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What happens once you GET the lead to move them toward the sale?

I have spent the last week talking to thousands of business owners about their current free group and even MORE about what they should be considering if they are contemplating STARTING one…

Here is a snapshot of some of the conversations:

From a group member:
Great question and topic! I have a similar issue, where I see other businesses who could definitely benefit from my services, but they don’t know me at all and my business isn’t officially launched yet so it’s not like they can find my credentials or check me out if I drop a business card or a polite hello. I don’t know how to approach them cold or get them to enter my warm market. An outsider looking in, trying to explain that their current process isn’t great and they should let me fix it – super rude! I am willing to offer up some free services (because all I spend is my time at this point, and trial clients are helping me build a good reputation) but even that approach sounds scammy. Before quarantine, I’d have just patronized their establishment and made friends, but this distancing thing really takes the special personality and genuine feel of a working relationship out of the picture.

My response:
Agreed. I am a huge proponent of personal connections and when I can’t meet in real life due to a pandemic like now or because maybe I want a broader, global audience and can’t visit them in the UK or even a few states away…. hosting a virtual community gives me a reason to reach out and invite them to something that isn’t a pitch, but instead a conversation where there can be give and take around big ONLY what I do and my expertise but a VARIETY of topics because all of us are multi-dimensional and it’s great to show all the pieces of ourselves…. a group gives us that reason to reach out and container to be ourselves and invite others to do the same

My group has grown alongside my business, has NOT felt like an albatross and has truly been a source of “leads” for buyers, invites to podcasts (and other media) and other opportunities that I could not have even THOUGHT of before I had this beautiful, fun, place to connect with smart women business owners from around the world

TRANSCRIPTION

Hello and welcome to the “S” Word LIVE. Renee Hribar here, sales strategist, TEDx speaker and author. And my goal is to help make sales simple and fun. So today’s topic dun dun dun dun. What happens once you get the lead? So this is a question that I get all of the time. Some people call it the friend zone. Have you ever had that before where you felt like, well, they’re my friend? Do I really invite them to anything? What do I invite them to without feeling like, oh, I just made friends with you because you were my friend. And I want to because you were somebody who I thought might be a sale. Right. Like, we don’t want that to happen or I don’t wanna make an offer to them because what if they don’t want it?

And then we’ll end our friendship. So I’ve had all these different situations. Hey, Lina, say hello as you join. I am live in Detroit today. It is literally snowing out. And yes, it is April. So what? Huh? All right. So what is the weather doing by you? Hey, so now what? Now you got the lead. Now what?

So let me talk to you about the journey that I took when I first came on line and the journey that a lot of my clients take. So let’s say you’re a done-for-you service provider, your services, what your business sells is you doing work for someone else, whether it be a virtual assistant, whether you’re a funnel builder, maybe you’re a Facebook ads manager, maybe you’re a copywriter, maybe you’re an author. So what do you do? Maybe you’re a travel agent. If you do done-for-you services and that means you might not have a funnel. Right. You don’t really necessarily need a freebie up front or a SLO. And if you don’t know what we’re talking about, don’t worry about it. So when I first came online, I had 20 years of professional experience selling. When I came into the online space,

I didn’t have courses. I didn’t have a freebie. I didn’t have a Website. I just had me and my knowledge and the people that would show up and talk to me. So if that’s you, let me know in the comments. Yes, I’m a service provider.

Maybe you also have courses and programs, which usually comes very soon after success in selling your own knowledge and or expertise. So where I meet people often initially is when they first come in the online space and again, they are experienced, they have worked in the field, they have earned their stripes, if you will, but they don’t necessarily have the Website or the funnel or the freebie and the e-mail service provider all set up and humming.

So what do you do with the leads that you get? Right. The lead could be a referral. Okay. Lori, I love what you do. You should totally meet Beth.

Oh Beth, this is Lori. Lori, this is Beth. So what if Beth doesn’t want to buy from you today? What do you do? I mean, if you’re not emailing people regularly, if you don’t have content that you’re putting out regularly, which is not a crime, by the way. It’s something you eventually want to build up to if you want a course or a program. But it’s not necessary to have a business. OK, so if you are a done for your service provider with a set of expertise and you get a referral, let’s say Lori gets introduced to Beth. Then what? What do you do? Well, that’s where I was when I first came to the online space.

I was getting referrals because I would meet people like in Facebook groups or I would meet people at, you know, when I had them, at in-person events.

You know, I would go to networking groups like Digital Detroit or whatever the case, or co-working places and I would meet people.

But then where did I send them? You know, even if you give them your business card or even if you send them to a Website, it’s so passive. It’s like waving on the highway as you pass each other. What good is that going to do, either of you? Because the reality is, when you initially meet someone, like what is the percentage of that person being ready to buy now? Slim. Slim to none. Right. Maybe 1 percent, 2 percent.

So then how do you nurture that lead or. What I like to say is how do you nurture the relationship? Or better yet, how do you move the needle along so that you don’t go in the friend zone and you do stay connected.

But it doesn’t always have to be like, hey, did you want to buy my thing yet or hey did you want to buy my thing yet or hey did you want to buy my thing yet. Because that’s annoying. Right. And that’s not follow up, by the way. That’s not what I would call follow up. That’s what we don’t want to do. So if you are that person and this is and you can relate to my story, what I did was I created a Facebook group. That’s what I did. I had to find some container to continue the conversation. Then I started this show, the S-Word LIVE show, where every week I came to the online space at 12:30 p.m. on Wednesdays, live on my Facebook page, which I still do. And I would share a story and some information, some interesting things like I’m still doing about situations that come up with my clients during the last week. So if you don’t have a freebie, if you’re not emailing your list, if you’re not necessarily like, what am I going to have as my content. If you’re stressing about content and serving your clients and finding clients, then a great container, a great place is. And it’s easy. It’s no or low tech. It’s. Hey, listen, I had a Facebook group and I started my Facebook group with eight people, eight. And those are people that I just found interesting that I interviewed for an email E magazine that I created, which was really just an email series and I connected with them.

And then I continue to ask them questions. They became my first clients, a lot of them. And if they didn’t, they became connectors. So they were like, oh, Renee, you have to meet Suzanne. And I would meet Suzanne. And I would say, Suzanne., We’re all hanging out in this virtual group on Facebook. We, you know, once a week I talk about sales stuff and then in between, we share everything from what the tooth fairy is given because my kid is losing his teeth and recipes and everything else about our lives. They’re like, oh, cool. So it became this watercooler type space of other entrepreneurs. And so it really became a place where I could continue the conversation, show up as myself, because I’m more than just what I do for a living. Right. I’m also a mom and a wife and a New Yorker. And I’m Italian and I’m crazy. And I talk fast that, you know, whatever, I’ve got these crazy things that I like to do. And so I was able to share all of that with kindness and confidence and the other people the group could share about themselves. So when I did revisit that conversation with Suzanne or with Beth, it wasn’t like Hey do you want to buy my thing yet? Hey do you want to buy my thing yet? It was. Hey, how’s it going? And then we would talk about life and business.

And when we spoke about business, it was two mutually respecting individuals, business women who could then speak about a topic and offer possible solutions to solve it. So if Beth was saying, well, I’m really struggling, I’m getting people on the phone, but they’re not closing, I would say, You know, that’s what I do. I can help you with that. And she’d say what does it look like? I’m going to say, well, I have a few more questions. Let’s frame this out and see what some possible options might look like. She’s like, OK. And then I talk to her more and I say, well, listen, we can do three sessions for this much or we can do six months for this much. We can meet once a week. We can meet once a month. What do you what do you feel most comfortable with? Oh, I think I like this. Okay, great. Let’s put that together and let’s make it happen. How does it sound next Friday? We’ll start next Friday. Okay, great. So the deposit is this. Here’s the agreement. Okay, great. Beth, I’ll see you next Friday.  I can’t wait to start working with you on this project.

Boom. Are we friends if she says no? Yes. Are we friends if she says yes? Yes. So we’re able to be business colleagues, peers and friends and buy from each other. That is the container that a group invites. And the same thing goes with other people in the group. I might say, oh, my gosh, you want to build a website? I know the perfect person.

She’s over here. She’s in the group. I know her. I like her. I trust her. Check her out. And then those two can have their own conversation. So, again, it creates the next place to have the relationship to continue the relationship to show up as yourself and to continue to make invitations and offers. Now, that’s one scenario. That’s one way that having that container can help. Another way is if you do have a freebie or you do have a whole working funnel. It’s another it’s another place. I call it like another container to continue the relationship, to ask more questions, to evaluate what’s working, to get their opinion. Like focus groups and to continue to offer opportunities for you to connect with them and for them to connect with you and for them to connect with each other. Now, if all of that feels strange or uncertain or like, well, how the heck am I gonna do all of that? Oh, my gosh, I’m already busy.

Keep it simple. So, yes, I have a program called Best, Most Profitable Group the Block? Yes. Yes, I do. And does it answer that? Yes. Does it systematize it? Yes. Does it make it structured so you don’t actually spend two hours a day doing it? Yes, it does. It does all those things. It structures and systematize and demystifies what it means to host a Facebook group. But regardless of that, putting that to the side for a moment, whenever you hear this, today live or whenever, the goal here is that you look at a group not as some place where you have to show up and be a dancing monkey.

No, a group is a place where you can show up and have it be your house party. So if that day you want to serve pizza and beer, you freakin go for it. And if that other day you want to serve champagne and caviar, be my guest. It’s your house party. If one day you want to show up and talk about sales conversations, do that. If the other day you want to show up and talk about why you like the color blue, do that. It’s your flippin house party. That is what I’m encouraging you. The smart woman business owner who has a global business, who can work with people from anywhere virtually to offer that container where you get to show up and just be yourself and let people know you and let people see you and take days off and don’t post anything for a week. Who cares? It’s your house party. You can do whatever you want. Post every day. Post five times a day. It doesn’t matter. It’s your house party. So what it is more than anything else is a container to continue the conversation, to continue to get to know you and for them to continue to get to know each other.

So I hope that this passionate explanation has helped you feel better about the possibility of inviting people to continue the conversation with you after they become a lead. Because once they become a lead, that is the first step in a thousand mile journey. People ask me all the time, really, how do you always fill your program so quickly? How do you come up with your offer so fast? And they’re so good.

I tell you, I don’t have some muse or some electrical current to like the divine. What I have is a Facebook group. I have people around me. That I ask, hey, what do you think of this? Hey, what are you thinking about that? Hey, what is the problem with this situation?

Tell me your honest opinion. Because I have that community, because I have those trusted people that I can talk to in the Facebook group, I don’t get it wrong that often because I’m not guessing. So, again, I just can’t say enough how important a Facebook group has been in my life. And it can be in yours, too. And not just for now, but for years. I have had my Facebook group since 2000 and I want to say 16. As I started it before, I even really started to create anything else.

It was just the next place I could invite people? Because I knew from being in sales for 20 years that you can’t just meet somebody and hope it all goes to plan.

You can’t just get a lead and hope they’re just going to follow your funnel and buy your stuff because only a few people will. Even with the best copy, even with the best images, even with the best of everything, there’s still that other piece that is going to not buy right now.

What do you do with them? And so, yeah, it could be email sequences. What have you have that set up yet? Or even if you do?

Do you want some other place to continue the conversation, to continue to get to know the people who care about you, to continue to other people that you care about?

And so for years, this network that you’re building can help you with not only your business and growing your sales and selling your products and services, but also for collaborations, for invitations to speaking events. I have gotten so much benefit from the network that I’ve invested in and spent time getting to know from having a Facebook group. So I can’t encourage you enough to at least give it a shot. This is something I beat the drum about constantly. So whether this feels right for you and you’re ready to take charge right now or to take the reins and reignite the group you already got or start one yourself.

I encourage you to do it now because what happens after the lead? That is what happens is continue the conversation. I hope this has helped you today because sales should not be hard or complex or confusing.

And if it is, reach out. Let me know. I’m here to help and I will see you next week again for another edition of the S Word LIVE. Have a great day.