expert interviews Nov 17, 2022

How to Bring In More Money: Sales Talk with Sarah Walton

What if you could increase your sales without having to spend hours cold calling, attract paying clients and build a thriving consulting business? I chatted with Sarah Walton, author and business mentor, about how to do just that. Hopefully, by the end of this post, you’ll come away with new ideas and some actionable steps to help you move forward in your ergo business.

Sarah offers online support and courses and has helped hundreds of business owners launch and grow businesses they’re passionate with. In this episode, she talks about her experience of what it takes to be a successful business owner and shares her unique approach to selling your business. 

This is how our conversation went:

Many of my audience have an idea of where they want to take their business and they have their expertise behind them. However, it's those numbers and conversations that are leaving a gap between where they’re now and where they know they can be. So when it comes to taking the best next steps, can you share any suggestions on how to move in the right direction? 

There are the basics. We do have to do the fourth grade math and make sure what we're selling is actually profitable. You have to sit down and ask yourself, "How much is this costing me to create?" 

My favorite exercise to do is to imagine the moment that "you've made it''. It could be that you've finally hit your seven figures. For some people, the college tuition for the kids is totally paid. Whatever that moment is for you, I want you to really put yourself in that moment. I want to know what you're wearing, who's around you, what you're seeing and feeling. Anybody who has a business has had that moment. You've got to find that moment and put yourself in it. 

And then this is the key question you need to answer: what would that version of you tell you to do right now? What did that version of you do to get there? There's nothing magical about business, right? But if you can put yourself in that moment of success and say, "Okay, that's a thing that's possible,” and then think about how you got there, all of a sudden you'll get inspired with ideas. Chances are it's more along the lines of revenue-producing tasks, whether it's follow up with Suzy who came in three weeks ago that you didn't follow up with or send an email to Jack who you haven't talked to in four weeks. It'll start to tell you to do things like that. And in my humble opinion, that's the successful version of you telling you what to do next. 

And if you think about it, everything that would come to mind is a task that's doable right now. I think what tends to happen, especially when it's based on your expertise, is you're so busy doing your expertise. So what you want to do is make it real for you. Call the three people you just thought of, email people that you haven't been responding to. Go back to your homepage and look at it. What do you do if someone lands on your website? Why should they care? 

Because I'll tell you, the most successful version of you got there based on the decisions that person made every single day. It's not magical. You're not going to get the one phone call that's going to change everything.

What we want to recognize is that the success of our business is based on our day-to-day actions. Nothing else. And when you get that, all of a sudden, taking those two or three actions that put you in the right direction gets really easy.

I love the idea that we don't lose. We either get the success that we want or we learn and recalibrate it and move forward. Can you talk a little bit about when you realize that you have this amazing goal in your head but you're not really getting the traction you desire? What things should you be reevaluating?

I'm a numbers geek for sure, so I really like to look at what's going on within the numbers. It’s not necessarily the financial numbers. It can be social media numbers, open rates on your emails, conversion rates, or click through rates Then you need to understand what's working and what's not. Your money comes into your business through other people. That's the only way for the money to come in. So understanding that data around humans, when are you connecting with people, when are you not connecting with people—that's your answer to pretty much everything. And so you need to understand what's working in your messaging and what's not working. These are assets that we're creating, and we need to make sure that they're holding their value. I like to ask myself: What does the business need me to do? What do I want to do?

A lot of the Accelerate members are slowly building up the assets for their online business, but there's still a lot of offline conversations, especially when it comes to sales. I wonder what you’d say for those people who are thinking that they're two different worlds. Is there a lot more in common with them?

Your job in sales is to help someone make the best decision for them. It's like, "Hey, you're bleeding out. I can help with that if you'd like." It's the warmth and the connectedness that we can have.

I'm a big believer that influence is actually a skill that we can learn, and it's harder to do online. 

It's so funny you asked because I was literally just working with a client this morning and she's like, "Every time I meet somebody and talk to them, the sale's immediate, but when it's online it takes longer." I always teach my clients to walk into an in-person event with a profound connection. How do you want people to feel when you walk away? You want them to feel inspired, connected, and hopeful. 

The other one I really love is to be seen or heard. We need to know that people see us. We need to know that people hear us. We need to know that we matter. And for some people, you can walk into a room with that intention, but it's really hard to do that online. In person, if you walk away and you've had the intention of having someone feel seen and heard, excited, or inspired, the chances are they're going to think, "That's the person I want to help me with this problem." I think that’s easier. I think there are fewer barriers to that. But the underlying message of knowing how you help people and why you're the perfect person for someone to reach out to, that's the same thing. 

What can you say to those listeners who know they have to take certain moves but there's something deep within them that's saying, “I'm not ready. I need to do a little bit more work”?

You never need to do more work. Like seriously, are you going to screw somebody over?  Are you not going to perform? Are you not going to provide what you sold? There's no way the answer to that is no. You're never not going to show up and do what you need to do. This really comes down to another thing I teach a lot about what sales is: self trust. You know if you trust yourself, you're never going to be salesy because you're never going to hurt somebody. You're not going to because you trust yourself. You can trust yourself to follow up with integrity, to help the people you said you're going to help, to do what you said you're going to do when you started this. You didn't start this to sell out on yourself, and you sure as heck didn't start to make sure all the people who need you wouldn't get help. 

You’re in this to make sure everybody wins. They get what they need, and you get to offer your products and services and get to make a living. Those are all wonderful things. And once you get into that, it starts to become a joy because every person you help will be like, “Can you do more stuff like that? Can you help with this?” That's the experience when you're selling with integrity. 

Do you have some words of wisdom that you want to share with the listeners?

No one’s special. The people you’ve seen around who’ve been successful, they’re not better than you. And you’re not better than anyone else. We’re all people on the ground, shoulder to shoulder, doing the very best we can, so there’s that shared humanity that we have. No one person has all the talent or has all the charisma. That’s not the way this works. No work that we do gets to lift us up out of our shared humanity. And I think if we can really remember that, the sky’s the limit. We can do anything when we remember how amazing it is to be human and that we’re all doing this to make things better. When we can really stay connected to that, it’s borderline magical.

And that’s it! But before you leave, what part of the interview resonated most with you? I hope you discovered some new insight or inspiration from this post.

Want to connect with Sarah? Here’s how: 

Also, check out Sarah’s awesome course called The Sales Mastermind.

Wondering why your consulting business isn't growing? Accelerate: The Business of Ergonomics can help you with that. My signature program has all the tools and resources that you need to help you get more paying customers for your ergo service and build a thriving ergo business. Click here to register today.


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