holding you back in your business when it comes to sales and business growth could be you! 

Take a moment to think about what area’s in the business, and sales you’re holding yourself back from? 

Do the words ‘closing the sale’ make you want to run a mile, or stay and dance*?

*This is a reference to a recent article I wrote comparing sales to dancing… check it out here 

Let’s dig in. If you know what your limiting beliefs are about sales, you can work on them, unblock them and replace them with different and better beliefs that serve you, and your clients, well! 

Here are 3 of my top picks when it comes to sales beliefs you can work into your vocabulary right away. Try them on and see how they feel. 

Epic Sales Belief To Have # 1: Sales is Helping (Sales is Serving also works). 

Imagine if the product or service you’re selling was literally saving lives. 

What would stop you from having as many conversations with as many people as possible to tell them about it? What would possibly stop you from reaching out and following up more than once? I’m sure you’d feel pretty comfortable asking the question ‘shall we get started’?

When you truly believe in what you’re selling, it becomes a genuine service to offer it to people, and a true disservice not to. 

Now, you might not be saving lives but I’d put a bet on it that there’s a pretty great benefit to what you’re offering out there!? Hone in and focus on that to help embed this belief. 

 

Epic Sales Belief To Have # 2: The right people want to hear from me!

I’m going to let you in on a little secret… despite what we all say, we (as humans and consumers) want to be sold to. 

Yep, you read that right! 

We want to be sold to. We have needs that need to be fulfilled and problems to be solved. 

The caveat is, we just want to be sold to WELL! 

In other words, we don’t want to be talked at, belittled, tricked or pushed into something. 

So if you’re getting a little self-conscious around talking about your offer and putting your message out to market, remember the right people want to hear it.

BTW – By right people, I mean your ideal clients and customers, the ones that you know you can help. Rememer, they’re the ones who want to be sold to by you (in an authentic helpful way). And for the rest, the people who don’t need your service or product, it will just be white noise for them anyway so no loss there. 

 

Epic Sales Belief To Have # 3: There’s no such thing as a wasted opportunity!

Every conversation you have with someone, even if it doesn’t turn out to be a sale or a client today, could become one in the future. 

The number of times I’ve had clients reach out to me 6 months down the track, or even longer because they were talking to someone and heard of what I was offering. Or we’d had a conversation in the past and it’s now the right time to connect. 

Honestly, as consumers and buyers, our needs are constantly evolving and changing. Just because someone said no or not now once, doesn’t mean they won’t have a need to work with you or buy from you in the future. Or they’ll know someone else who does. 

So every opportunity is an opportunity to plant a seed and make an impression (and ps. the best impression you can make is by being authentically you!).

This is why it’s important to keep in mind that people don’t always remember what you’ve said, but they will remember how you made them feel. 

Nicky is a Sales & Business Growth Coach helping  women in business embrace the art (and heart) of selling.

Sales is at the heart of every successful business, without sales, your business is a hobby. And without scalable sales processes, your business will be stuck.    

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the 3 essential numbers every woman in business must now

the 3 essential numbers every woman in business must now

When it comes to your business plan, if you don’t have clear targets in place or know your numbers then you don’t know how you’re tracking. Can you hire that new team member or outsource that piece of work? Or what about paying yourself?

This means you end up going blindly and your business becomes hit and miss. Or you’re not quite sure about the recipe for success… highly successful businesses are built on replicable results. Meaning you know the formula for success and you can do it again, and again.

Understanding the formula for success – for your unique business is key. And a big part of this is knowing your numbers.

What are the numbers to know? At a minimum, have

  1. A revenue target,
  2. A profit % target,
  3. An income goal that you want to pay yourself.

It’s not about putting pressure on yourself, it’s about making smart decisions in business. And the right process around this helps make it easy. These systems take into account your particular skills and natural abilities.

Need more support with this? We are going deep into this topic at our next Strategy Day in the True North in Business Mastermind. You can find out more here.

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A NEW WAY OF WORKING IS AROUND THE CORNER

The top 5 ways to make more sales (and money) in 2022

The top 5 ways to make more sales (and money) in 2022

Well, here we are in 2022. Who else remembers New Year’s Eve 2000 and the excitement of tipping over into a new millennium? There was so much uncertainty of what to expect and what comes next (sound familiar?!). 

Now, 22 years later (sheesh!) business, and life has changed a lot and so have the key components of how we sell. The changing landscape of sales has (thankfully) moved on from a pushy, aggressive approach to being more consultative and caring. 

And this is a space that women in business, typically thrive.

What hasn’t changed is how we, as humans, make buying decisions. Along with the subconscious behaviours that help achieve sustainable and long term results in sales and in business. 

SO Here are the top 5 things FOR YOU to have in place

to make the most of 2022

1. Be across your numbers. How do you know you’ve ‘arrived’ if you don’t know where you’re going? 

To get the foundations in place, we recommend starting with these 3 main areas:

  1. A clear revenue target
  2. Profit % target  
  3. Breakdown of KPIs which will be the roadmap getting you to points 1 and 2

TOP TIP: Have some fun with this! And make them meaningful for YOU!

When you have your revenue target in place, think about how many amazing clients you get to help and work with. Then, instead of focusing on the money target, you can focus on the number of customers that will benefit from your product and service. The smiling faces and the great feedback you’ll receive from working with them.  

This links back to PROFIT FOR IMPACT. The more profit you make, the more people you reach, serve and help. So find and focus on a metric that feels meaningful and incredible to you. 

2. Get clear on your lead generation strategy. Consider how you’re getting yourself in front of your ideal client. Who are they, where do they hang out and how are you (consistently) getting in front of them?

3. Polish your questioning skills. Questioning is the backbone of any great sales conversation so make sure you have a good understanding of the best questions to ask to truly uncover your client’s needs. 

Make sure you’re covering off:

      • Asking questions to uncover their current reality, in other words, where they are now
      • Getting clear on their future ideal scenario, where they want to be
      • Identify what’s the gap between where they are now (current) and where they want to be (future). 

TOP TIP: The bigger the gap between current and future, the more value they’ll place on the solution. Meaning the bigger the gap, the more you can help. 

4. Clear your mindset of sales blocks. It doesn’t matter how much external work you do, if you don’t do the inner work and have a really resourceful belief around sales and selling, you’ll always be limiting your external success. Grab our Mindset of Sales Playbook here to unblock any lingering limiting beliefs that might still be hanging around. 

5. Be crystal clear on your service (or product) offering so it’s super-duper easy to articulate and for your clients to understand. 

Remember a confused mind says no and if you’re not absolutely clear on your product or service and the problem it helps to solve, how will your clients and customers be on these points?

Nicky is a Sales & Business Growth Coach helping  women in business embrace the art (and heart) of selling.

Sales is at the heart of every successful business, without sales, your business is a hobby. And without scalable sales processes, your business will be stuck.    

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3 Ways To Improve Profitability of Your Business.

3 Ways To Improve Profitability of Your Business.

I’m going to give it to you straight.

Revenue is important! But it means nothing without profitability. 

Sales matters! But not if you have so much debt you can’t even pay yourself a wage. 

Businesses need to grow! But not if it’s giving you more pain and stress than money in the bank. 

So what’s the secret sauce? 

Making sure you focus on profitability

Profit is where the magic happens. It’s what gives meaning and power to revenue, sales and business growth. 

Here are 3 simple things you can do right away to increase your profit immediately.

 

1. Get really clear on where you’re spending your time aka what’s the ROI on where you spend your time?

I remember my very first Sales Director role. I was so excited about the red Chanel lipsticks we’d bought our clients for Christmas gifts that I got caught up in the detail of packaging them up and sending them off. 

As a novice (and possibly overexcited new senior leader who wanted to do everything), there was something I failed to realise. 

If I was spending my time on tasks that our EA could do, this meant I wasn’t spending my time on tasks a Sales Director needed to do. 

I could’ve been using that time to coach and support my team, create sales strategies, liaise with top tier clients, build relationships with key stakeholders. 

I’ll never forget the look on my boss’ face when she walked into my office to see me up to my eyeballs amongst Australia Post packaging and red lipstick trying to match envelopes with addresses. 

She asked me straight out – what my hourly rate was. And then she asked me if I felt it was worth the investment of that hourly rate to be organising postage for our Christmas gifts. 

That was a lesson I’ll never forget and a hugely valuable one that has served me as a business owner since. 

So I ask you..

  • What tasks are you spending time on that you know deep down you could outsource?
  • What’s your hourly rate (assuming of course you’re charging what you’re worth 😉 and if you’re not, keep reading to point 2)?
  • Is where you’re spending your time giving you a good return on investment (ROI)?
  • What could you be doing with that time instead that would make a bigger impact on your biz?
 2. Charge what you’re worth

Here’s the thing. There’s a lot of undercharging going on out there. 

The double whammy of combining a sales conversation and increasing prices can be too much, resulting in an avoidance of both sales conversations and increasing prices. 

Service-based businesses can particularly struggle with this as it feels exceptionally personal to ‘sell’ yourself. 

You’re not alone. We’ve been there. 

What can you do?

There’re some practical things like 

  • Do some market research to get a feel for the market value of what you’re providing.
  • Consider how long you’ve been providing this service and when you last increased prices along with your expertise and experience.
  • Map out a communication plan and consider the rollout to both your existing and new clients so everyone still feels taken care of (depending on your business, you can increase existing clients incrementally or set a date from which they’ll be charged the higher rate)

And then there’s the inner work…

  • Dig deep into your mindset and uncover what limiting beliefs are holding you back
  • Be aware of, and change, your inner dialogue – what’s your inner critic telling you?
  • Work with a business coach who can help you discover what’s really holding you back and provide strategies to create the change you desire
  • Always remember your external success is limited by your internal progress
3. Use a clear and simple sales process. 

Many business owners (especially women) will avoid sales or don’t believe they have to be (or are) good at sales. 

Having a good sales process in place has several benefits:

  • Saves you time
  • Helps increase conversion rates of a prospect to client
  • Provides a better client experience 
  • Qualifies (in and out) the best type of clients for you to work with

All of these benefits have a direct impact on your bottom line. On your profitability.  

Top Tip: a good sales process takes the ‘thinking’ out of it for you. You can organically follow a process without having to think of the next step each time. Aaaagh the gift here is giving you back some brain space to focus on other cool things in your business. 

Myth Busting: You don’t need a big (or any size) team to have a sales process in place. Even if it’s just you in business, it’s worthwhile. 

Despite having decades of experience in sales, I still had a sales process that I used for 5 years when I was a solo business owner.

Remember: Simple is good. Tailored to your business is even better. 

The most important message to take away today is to make sure you get started on finding ways to increase the profitability of your business. And don’t forget to put a metric in place to measure each month, quarter and year to show how you’re tracking with profit numbers. 

Stay in the loop with more great business, sales and money tips here. 

WE'RE READY WHEN YOU ARE!

A NEW WAY OF WORKING IS AROUND THE CORNER