Systems for Selling Your Work
This post is Day 20 in the 31 Days to a Super-Purposeful Schedule series.
If you've been following along with this series, you've probably gotten a feel for the idea of Systems and how putting them in place can help us be more purposeful with our schedule. Today's focus is so important if you have a business because it's all about creating a system that helps you sell.
Many of us get excited about the concept of creating a product or service, but when it comes time to actually sell, we become really uncomfortable. The whole process can feel rushed and thrown together, or we avoid it completely and just hope people buy.
Another common problem with selling happens when we actually begin to get consistent business: disorganization. With all of these other details to manage, it can be hard to find time to make improvements to the actual product or service. We just get into routines and stay there, missing the opportunity for growth.
If you don't have good product or service systems in place you'll find yourself dealing with the following...
- Not knowing exactly what the needs of your customer are or not knowing how to provide solutions to them without feeling awkward.
- Being stretched too thin by offering way too many products or services. Not always making a return on the work you put in.
- Never having the time to perfect each stage of the process. Your everyday workflow is eating up all of your time so you don't ever really get the chance to make improvements.
When it comes to sales, there are countless types of systems you can put into place to make life easier for you and your employees. You could use systems for how you present your product/service to the world. They could come in the form of scripts or templates telling what to say, what to show as an example or what to do at each stage of the selling process. Systems might come in the form of programs to help you run inventory and quality control. You could also create your own standards and milestones to make sure your business is growing.
These things might end up at the bottom of the to-do list, but they are actually so important. It sounds extreme to say but dealing with these issues can actually make the difference between whether you stay in business or not.
CREATE YOUR OWN SELLING SYSTEMS
1 | WEEKLY MAINTENANCE CHECKLIST
Just like with customer systems and blog/website systems, I'm attempting to spend one morning a week on a checklist that focuses entirely on keeping my products/shop maintained. I have a list of tasks to check on what's popular, what's selling, and what isn't doing so well. On Wednesdays, I go through my list and then I pick which products to focus on promoting or advertising for the following week. I recently went through a rebrand, so during this time I also go through and work on the products that haven't been switched over to the new brand yet. I eventually want to spend a little bit of time each week researching the market and reading through client requests as well.
2 | QUIT SOMETHING
When we've been doing the same type of work for awhile, it can be easy to focus on what new things to introduce and forget about what work needs to expire. Just because we've invested time in something, doesn't mean it's always going to work out. Some things just don't sell as well as others and end up eating up our time and stretching us too thin. If you have systems in place to check what isn't selling or what resources are being wasted consistently, use this information to quit something. You'll have more energy to focus on what is working. And an added bonus is that your customers will only see the very best of your work. They don't need to see everything you've ever created or every service you're able to complete. Refine your offerings regularly.
3 | PRODUCT/SERVICE BINDER
Create a resource for you and your employees to reference for information about your product/service. I just started keeping a product binder this year and I love having everything I need to know in one place. Mine keeps track of goals, product ideas, vendor information, pricing and selling guidelines, a workflow for creating each type of product, how each category is marketed, etc. This little resource helps me remember the vision and strong points of my work so I don't get too distracted or discouraged. It also helps me to communicate clearly with customers about product features and benefits.
4 | PROJECT MANAGEMENT
Successful projects usually can't just be created and sold on the fly. So it helps to have a project or task management program to help you stay organized. I talked a little bit about batch processing big projects on Day 15, but having a way to track every step of your work is key. I personally use Asana to organize the stages of my work and LOVE it. You can share files and assign tasks with employees or collaborators, set timelines for when new products will launch and get email reminders for what tasks to take care of first.
Implementing a few of these systems can make us more prepared and comfortable with communicating our work's value to customers.
TODAY'S ACTION STEP:
Decide what selling systems you need to put into place for your own business. You can use the space in your workbook to create your own weekly maintenance checklist, take notes on what to prioritize or choose something to quit weekly. (*Note: if you're already subscribed and are having trouble accessing this page, email me for a refresher on the password. xo)