This is episode #36 of The Goodness Squad podcast. Before I jump into today’s content, I want you to imagine that school is just starting after five months of living through a worldwide pandemic.
You’re stressed about all the decisions that surround it. You’re overwhelmed. You’re in tears every other day. Your friend knows this and she invites you over for lunch and she knows that you love chocolate. She has made this beautiful, gorgeous chocolate cake for you. The two of you sit down and you’re discussing how frustrated you are and how there really is no exact solution.
She says, “You know what? I have this solution.” Your lunch is finished and she goes over to her chocolate cake and she cuts out a slice and she puts it on a plate. And then she brings it over and she starts eating it. And she says, “This chocolate cake solves all my problems. It makes me feel so much better.” She takes a bite and she says, “It’s delicious and it’s moist.” And she takes another bite. And she says, “It’s my grandma’s recipe. It has three different types of chocolate in it. And it takes a whole day to make. And it’s just incredible. It’s the best chocolate cake you’ll ever, ever taste.” Then she takes another bite and she says, “I always feel like I can take on the world after I eat this chocolate cake.”
And you’re just left sitting there. How do you feel?
Your friend is eating the chocolate cake right in front of you. She knows that it is the solution. She’s telling you that it is the solution to your problem. She can’t fix the whole school issue, but she can help you feel better with this chocolate cake.
But, what is she wanting you to do? Ask for the chocolate cake? Is that what she’s wanting? Is she afraid that the chocolate cake works for her, but she’s not sure it’s going to work for you, so she doesn’t actually want to offer it to you? What is going through your mind?
This story comes from my mission. You may have heard it, or some variation of it. I don’t know if I was taught in the MTC or by my mission president, but it makes a good point, right?
When we have something good, when we have a solution to someone else’s problem, why don’t we share it with them? What keeps us from asking them if they want some? What keeps you from asking people if they want what you have to offer?
Step #4 that you need to take in order to turn your hobby or your side hustle into a full-fledged business that actually makes you money is to:
ask for the sale
Did your heart skip a beat? Did you have to take a deep breath? I get it. It’s scary. Fear of rejection? It’s real. But friend, it’s also selfish. Can I just be that friend right now that can tell you the hard truth? It is selfish to be so afraid of the fear of rejection that you don’t ask for the sale, that you don’t offer the solution. It’s not selfish to be afraid, but it is selfish to let that fear stop you. If you want to sell content online, you have to ask for the sale!
Will you be rejected on occasion? Absolutely. Will it hurt? Absolutely. Will it be hard? Absolutely. Will you cry sometimes? I have. Rejection is hard, but if you are unwilling to make that sacrifice, there are people out there who would have said yes, who will not progress in the way that you could have helped them progress. Their life will not change in the way you could have helped them to change it.
You have to ask for the sale.
I want you to remember something: when someone says No to whatever it is you’re offering, it’s simply because they don’t believe or understand that your product, what it is you’re selling, is worth more to them than their money. They don’t yet understand that the solution to their problem lies in what it is that you are offering them. Once they believe that, once they understand that your solution is worth more than their money, they will say yes.
Your purpose is not to force people to say Yes. And you don’t need to freak out and worry when they say No. You simply need to say:
“Oh, they don’t yet understand that I have the solution. How can I better help them get there?”
So let’s talk a little bit more about that nervousness because it’s not going to go away simply because I tell you to ask for the sale. You aren’t suddenly going to not be nervous because you are trying to be unselfish by asking for the sale. You’re still going to have those nerves. I promise.
I’ve been in this since 2008 and I still have those nerves. But what happens when you don’t ask for the sale is people will wonder if your solution is really a solution. If you aren’t confident in your solution, they’re going to begin to wonder, “Well, is the chocolate cake really that good? If it was that good why aren’t you giving me some?” You don’t want them to wonder that, so you have to appear confident even though you’re nervous.
How to have what it takes to sell content online
Confidence comes when you know that you have a solution to a problem that seems really simple. But oftentimes, in business, we do things backward. I’ve done it before. You create a solution before you actually know what the real problem is.
This turns into having to chase customers. And we’re going to dig into this deeper in a later podcast episode, but instead, I want you to do what we talk about in episode #33, which is the first step you need to take to turn your hobby into a business.
You need to understand, deeply, exactly what problem it is that you solve. And then you need to talk to people about that problem. If you understand the problem then you can create a product you know solves the problem.
You can create a solution. And when you know you have a solution to a problem that you are sure someone has, you are much more confident. You have to ask for that sale at the right time because if you ask for it too early, you might feel confident, but you’re also going to come off as pushy.
You’ve had salespeople like this, right? They come up and they’re just like, “I’ve got that. It’s a great product. You want to buy it?” And you do not feel understood and you do not want to purchase from them.
On the flip side, you have met other salespeople, whether they’re online or off who go on and on and on and on and on, about all the ways this product can help you. They’re standing at your doorstep forever, and you’re just thinking, “Okay, enough already! Just ask me and I’ll say yes.” But they take so long that you’ve lost confidence in them. You no longer believe what they’re saying.
They are scared. They are not stepping up and asking for that sale. So you have either found someone else to purchase it from or ask them to leave your doorstep, but you are not purchasing from them.
Your timing has to be right. You have got to ask for the sale as soon as the person you are talking to, or serving or teaching or emailing or working with, knows that you understand their problem. That is your goal. Your goal is to help other people know that you understand that. Your goal is to get them to know, like and trust you because they know you understand their problem.
Once you can do that, then when you confidently ask for the sale, they will say, yes. It simply becomes a situation of, “Hey, you have a need, I have a solution. Let me help you.” You no longer have to passive-aggressively beat around the bush and kind of, sort of ask them if they want some cake and hope that they ask you if they can have some cake. You can simply tell them, “I have a solution to your problem. Would you like it?”
The 7 touch rule of marketing
Because they know you understand the problem, they are going to trust that your solution will work. You’ll hear a marketing stat out there that says people have to interact with a company seven times on average before they are going to know, like, and trust that company enough to pay the company to solve their problem.
The same is true of you. People are going to have to get to know, like, and trust you, on average, a contact of seven times before they trust you enough to pay you to solve that problem.
So how do you do this? Well, you can do that through social media posts. You can do that through emails. But it does take some time before you can ask for that sale.
Does that mean that you can’t ask for a sale in the very first email you send people? No, but you need to be mindful of who you’re sending that email to. Are these people who have been following you on social media for some time and they already know you? Are these people who have listened to multiple podcast episodes? Then yeah, go ahead and sell to them in that first email.
But if it’s a completely cold audience and they don’t know you at all, you’re going to need to warm them up first so that they believe you get them and you understand their problem.
5 Ways to Ask for the Sale so you can sell content
All right, now that you understand that you have to ask for the sale and when to ask for the sale, I want to give you five quick and easy tips for how to ask for the sale.
So, what I’m talking about here are calls to action online. So this could be a button on a webpage. It could be a link in an email. It could be a link or a visual on a webinar, but these are visual calls to action.
Tip #1 – they must stand out.
If most of your webpage is blue, your call to action should not be blue. It should be a color that stands out against blue, like red or orange. You should not bury your call to action inside the middle of a paragraph in your email, it should be on its own line, its own paragraph. It needs to stand out.
Tip #2 – use first-person language.
Yes, I want in now! That’s a call to action. Show me how to reserve my spot. You need to use first-person language.
Tip #3 – be action-oriented.
That makes sense. Right? It’s a call to action. So use words that are action-oriented. Here are some examples – watch, try, save, show, shop, join, start, install, reserve, download. You are telling them exactly what it is they are going to be doing when they click that button. Install plugin now. Reserve my spot now. Download my PDF now. Save my spot today.
Tip #4 – Keep it clear.
Your call to action should be clear and concise. The types of calls to action that I am talking about, buttons, one-liners in emails, those types of things. They do not need to be full sentences or paragraphs. Clear and concise 2-8 words and the button itself should do what it says. That’s part of being clear.
If you are saying on a button “watch now”, but then it takes them to a page where they have to sign up or put their email in, then your button was telling a lie. Your button should say, “sign up now.” If it says watch now, it needs to take them to something they can watch. And then maybe when they’re halfway through the video, you can put up another call to action that says, join the community to continue watching, something like that.
The button needs to be honest, it needs to do what it says it’s going to do.
Tip #5 – use language that implies quick and easy.
Use language like:
You want people to know that this is not going to take the next six hours of their life and using that type of language is going to entice them to act quickly as well.
So the five tips again:
- Make sure your button stands out.
- Use first-person language.
- Use action-oriented words.
- Be clear and concise with what your button says.
- Use language that implies quick and easy.
Here’s a quick wrap up today. You have learned three things. Number one that you need to ask for the sale. Number two, when to ask for the sell. And number three, how to ask for the sale.
Your assignment to sell content this week
Your assignment for today is to find one place – in an email, on a webpage, in an Instagram post – one place where you are going to ask for the sale and you are going to use my five tips and you are going to do it. That’s your challenge, ask for the sale somewhere.
If you are still struggling with product ideas, I would invite you to sign up for the Product Idea Generator. This tool is going to help you brainstorm products that can help you serve and help your people. You can find it over at TheGoodnessSquad.com/productideagenerator. As a bonus, you will also have access to all sorts of other free resources.
In the next episode of The Goodness Squad podcast, we are going to be talking about how to sell more of a product you already have. So maybe you’re sitting here listening to all these episodes saying, “This is all great info Misty, but I already have a product. How do I sell more of it? It’s not selling as well as I’d like, what can I do about that?”
Episode #37 is going to answer that question for you. I’ll see you there.