If the idea of having to sell makes you feel all icky, this is the episode for you! My guest, sales expert Jessica Lorimer, is here to dispel some myths and share what it means to sell with integrity.
Wealthy women will change the world, and it’s Jessica’s mission to lead a movement for female business owners who are ready to make a huge impact and generate a huge income for their bank account.
Jessica Lorimer launched her business, Smart Leaders Sell, in 2014 and rocketed it to a multi-six figure coaching and consultancy business in less than three years. After a corporate career as one of the industry’s highest performing salespeople, with a stack of company awards to show for her success, she was ideally placed to share her experience. She now teaches her simple *three-step sales system* to entrepreneurs who want to learn to sell with integrity while helping them rapidly skyrocket their sales success and profit margins.
Let’s dive right in!
Biggest Show Takeaways:
- Give us a little background about your business and how you ended up where you are.
- I started my business almost five years ago. Prior to that, I was in corporate sales. I'd worked in corporate sales for 13 years and was heading up major sales divisions and starting up new sales divisions for major luxury fashion brands around the world. I was working in cities, like Tokyo and New York, traveling all over the place.
- I was diagnosed with a chronic illness in 2014 and was told that if I didn’t quit my job, I would end up bedridden. I went to my boss and told him my situation was serious, and he just said that nobody in this industry works part-time and then he wished me good luck.
- I had a three-month notice period, so I used that time to build my business. By the following March, I'd managed to get my business making the same amount as I was making my corporate salary. I thought it was all going to be super easy. In reality, it was easy while I was working my job, but when my job finished up, it was really hard because it's so isolating. I was seeing all these people in Facebook groups who were clamoring for space and getting really stressed about not having clients. I was in a complete panic. I called my mum, and I was crying, and I was like, “This is so unfair. It's so hard. I left my job, and it was so easy, and now it's really hard.” My mum said to me, “What makes you so special?” She said, “You told me that you were leaving your job, that there was this huge opportunity, that all these people were like zillionaires and they were going out there, they were running thee companies, they were doing it on their own terms, they were having a blast. So what makes you so special that you can't do it? What's wrong with you?”
- It really kicked me into gear, and from that moment on, I started to get myself together. I set my KPIs and looked at my business like I would've done any other business had I gone in as a consultant, and it took off from there. Within six months, I'd done the whole “six figures in six months” thing, and then we started to scale to multi-six and seven, all this kind of stuff, and it was great, but I could've very easily, in like month or two, gone back to working a corporate job.
- It’s really important for people to understand that nobody steps into a super successful business overnight and it takes rolling up your sleeves and accepting there WILL be failure along the way, What are your thoughts on that?
- We need to dismiss this “overnight success” theory because it's not true for anyone. I have a sales background, I was a top biller in multiple countries, and yet, coming into my own business, I failed. I look back at it now and see that it made me a better business owner and put into perspective how much I really wanted it. Had I not gone ahead and actually started taking action and started selling, nothing would've changed.
- You need to know your KPIs. Once you know those numbers, you have targets, and it's so much easier to be able to scale anything and improve on them.
- The most dangerous thing that I see in any business — online or offline — is accidental success and people who are accidentally successful preaching to other people. In this challenging economic climate, it’s not an easy time to be a business owner or salesperson. So, if we don't know the metrics, we can't actually understand how our business is going to grow to a certain goal.
- When people talk about their $25K or $50K months, you have to also look at how much did that person spend to get there? Because if they spent more than they took in, there’s not actually a net profit.
- Can you share what it means to you to sell with integrity?
- Selling with integrity means making good money, and “good money” means you can sleep at night, pay your bills, and enjoy the lifestyle that you want to enjoy.
- When you're making money, and you are not sleeping at night, or you're not making the money that you deserve, and it's not allowing you to have the lifestyle you want, that's bad money, because either you're not delivering something that you should be delivering or can actually deliver, or you're not running your business in a way that's sustainable for you.
- The quickest way to destroy your business is to get resentful of your business because you’re working so hard but are only making a pittance.
- Reputation matters and I don't think we take it so seriously in the online space. Part of making good money is being transparent with people and saying, “Yes, this is a good fit for you” or, “No, it isn't. You'd be better off with something else.”
- Sales is about helping your prospective buyer make the best decision for themselves in a defined period of time. You do that by helping them make the most informed decision that they can make.
- Can you help break down a simple sales skill that somebody newer to selling or someone who hasn’t had a lot of success in selling really needs to master?
- Sales is a funny thing; the more panicked you are about it, the harder it becomes. I always say to people that they need to be lazy and relax. Sales is about listening — not about you doing anything — because when you do things, we fall into this world of persuasion and convincing and manipulating, and nobody feels good about that.
- Those attempts to convince lessens your chances of actually making a sale.
- If people are having to buy what you offer based on all of the bonuses you're throwing in, chances are your main product isn't that good or you're not that confident in it. That doesn't say to a client: “I should buy this.”
- Sales is about getting the right traffic in front of the right offer. It's not about competing at a price level or a bonuses level, because the more you chuck in, the more under-confident you are. There comes a point where you can't give any more. You have no more bonuses left to give. If you give any more discount, you make no profit, and it becomes not feasible.
- A solid amount of market research and actually sitting down and doing an empathy map for your ideal clients will do you more favors than going out and just making blind calls.
- How do you help people get started with doing that research — especially if they don't have a big audience?
- I don't think you need a big audience. Ask questions. I remember selling my first group program to an email list of 237 people. I didn't have a Facebook group, I didn't have anything.
- Have good conversations. If you don't have a massive audience but you have some people, don't discount them.
- You can go into a Facebook group or Twitter tomorrow and ask “Can someone give me 15 minutes of your time to tell me what your problem is and how it makes you feel?” and you will get someone willing to talk to you and give you feedback. You don't even have to know the people to be able to get useful information that helps you connect so much better.
- Marketing and sales go hand in hand but they are really different in how we approach them. What are your thoughts on that?
- I always say to people, “Sales and marketing cannot survive without each other just like fire can't exist without oxygen.” We cannot have one without the other because the whole premise of a successful sale is that you have to have traffic, you have to have an offer, and you have to be able to communicate with that person in the right way.
- Where people get confused is when they blame the marketer for not making the sale. People ask things like, “Why did my Facebook ad not make me money?” The fact is, it’s not the job of the Facebook ad to make you money. The job of the Facebook ad is to get eyes on your offer. If your offer isn't right for those eyes, that's on you as a salesperson. The marketer has done everything right. They've got the person to the point that they're on your list, and they're right there for you to communicate with them. If you don't, that's not the marketer’s problem.
- Both sales and marketing are incredibly tough — especially when we're running our own business and have to be the salesperson AND marketer. Most people prefer being the marketer because you get to be a nicer person, you get to do things that look prettier and are more fun. Unfortunately, if you don't add in the sales bit and you don't make any money, you don't get to play the marketer for very long.
- When people are scared about doing sales calls or selling from the stage or being on the webinar and doing the pitch, you've got to start thinking less about, “Oh, my goodness, I'm so scared,” because really it's not about you. It's nothing to do with you. Sales is all about the person on the other end, and it's about, “How can I best let them know how I can serve them or how I can provide a solution to their problem? If I don't do that well, if I don't communicate that well, I'm actually being really selfish.”
- Any final thoughts you’d like to share?
- Think about this: If you're walking down the street, and someone runs out in front of a bus, you wouldn't just sit there and be like, “Oh, excuse me. There's a bus. You might not have seen it.” You'd be diving in. You'd be pushing them out of the way because you don't want them to get hurt. But in your business, nobody's doing that. They're just letting people get run over effectively by multiple cars because they don't want to be embarrassed or rejected or face any kind of fears around having to say to somebody, “Yes, I can solve your problem. However, it's going to cost you this.”
- Any final thoughts you’d like to share?
- Want to know which marketing funnel is right for you and your business? Take this free and easy quiz, and in less than 5 minutes, you’ll know EXACTLY which funnel is right for you.
Links mentioned in this episode:
- Jessica’s website: https://smartleaderssell.com/
- Jessica’s book Smart Leaders Sell (on Amazon)
- Smart Leaders Sell podcast
- Marketing Funnel Quiz: https://www.michellelevans.com/marketing-funnel-quiz/