I know, you thought it would be easy. That sales would never be slow, that your business would just keep rising and rising and rising. That would be so easy like all the online gurus tell you.
Just do this one thing! they preach,
And your email list / sales / income / life, will change overnight. While you sip cocktails on a beach in Mexico.
Except, it doesn’t work like that. If it was that easy, everyone would be doing it.
Luckily, you didn’t sign up for easy.
Stick through the messy middle, and then results will flow. And if you want that, now, then skip these steps and go to the end of this post.
If you want more sales, it’s easier for me to share what not to do first.
Because I’ve done all of these things, and guess what – none of them make an immediate difference to your income, to your energy state, or much of a difference to anything, really.
But you do them because you want to do anything that will make a difference. Well, first of all, don’t do that.
What Not To Do When Sales Are Slow
1. Don’t react from a place of panic when sales slow
It’s really tempting to do something, ANYTHING, to make up for the income you feel like you’re losing. So you’ll run a budget offer, slash your prices, or do something else you’d never normally do when sales are running high.
You’re reacting from a place of fear, and making fear-based decisions. That’s probably not going to help you in the short- or long term.
2. Don’t spend time polishing your website.
The amount of posts I’ve read that tell you ‘this is a great time to sit and polish your website’.
What? You think twiddling with a bit of copy, or an image or two, or changing a few of your colours is going to send a rush of sales in your direction?
No. Trust me, I’ve tried it.
What you’re actually doing is hiding from the fact that sales are slow / low / non-existent, and because you feel energetically like a failure, it’s easy to want to hide away. Aka, polishing your website.
But because it doesn’t fix the issue, it doesn’t make you feel less like hiding. It makes you feel the opposite.
So everything feels worse, and you feel worse, and you end up polishing more of your website, and your sales decline even more because pretty websites don’t make or break sales, and at the end of it you have zero sales but a nice website.
Which probably isn’t the goal.
3. Do the above, but insert ‘polish website’ into any other kind of task that you’ve been procrastinating on.
- setting up an email funnel (great, but that’s not going to solve the problem of lack of people coming into your funnel in the first place)
- setting up social media systems / schedulers
- taking an online course
- taking lifestyle photos
Or any of the other standard advice I see dished out online.
‘Getting creative’ is another one I see a lot of creative entrepreneurs using as a reason not to make sales. Get creative all you want, I know I couldn’t live without time in my journal, coming up with new business ideas, and working on my kid’s bedtime story (an ongoing saga set in the dystopian future about wild kids in the desert).
But creativity AND sales = success.
Don’t stifle one at the expense of the other or you’ll end up with neither.
The thing is with doing tasks on your to-do list aka procrastination list of things you feel you probably should do, but really have no inclination to do (otherwise – you would have done it by now)
Is that doing those things don’t solve the immediate problem of slow sales.
When sales are slow, what you need to do is – make more sales. I know, shocker.
Here’s How To Make More Sales When Business Is Slow
What’s Stopping You Making Sales?
Is there anything happening in your life right now that’s making you feel resistant to selling? Sometimes when bad things happen, like a death in the family, receiving hate online, a bad review, or even just an argument with someone you care about, it can make you really want to hide away.
Well, it does for me anyway. In which case, it’s a good idea to realise what’s going on at a deeper level. Because it’s ok to go through seasons, days or weeks without feeling like you want to sell, as long as you’re ok with the long term impact on your business/ life.
Sometimes, everyone needs a sofa / duvet day. Just don’t let those days drag turn into weeks.
Get over your fear of making sales.
Yes, it’s all very nice thinking that all you have to do is talk about your life over on Instagram and sales will come flooding in. That might have worked if you joined Instagram in the first five years, but not any more.
All that’s going to bring in is a trickle, if anything at all. Or maybe the odd person here and there.
Because everyone else is already doing that, and everybody else got there before you, but instagram influencers will tell you you need to make sales and get influential on Instagram so they can make money on Instagram.
I don’t even have an emoji for this.
(I LOVE social media, but the amount of sheeple following strategies like this is just insane. STOP BUYING STUFF THAT TEACHES YOU HOW TO MAKE MONEY ON INSTAGRAM, HOW TO BE AN INFLUENCER, HOW TO MAKE PASSIVE INCOME, and so on. It’s all nonsense.
Focus instead on buying stuff that expands your mind, expands your confidence and self-belief, and teaches you a skill. I learned copywriting and photography way, way before I ever sold an online course or program. I learned SEO before I launched my 6 figure website.
So, learn copywriting. Ads Management. Coding. Photography. Growing organic vegetables. Knitting. SEO. Whatever you like. Start there, do that, because you’re NEVER going to even need posts like this. And yes, social media management is also a skill. But also, don’t get stuck in ‘forever student’ mode. The best way to learn is to do).
So anyway, what to do instead, stop fearing making sales. It’s really not enough just to show up and talk / showcase your work.
You’re going to have to include calls to action, invitations to connect – top level marketers have even started giving out their phone number (obviously, not their main number) online to have text-based communication with their followers. Aka, easy sales!
Yes, you’re going to have to sell if you want to make sales, and stop hoping that your blog / instagram / email list will do all the selling for you.
3. Ask yourself what excuses you’re making around sales.
Look at the root cause here! Is it really ‘not the season’ or ‘everyone’s on holiday’?
I mean, really, does NOBODY buy anything in December, or February? Does nobody take their phone on holiday or check their email? People have more time than ever to check their email on holiday!
I know reasons not to sell are comforting to hide behind. They prevent you from making sales.
But in the long run, not making sales is ultimately not going to be comfortable!
As a photographer I had to take a long hard look at why I didn’t make sales in my first photography business, and the answer was horrible.
I loved fiddling about with websites, and ‘marketing’ aka social media, email funnels all set up perfectly, and so on.
What I didn’t love was actually reaching out to to people and asking them to buy my thing. I hated making sales.
If you want to know why your sales have slowed down or just aren’t happening, you have to ask yourself the question, well, how much do I love actively selling?
And if the answer is well, not very much, that’s ok. Most people don’t actually LIKE selling, or at least the thought of it.
But you can motivate yourself to enjoy the process by
- learning about how to make selling easy
- reminding yourself of the results
3. Remind Yourself Of Why You Want To Make Sales
It’s easy to hate sales when we see sales as just a way to make money. I don’t think most people are money driven, especially not right here in my freedom-based community.
I’m driven by the adventures I’m planning, the education I want to provide for my kids, to pay for our beautiful home, and for the investments I’ll make when the money arrives.
I’m motivated by the smiles on the kids faces when I take them to the Yurts this spring, the feeling of freedom that comes when we pay off our debt, the feeling of accomplishment I’ll receive from knowing I’m making money on my own terms, no boss to speak of. No 8-7 clock in, clock out system to be a part of.
THAT’s what motivates me to make sales. Remind yourself of what motivates you. Because most of the time, most of us don’t really care THAT much about the money to learn how to do things that feel unnatural to us.
What motivates you to want to make more sales in your business? Now is a good time to revist those motivations, which should shift your energy enough to make you want to get out there and actively sell.
4. When Sales Are Slow, Make A Sales Plan.
This is so much better than fiddling about with your website! OK, grab some paper. Here’s what you’re going to include on your sales plan.
- What you currently have for sale.
- Previous programs / content / offers you’ve run or sold in the past
- Anything else you could sell, with minimal effort. Eg, if you’re a photographer, you could run a print sale without too much extra effort. If you’re a coach, you could run a bundle sale of your previous DIY programs. Etc.
So now you know what you’re selling, let’s get confident on the specifics. For each offer or service you’re currently selling, write down
- who it’s for
- how it helps people
- the benefits of your service, offer or program
why YOU love this offer (this gets the energy flowing a little bit… which is what you need to be able to go out there and sell it)!
You probably know all this already, but writing it down and getting it clear in your head reconnects you to the needs of your clients and the reasons why you created / are selling this thing in the first place.
Which then helps you go out there and sell it.
Next, figuring out how to sell it. Not that there’s much to figure out. During the process you’ll probably have instinctive thoughts and feelings around where you should be selling this, who to, and how.
But if not, write this down instead, and see what it triggers for you.
- Who have I previously worked with that this offer or service would be right for?
- Who can I contact and ask for a referral
- How many places online can I post and share this?
- How many emails / posts / calls will I make?
- What new ways can I promote or sell this?
Ultimately making more sales is going to be about getting your product or service in front of more people, and telling people why they need it!
Creating a basic plan doesn’t just give you a to-do list. It gets you feeling good and excited around selling, which then helps you to actually take the action required.
5. Make It Easy
Write down the first thing you’re going to do, and only that. If you overload yourself with to-do lists and great big excel spreadsheets and lists of ‘sales activity’ you’re most likely going to want to avoid it because it feels overwhelming.
Streamline, simplify, pick one thing you’re going to do today to sell.
Skipping The Messy Middle That Makes Your Sales Slow Down.
Most business owners have a messy middle. It’s the part where sales do slow down, you’re not sure what to do to get to the next level, and you seem to suffer setbacks.
You can put your head down and just keep going, ploughing through like an ox. For some people, the ‘just do the work’ kind, this works, sometimes.
It doesn’t work if you know you avoid selling, are more of an introvert than a pushy sales person, and your happy place is creating and connecting and building warm cosy relationships. I just basically defined myself 🙂
Then, you’re going to have to find another way to create success and break through sales slumps.
The answer is never in DOING more, but being more.
That’s where most people get stuck because DOING will only get you so far and then you’ll have to leap to the next level and that’s where most people get stuck, only making incremental creeps forward year after year.
Change your habits, mindsets, and belief in what’s possible.
This may result in things like you expanding your team, growing your goals, finding other, new ways to sell that suit you better, or even brand new income streams.
It may mean you learn about how to expand your confidence, your understanding of manifesting and energy.
It usually means shifting your beliefs around what’s really possible for you in terms of income. It means that you truly and fully believe that what you want is here, right now.
And of course, when you can do that – well, it’s surprising how fast the messy middle disappears.
Get the Soulful Sales Book here. It shares my best tips for making sales, beyond that, gives you an insight into your buyer motivation – which means, your clients will feel like you’re talking directly to them. It’s how you build a tribe of raving fans, and helps you feel good about selling.
Get it here.