Here’s something you might not expect: my client management system is a major part of my sales process. Sound like the cart before the horse? Nope. This week’s Youtube episode features a Honeybook tutorial that shows you exactly how I use my client management software, Honeybook, to close my sales.
If you think about it, all sales are *really* just showing someone out there how you can help solve whatever problem or need it is that they have—and that should not feel icky, slimy, sleazy, or gross.
By the end of this blog, you’ll walk away with three hacks that we implement in the sales process of our one-on-one client experience, using HoneyBook.
Considering I run pretty much my entire creative small business with a computer and a phone, closing the sale with a potential client using a go-to client management app isn’t a luxury, it is the lifeblood for my copywriting business. When I had the calligraphy side of my business, it was the same kit and caboodle, equally as important there, too!
Honeybook is the one tool in particular that I cannot live without. It’s truly changed my life in helping me be a better entrepreneur and business owner. In fact, this year, we’re coming down to around $194,000 to date in payments brought in via Honeybook.
I’m going to tell you all about how (my life got twisted … nooo… #canthelpmyself) you can use this incredible app to get more organized and confident as you sell to your clients.
Let’s dig into these three sales hacks.
Hack No. 1| Get dang good at what you do.
I’m around creatives all the time, and maybe it’s just me, but do you ever feel like we are told to focus all our attention on marketing and tend to neglect the whole craft, the bread, and butter of our creative small businesses?
Even if your fingers aren’t covered in paint and charcoal at the end of the day, you still have a creative process that you’re putting to work for your one-on-one clients and your customers.
You need to honor that and to study that.
Here’s a truth bomb: the more money you make in your business, the more problems you have … unless you spend time solving and figuring out the fundamentals. Two fundamentals of business that aren’t going away: selling and the trifecta of craftsmanship, skill, and talent.
This means spending more time on your craft, and less time in the weeds and the processes of your business. Specifically, your one-on-one experience, that onboarding experience, the project itself, and then offboarding.
That is why it is essential to utilize automated systems and workflows to do the selling for you so you can perfect your craft. These are powerful and maybe not-so-obvious sales tools.
The client relationship management tool that I use in my business (coming up on four years now) HoneyBook, is truly the tool I live and die by in my business. I’ve seen it work for so many different niches in the creative industry. No matter what CRM tool you use in your business, I think these tips will help no matter what. I tell my students all the time: the tool that works is going to be the tool that you actually use.
The way to figure that what tool works for you isn’t just dipping your toes in, but actually jumping in and getting your hair wet. When I was a little kid at the pool, we knew we had a good day when mom got her hair wet. That’s how I want you to be.
In this week’s video on my Youtube channel, I am walking you through my HoneyBook workflow—click here to get the inside scoop.
I say this in so many of my videos, using a contact form or an application form is how you *really* get to know what people want.
Something I get asked a lot is how our contact form works. The main contact form on our website drives directly to our inbox because we want is to gate our process a little bit. We only want to send what we call our “application” to the people that we really think will be a good fit for us.
I tell people all the time, put your ear to the ground and see what’s working in your business or what you need to do, and that is how you begin to construct your sales funnel.
You may be at a point where right now the contact form needs to be their first point of communication to get them in, but we tend to get requests for lots of different things that it wouldn’t make sense for this to go directly into HoneyBook. We want our one-to-one service inquiries to go through one extra step.
I also recommend making sure your contact/application form isn’t too long, but at the same time we want people to work with us who are willing to invest a little time on our application form, and we definitely see that they are a good fit to work with us because it’s a hefty chunk of questions. We use this application form to understand what people’s motives are and what they want to hear (or need) from us.
The contact form in HoneyBook is like a built-in survey tool— it’s going to help you understand what your clients want from you and what’s motivating them to buy. From it, you’ll learn what they’re doing or thinking as they shop around and try to solve this problem. It’s a goldmine.
But, like I said before, carving out and spending time ensuring what you do is the most value-packed, the first in class, and the best in the industry, is the first step of your sales process.
We’ve said before internally, that if we’re going to charge BMW prices on something, then boy, we need to be giving a BMW level experience. We’re not perfect, but we’re constantly working on our client experience and trying to get it better, but keeping that BMW mindset is really helpful.
Truthfully, and tell me in the comments below if you’re like this too, having a process and a craft that I can stand on and be really proud of, helps me in our sales process—maybe more than anything. Knowing that I’m able to provide a first-rate product helps me never really feel pushy when it comes to selling.
Hack No. 2| Get really dang good at explaining what you do.
They may follow your work, they may even double-tap your work, but they’re not going to buy from you unless you’re able to explain why they need to.
One way I like to continue to reinforce what I do and how I can help serve clients is through the autoresponder that they get after they fill out that form we talked about in hack one. (We completely neglected doing this for a long time in my business, so learn from my mistake, and make sure that you have one of these.) Click here to watch me walk you through how to set one up in HoneyBook.
Next, think about your inquiring clients like human beings. I know, I know, this advice sounds basic but 99% of your competition (at least I think, based on my extremely mathematical equations) freaks out about the next part of the process… The Sales Call.
You’ve got to learn to love a sales call, because they are so important for you and your business.
If you don’t believe passionately in what you do and aren’t confidently able to articulate it, who’s going to be able to do that for you?
One killer tip that I heard from another copywriter, Joel Clutky, is to always hop on that sales call with a tip. You want to give them a moment of, “wow, if that’s what she did for free, what could she do with the full budget?” This comes back to the tool of reciprocity, and being able to use that during a sales or marketing experience—it ensures that every interaction with your “brand” is a mutually beneficial experience.
Before you hop on that call, make sure that you’ve thought of something they’ve never thought of, and bring something to the table. Maybe you’re a wedding photographer and you mention, “Hey, I’ve shot that venue before. One tip: Make sure you go to X location at the venue right at five o’clock, when golden hour starts, that is where you’re going to get the best sunset picture. I promise you.”
Another way that we’ve done this in my business is by sending over a free guide or a download from our shop in a thank you note after our call. I just look at it as a champagne toast and a way of showing my gratitude for their time.
Hack No. 3| Ask for referrals and testimonials.
I mentioned it in an SEO video I did a couple of weeks ago, but word of mouth is still—hands-down—the number one way that we make sales in my business. If you don’t have a process for feedback and testimonials baked into your client workflow, now is the time to do that. Grassroots marketing still matters— it desperately matters.
Selling is all about relationships, and nothing can sell like a client or a customer who has a great experience and wants to tell somebody else about it. Don’t underestimate the value in asking your clients, after the experience you’ve given them if they have someone they would be happy to send along to you. If you give them a good experience, they’re probably going to be more than happy to make sure someone else knows about you, too.
I firmly believe that marketing your creative business sustainably is so important to the livelihood of what you do as a creative, small business owner or a maker.
One more *bonus tip*: Figure out how to track your leads in your CRM, so you can look maybe every quarter and do more of whatever it was that was bringing in those sales leads.
Now that you know some sales tips using HoneyBook for that one-on-one experience, what do you do after the sales call? Well, you send the perfect proposal—that’s what! Be sure to watch this video so you can learn all about that!