Are you ready to take control over your sales process? Yes — then today’s episode is going to give you a boost in that direction!
Meet Nikki Rausch! And she is Your Sales Maven. She is a sales coach, an author, and a speaker. Entrepreneurs hire her to teach them how to sell their product in an authentic way so that they are able to build rapport and relationships with their leads and build their client roster.
The sales process is a critical component of being an entrepreneur. Having an online presence is only good if you can get people to sign up and take action!. If customers only get to the point of being interested and never sign up and invest their time and money in your product then you aren’t doing everything you can to grow your business.
Nikki believes, by having a sales coach and learning how to have sales conversations, it equips you to convert your prospects to customers.
As a Sales Coach, Nikki has plenty of tools at her disposal to begin sales conversations. The one that I’m most interested in this episode is the one she used for The Selling Staircase book launch. This strategy allows people to:
- Start learning from Nikki at a low price point
- Get inspired by learning from Nikki
- And then go up and up and up in her offers
The sales strategy for The Selling Staircase was to create ambassadors in the marketplace for the book, a launch team of supporters, who are willing to step up and promote the book into the marketplace.
Nikki and her launch team are using social media, swipe files, podcasts, email marketing and Amazon Reviews as the principal tools to create immediate buzz around the book. She didn’t use this method for either of her first two books, but her community and brand awareness afforded her this new method of book launch! It’s been important to Nikki for her launch team to know she is with them every step of the way.
The beauty of a launch team makes Nikki’s book more visible and easier to find in the marketplace. This makes it possible to find her book faster. People can see it’s also more than just Nikki sharing about her book.
When you are writing a book, it’s so important to visualize the outcome… What do you want to happen as a result of putting your book out into the world?
If you are writing a book, you are creating a way for people to have a low price entry point so that they can be exposed to your work and learn from you. It allows someone who isn’t ready to or not able to step into a one on one coaching situation to still learn and be engaged in content.“This idea of people being engaged in the content is social proof. That’s why I’m building this launch team.”- Nikki Rausch Click To Tweet
With this “social proof”…the goal was to have 50 or more people who have already written a review on Amazon on launch! Every member of the launch team gained early (discounted) access to The Selling Staircase.. They will have read the book. Also, they will be engaged in the content. AND they will be able to talk intelligently about:
- What is in the book.
- How others can use it.
- Why they would promote it to other people.
A book launch team is like running a beta group for your course or group program… If you already have a large community of followers then you could be ready for this strategy yourself!
Think about it this way. When you are doing a beta launch of your group, the people who join are most likely the most loyal people in your community. They are the best right people to be inside your beta — they are willing to give of themselves to see your success and they are more likely to make it all the way through your content (because they already know-like-and-trust you and your process!) Therefore, they can be a true ambassador.
Beta launching is something that Nikki absolutely loves. She beta launched a membership platform and courses. And, even before wrote this book, she was teaching about the content. She then did a webinar and 6 part video series on YouTube. She did all these things to beta her content before she put it into a book form. Nikki wanted to make sure that it was going to resonate with her audience and it allowed for adjustments before she wrote the book. She used online tech tools as stepping stones inside this process of writing her book!
So, let’s talk about the book…
The full name of the book is The Selling Staircase: Mastering the Art of Relationship Selling. According to Nikki, oftentimes, we learn about filling a sales funnel. People don’t know how to get people from the funnel to the point where they exchange dollars. The idea of the selling staircase is about how to get people from the sales funnel and move them step by step to the end goal.
It’s 5 easy steps that help entrepreneurs identify if the person is not an ideal client or ideal client who you then need to move through the process. It teaches them what to say and do to move a client to the next step. Ideally it’s for someone that struggle with the idea of sales.
Think about it this way…You have a lead magnet…Then someone downloads the lead magnet and gets on your list and starts going through your email sequence. There are times you may want to pick someone out of that process based on the activity they are doing.
You want to be able to take someone out of a possibly elongated process if they are doing the work because you want to be able to reach out to them and help them step by step through the process.
Always be looking for and picking clients who are ready.
There are lots of ways for people to stay engaged with your work like listening to your podcast or reading your newsletter. Look for people who are ready to take the next step because they won’t just pop out to you. You are going to have to identify them and then engage them in some way to make it easy for them to have more engagement with you.
This strategy works for more than just one on one services. It works for selling higher priced services/products as well. When you are selling a product or service you have to:
- Meet the customer wherever they are at
- Extend a hand
- AND HELP THEM
But how do you get someone to pop out….
Simple: Issue Invitations! People like to be invited — even if we aren’t actually ready to pop out and take that next step, it feels great to be invited. Make it SUPER clear and easy to work with you. The easiest way to do this is to actually issue an invitation.
“If you make it hard for the client to understand that you are PERSONALLY inviting them to something, they often won’t take the next step.”- Nikki Rausch
Think about it this way. When we are writing something and sending it out to our community we write it as if they are going to be reading it as a big, collective community…but they aren’t. They are reading it as each individual person. When you are issuing an invitation, it needs to be written to them as if it was JUST written to just one person.
A really simple tip to stop writing like you are writing to your community as a whole is to stop using “Hey Guys” or “Hi Everyone”. Your audience members are not reading it as everyone reading together… they are reading it individually so make it feel personal.
I was practically jumping up and down when Nikki was talking about this — I see it all the time!.
I also see people who use a personalization function at the start of an email to their community and it seems much more personal, but then everything else in the message is written very generally. On the podcast, we have talked at length about learning who your audience is… when someone takes an action in an email by clicking a link to answer a question, it allows you to segment your list down so you can send multiple versions of an email to best suit the different segments.
Segmenting helps make your emails more relevant and personal… here’s an example.
Most of the time when I’m reading newsletters that I’ve signed up for … I read them on my phone while I’m at gymnastics. So if Nikki sent me an email and asked me to click here if i’m reading on my mobile phone and I click that button the next time she sends me an email she can say “Hey! I know you are on the go so I’m going to keep this short and sweet…”.
How relevant is that kind of information to have? As a recipient of that, it tells me that Nikki really gets me! She wants something more for me and ultimately I’ll be more likely to open more of her emails and take more action!
“Anytime you can personalize and make the message feel really relevant to THAT reader, you are speaking right to the heart of somebody.”- Nikki Rausch
When you write and email and you make the recipient feel like they are just one of many it’s not enticing. It makes your audience feel like you really don’t care about them as one person. This goes back to a principle in Nikki’s book…
“The relationship always comes before the sale.”-Nikki Rausch
You have to put the relationship first and start talking to people like you are having real conversations. This is how you master the art of relationship selling. Stop talking AT people and start talking WITH people.
Another great topic that Nikki covers is reducing the number of “I” statements.
When you are writing something and putting it out into social media, think about it being read by another person. Stop using a bunch of “I” statements except for when you are talking about something you personally did. Things like “I think you might like” or “I created this downloadable” or even “I want you to listen to this”
When you really want to engage someone in a conversation, it needs to be “you” statements because they are reading it from their perspective. Use things like “You’re invited” or “You are somebody I would love to connect with”. This has a different message to the reader than saying “I want this for you!” People don’t care what you want, they care about what they want!
Effective messaging often includes asking questions and helping someone see the other side. Then there are breadcrumbs to lead them back to you as the service provider.
“When you ask people questions, their brains give them an answer. Now whether take action and respond to you is something else.” -Nikki Rausch
Nikki recently sent out an email to her list that asked a question. She was amazed at how many people responded to this question. So then she took it a step further and sent them all an individual video that offered them some training. Not everybody watched the videos and responded. But those that did, responded and said they couldn’t believe she did that for them! Because they took the time to engage with her, she took the time to personalize and engage back. This is how you start conversations and move people off of social media and your list!
WOW! This is such a testament to the process, but also understanding the mindset and buying signals!
Back to Nikki’s Launch team for The Selling Staircase: you don’t have to promise them something big for people to want to be involved.
When Nikki was forming her launch team she used a Google Doc and asked people to fill out an application. The application was really focused around them and made sure that it was something that made sense for them and that they would have time for it. The advantage to them of being on the launch team is they:
- Get early access to the book.
- Exclusive community.
- Get access to Nikki for the 6-week book launch promotion
Nikki planned some fun stuff for the launch team. There were both big and little prizes. Most of the people on the launch team just wanted the access to the content in the book. They purchased the book for $0.99 whereas everyone else will pay a higher price for it. They only reason she is charging them $0.99 is so that the reviews on Amazon show as verified buyers — gives a whole lot more validity to the reviews! Go check them out now → https://tinyurl.com/SellingStaircaseBook .
Members of the launch team were told that they can engage and participate as little or as much as they want. They can purchase the book and leave a review and that’s it. Or have Nikki on their podcast and promote it on your social media and all kinds of other things. Nikki and her team have done everything they could do to make it super easy for the launch team to promote this book.
If you want to launch something and you have the community to support you, think about creating ambassadors or a launch team of your own!!