No Sweat Sales Calls
[ online course ]
7 Step Roadmap InfoGraphic
This infographic shows the sales call structure at a glance.
Sales Call Swipe File
A list of prompts you can cut and paste into your sales call script to help you stay casually in control and confidently move prospects to a “Yes!”
Sample Sales Call Video
Sample Sales Call Transcript
Amy Posner 0:00
How are you? I’m so glad we’re finally getting to talk.
Yeah, I’m doing okay, I’ve got a little bit of a cold. I think I caught it from my kiddo, but it’s not too bad so far. I hope it’s not gonna get worse.
Amy Posner 0:11
Yeah, bummer. It’s weird. But well, it’s that time of year.
Yeah, definitely. It was 70… no, it was 80 degrees on Tuesday. And now it’s a high of 55.
Amy Posner 0:26
Yeah, it’s coming at the worst time. Oh, sigh… so anyway, I know we don’t have a lot of time. So, here’s what I’m thinking… I’ve got some questions about your project. I want to hear about what you’re up to and what’s got us here talking right now. And then after that, I’d like to share any solutions that I might see or ways that I can help you. I’m sure you’ll have some questions for me too. And then of course, if at that point, we think, we have a fit, we’ll want to talk some logistics, like budget timeline, that sort of thing before we wrap up. Does that sound like a pretty good layout to you?
Amy Posner 1:05
Okay, cool. Good. So tell me why are we here? What’s going on, like, why this project? Why now?
So, I built this… I told you about this course, that I built teaching writers and like solopreneurs, and creatives how to build their own website, and I built the course… six to nine months ago and sort of soft launched it in some of the professional networks that I’m in… I keep it in my back pocket for potential clients who don’t have the budget to hire me and my team for the full “Big Kahuna” package. But if they still need something, I direct them to that resource. But it occurred to me, I kind of did the math a little bit, I thought, well, given how much time I spent building it, and how much I’ve made selling it, the numbers are not great. And so, I’d like to kind of recoup some of that time that I invested. And I also want it to be able to reach more people and just have a bigger impact and enable small business owners and creatives and early career creative types to have a nice website that they can be proud to show people and not embarrassed about. And I just wanted to be able to have a bigger impact that way. So, that’s kind of where we’re at. Another thing, we’re also pretty close to fully booked on our full-service packages. And so, I can’t take any more clients at this point. I can raise my prices, but I don’t want to become totally inaccessible to this particular market. And so, it would be nice to also have a little bit of a… I hate the phrase passive income, because it’s not passive. But a non-service income stream would also be good, even if it’s not huge, a consistent one would be nice. So that’s kind of where we’re at… a little all over the place but…
Amy Posner 3:12
Yeah, that’s a good place to be. You’re right in the right place, or you’re right in the same place that a lot of us end up in that situation. So, let me ask you, what’s the price point of the course? And just give me a brief sense, is it something that takes a half hour, that takes three months, what’s the scope of it?
The course is designed to be completed in… if somebody sat down and really focused on it, it’s designed to be completed in a weekend. Or if somebody needs to work on it at night, after their day job, in about a week. So, it’s a simple one page, usually just a few pages website, that I teach them how to build. It’s the kind of thing where, if I were to do it, it would take more time to get the client on boarded and talk through everything. It would take more time to do that, than to actually just do the whole site. I can do one of these in two or three hours. But it no longer made sense for me to be doing them myself. So that’s why I made the course, price wise. I don’t know if it’s priced properly, I kind of just pulled a number out of the air. It’s at $99 right now. And then there’s a second level where they get the course and then they also get… I or one of my team will review their site when they’re done and give them any suggestions. Or they can use that time if they get stuck in a corner with code or something like that, we can troubleshoot that for them. So that second level package is 250. And again, I kind of just pulled those numbers out of the air. I don’t know If they’re right or not.
Amy Posner 5:03
Interesting. I mean, my initial reaction is they sound low for what they do. And there’s a whole bunch of things tied to that, like positioning, perceived value, that we can talk about. And then there’s also actual research and talking to your end users, because there’s a tension between value and price.
Amy Posner 5:30
Being able to have a website in a weekend is pretty potent, especially for those of us who can’t do that kind of work or can’t afford to have it done. That’s not something that we need to address now, just sort of throwing a few things out to you as we talk about it. Speaking of that, do you have people that have been through it? People that I might be able to talk to and pick their brains on?
Yeah, I do. And I know of a couple who have… I mean, I think there are a lot of people who buy it, and don’t finish it. Which I think is pretty normal for online courses, from what I’ve heard from other people, but I have had a couple graduates of the class, maybe like six or seven, that I know of off the top of my head. And then some people buy it, and I just never hear from them, so I don’t know if they did it or not. But the ones that I’ve heard from, I think I’ve got six or seven that have completed it.
Amy Posner 6:30
And the non-completers are interesting too. Even from a marketing point of view. Well, first of all, knowing why they didn’t complete, was it something about them? Most likely, not the course. But maybe there’s something… is everyone getting stuck in the same place? Is there something… because you and I’ve talked before, I know it’s really important to you that people actually engage with content and use the content; you’re not looking to just make the sale, you actually want to encourage the transformation.
Amy Posner 7:01
And so that ties into pricing, too. It’s kind of funny, it’s another one of those razor’s edges, because you tend to give proportionate weight and attention to something the more expensive it is. So if you spend $99, it might be easy to dismiss… where if you spent… I’m not suggesting this is your price point at all, but if you spend 997 on it, for example, you might feel a little more compelled…
I guess I hadn’t thought about it that way because I was focused on making it as accessible as possible. But I guess, that maybe is bringing in people who aren’t that… because in the early days of my business, I was kind of a course collector, too. I just went around and grabbed everything that looked good, especially the free stuff, and it’s still in my downloads folder today.
Amy Posner 7:57
I mean, I think part of that’s just the nature of the beast. Like the internet and human beings, don’t we all have that? We all have those things we haven’t gone through. But I feel like we’re in the second or even third iteration of online courses now. And so, I think there’s some things that we can do, and some tactics we can apply to try to get more engagement. There’s a momentum in that: getting engagement, getting feedback, you feeling encouraged, you wanting to provide it for more people… that sort of thing. So, let me ask you on a more practical or logistical level, do you have marketing set up for it at all? Or was it kind of like you dropped into the people that you knew, and there’s not a…
Unknown Speaker 8:38
I dropped it into the networks and places where I knew that this audience was going to be hanging out. I did try to run a Facebook ad on it around New Year’s. Because a lot of people are like, “Okay, my new year’s resolution: get my website done”. That was last New Year’s and I ran a couple Facebook ads. Those I don’t think did great. I think there was a lot of… I don’t even know what they’re called, impressions, maybe? I think it got seen a lot but there wasn’t a lot of… I don’t really know how to track this, maybe there were and I just don’t know about it. But there weren’t a lot of purchases, I don’t think associated with those ads, but I also don’t know what I’m supposed to be looking for.
Amy Posner 9:34
That’s okay. Facebook is really a whole world unto itself. And what you did last January is probably no longer relevant just because things change so much. But let me ask you, do you remember, was the point of the ad, was the ad trying to sell it directly? Or did it take them somewhere else?
Yes, it was just an ad for… “Do you need a new website for your business? Or are you just starting out? If you can’t pay a developer, here’s this resource”. It was a direct sale type thing. I think it went just straight to the course page, if I remember correctly.
Amy Posner 10:23
Okay, it would be interesting to look back on that. If we end up working together, that’s something we’ll look at just to see what happened. Because you said there were like a number of impressions so were people clicking through to that and getting to the page and that’s where they were falling off? Or were they not clicking through? It’d be interesting to look at, even if you don’t want to repeat that campaign because one of the things about advertising on Facebook is it’s very hard to bring the cold market directly to a sale.
Amy Posner 10:51
Even though people do it all the time, or you see that all the time, often what’s behind that is a lead nurture funnel. And so, the whole idea is that what we’re getting from Facebook is people who raise their hands and say, “Oh, yeah, I’m interested. This is a need I have”. But then there’s all these other things that pop up. And I kind of think of this as the pendulum effect, psychologically. So, when you’re really excited about something, “Oh, yes, I’m going to do my website, it’s the New Year, I want to redo this!”, and your pendulum’s up here. And then you start to look and go to the sales page. And the pendulum has nowhere to go but to fall. Right? And what the fall looks like is “Well, I’ve bought things before, I didn’t use them. Will this work? Do I have the time? Is this really good?” And before you know it, they’re on the page and they’re not ready to buy. But what we do when we build a funnel, is we… there’s a whole bunch of things we do, and I won’t bore you with all the details, but we have a way of kind of segmenting people and finding out their level of readiness, why they’re there, and sort of speaking to them with the messaging that they need to hear in order to make a decision. Now, do the numbers work with it? With a hundred-dollar product and Facebook ads, not always because the profit needs to be there. So, there are things to figure out, like, what does the lead cost and all these other things. Let me ask you one other question on the back of that, do you have a list currently, people that you’re in communication with?
Like an email list?
Amy Posner 12:24
Well, sort of, we have a sign-up form on our website. And then I think two years ago, I talked to a marketing consultant and they suggested I make a lead magnet. So, we made this whole checklist of things you want to have on your website. That’s on there and I think that’s gotten decent traction. But I never send anything to them. Because I don’t want to just pop in their email and be like, “Buy my stuff, book us, hire us”, because I don’t like receiving that and it feels kind of gross. I don’t want to do that, but then I don’t really know what to do… so I just never email them.
Amy Posner 13:14
Which is perfectly legit. You’re in the boat with a whole lot of us. You’ve got company, I assure you.
Well, that’s good news.
Amy Posner 13:22
And the other good news is that you have the lead magnet, that’s the key piece. That’s kind of the key interim piece. So when I was saying we don’t take people directly to a sale, what we try and do is give them something in a lead magnet and my view about lead magnets or free giveaways, whatever you want to call them, is that people should walk away from their interaction with that… and it sounds like yours is fairly simple, which is great. They should be able to do or know something that they didn’t know before they read it. And ideally, they’re able to do something, right? But it’s twofold, because the vast majority of people are going to go, “Oh, that’s involved? Oh, I don’t want to do that. That obviously takes a pro. Let me hire Jen.”
Yes, that’s what we wanted to happen, but now we’re out of time, we can’t take any more clients.
Amy Posner 14:15
So right, there’s that effect. And then there’s a certain percentage of people who are like, “Oh, cool, now I’ll just go and do the thing” and more power to them, but it’s not the vast majority of people. So actually, what you’re saying, maybe the lead magnet would need to be reconfigured a little bit toward the course and not toward hiring you.
Amy Posner 14:32
That’s what we want to happen. And so, what it does is it demonstrates your expertise, it demonstrates your authority so that people get that you know your stuff that you’re the real deal. And so, it’s just one of the interim steps that we use, because in traditional marketing, like pre-internet we used to say, people needed to see your message, say seven to nine times before they would make a decision. And there’s something in that seven to nine times that makes you real, it doesn’t even matter if it’s you contacting them and you’re saying something, it’s like, “Oh, you’re real and you’re solid and you exist.” And, it’s not that different online, only we can automate a lot of that, which makes it kind of hands off. And so, the thing I’m thinking, very top level for you is probably a really simple marketing funnel. How many people are on the list? Is it like, dozens? Or is it hundreds or…
Again, we’ve had it for a while… and so it’s grown up to maybe three or four hundred. I don’t know if any of them even still remember who we are, because we don’t email them very often. Like, I tried to send like a Happy Holidays thing, but just like “Happy Holidays from your favorite web designer.” I don’t know.
Amy Posner 15:43
Who is she again? What the heck? I mean, that list may or may not be relevant. But chances are even on that list, there’s probably, I don’t know, probably 20% of it is still responsive. I mean, that sort of order of magnitude for what’s typical. And it may be that the rest aren’t, but that’s okay. It’s pretty easy to find out and start, nurturing a new list a different way.
You don’t necessarily need to go into that list. There’s other ways that we can get interest and attention. But basically, what I’m seeing, big picture, I would see you having a really simple marketing funnel and we might we might go with cold traffic, we might go with, groups that you’re networked into, or people that you know, that are networked into groups, I’m always a fan of free before paid. And so, there’s lots of things that we can do. But I think we would need to look at sort of the price equation, price value equation, and what that would probably entail is me looking over the product, and just getting a sense… and from what I’ve seen of what you do already, I’m guessing that it’s jam packed with value.
I hope so.
Amy Posner 17:31
Yeah, I suspect that it is. And that it probably needs to be priced higher for it to be profitable for you, because you may need to drive traffic to it. And if you’re selling it for $99, and it costs you $109 to sell it, you’re not going to be very happy with me. So, we’d take a look at those things. I think it’s really doable. I was getting ahead of myself, let me just pause and see what questions you have for me.
I mean, this is gonna sound so stupid, but I hear the word funnel a lot. And I don’t actually super know what it means…
Amy Posner 18:11
I’m so glad you said that. Because nobody does. It’s so funny, I have people call me and tell me they need a funnel. And I’ll say, “What do you mean?” And people call me for a funnel and I’ll ask them, “What do you need? What do you think you need?”, they don’t know either. So basically, the reason we call it a funnel, because it has this pointy shape. You start with a lot of people you put in the top of the funnel, and then we skip them through, a variety of messaging, and so on. And certain people come out the pointy end as customers. And that’s the only reason that we call it a funnel. And it’s funny because it’s shaped like this, because it’s actually a linear process when it’s laid out. And all it means is we’re finding at the front of this funnel, or that wide top, if you want to think of it that way, we are trying to capture a wide group of people… who we do narrow down to some specifics, but we’re trying to capture a group of people who have a problem. And their problem is they don’t have a website or they’re not happy with the website they have. Now, whether they’re a fit for you is what we start to… we start to get them some specific messaging and we’re narrowing down the possibilities and sort of eliminating. This is why I said it’s linear, they’re sort of going out the side and they’re no longer relevant. But for the people who are left, they end up becoming your customers. And the reason nobody knows what it is, is because they’re made up of all different elements, like it could be a really complex funnel, like I just did one for someone that has more than 60 moving parts because they’re doing a webinar and they’ve got 21 emails that go out and a course, and then if they don’t go to the webinar, they get a replay and if they don’t go to the re– I mean there’s…
Amy Posner 19:45
It can be incredibly complex. I would see yours being something more like an ad or some free way in to get some valuable piece of information that has like seven to 10 emails on the back of it that allow people to purchase. But the emails aren’t all, like you said, “Hey, buy my thing,” what we’re doing is we’re delivering value. All along, we want to deliver value and show people what you know. So they can make a choice, they can learn to trust you and trust what you know. So they can feel confident that when they buy something from you, it’s actually going to work for them. And so, you could think of it as kind of teasing them a little bit, teasing out the ideas in emails, but it’s pretty damn simple. Could you have more than seven emails? Yeah, some people, will have 60 and contact people over a long period of time. It can always be added on to, it can always be innovated on, but I would see something really simple. Does that make sense to you?
That makes total sense. And I mean, that makes email sound a lot less spammy than I’m used to thinking about it. But do people really read emails anymore?
Amy Posner 20:56
Here’s the thing, and people ask us about long sales pages, “do people read them”? If it’s something that it’s either about them, or about a pain that they’re in? They’ll read all day long. I mean, think about yourself and see if this is true. Think of a topic that’s really front and center in your mind. And if you see something, and I won’t make you say what it is, because maybe it’s not something you want to share. But say, let’s say you saw something that had a headline that said, like, “The thing you are thinking that you’re really concerned about”, and you’d be like, “Tell me more.”
Okay. Yeah, that makes sense.
Amy Posner 21:34
Right? And that’s why the messaging is so important. I mean, you’ve probably heard the, “we only have five seconds to capture someone’s attention”. Five to eight seconds for someone to say “Oh, that’s me”. And if you see it’s you, and if I see that you understand me or sort of get what I’m thinking, chances are, what you have to say is valid or real. So, that’s the first piece.
Well, that sounds good. Let’s give it a shot. Anything’s better than what we’re doing right now also.
Amy Posner 22:06
You’re laughing? So, let’s talk about a couple of other things here. Two questions for you: one is, do you have a timeline that you want to stick to? And do you have a budget in mind? Or is kind of an “I don’t even know what to expect”, unopened kind of thing?
I mean, it sounds ridiculous. But we are coming up on January 1 again, so I kind of want to reboot the New Year thing and try again, with a more intentional strategy than we did last year. But I’m not like super attached to that. I mean, people start… New Year’s is nice, because again, everybody is kind of like, “Oh, yeah, this is gonna be the year that I…” they’re thinking about how they’re going to allocate their time and their spending for the year. But it doesn’t have to be January, necessarily that was just kind of the top of my head, that’s what I was thinking. Budget wise, I don’t really know where this sort of thing falls. I don’t know… we’ve got, five, six thousand left in terms of our marketing budget for the year. But I don’t really know… I’ve never worked with a copywriter before, so I don’t really know what to expect in terms of budget. I hope that wasn’t an insulting number.
Amy Posner 23:26
No, not at all. And that’s fair. I mean, how would you know? No, it’s interesting, because I was kind of thinking, I was thinking of similar things that I’ve done before. And the number that popped to mind for me was somewhere between $5,000 and $7,500, so we’re not super far off. And honestly, what I was thinking is: “I wonder if it’s maybe even a little less based on the lead magnet?”. Because that’s often… and it may not be because we may need to redo it in the end.
I can send it to you. If you want to take a look.
Amy Posner 23:54
That’s what I was gonna say like, so I think, next steps would be I mean, if that… well my first question is that doesn’t sound outrageous to you. I’m guessing because you said five to six, I said five to seven. We’re kind of aligned there. Yeah, I think… I’m sorry. You were gonna say something.
Oh, no, I think that’s good. And if it’s a little more than what we have, I think we can we can make it work. Because all businesses are online now, so everyone’s like, “Oh, maybe I need a website”.
Amy Posner 24:21
Yeah, I know. Well, there’s actually a point to that. I mean, I don’t know if you want to play that angle in your marketing, but the only reason not to play it is because it doesn’t… then it would not be evergreen, it would need to be changed later when… but that’s not a reason not to do it. It’s something we’ll talk about, for sure. I think the next thing I’d like to do is look at the lead magnet. I’d love to see the course or at least a piece if it’s a little sensitive. Where is it hosted? Is it on your site or is it on a…
It’s just on a course website that’s a third-party course website. I thought about putting it on our own website. And then it was easier to just have like a turnkey thing to get it launched. But I can give… I can just add you to that, you’ll see it the way a student sees it.
Amy Posner 25:17
I can just add you to that and then I’ll send you the lead magnet too.
Amy Posner 25:22
That would be perfect. I’ll look at those things. And then just one thing to kind of think about in the back of your mind is who some of those people are, who do you know that’s been through the course. Who do you know they are and maybe you can look behind the scenes and see, but if there are people who come to mind, that’s always good. And then I would want to talk as part of this process, I’d also want to talk to maybe some people who didn’t finish and maybe some people who never engaged, and I would provide the content for that for you to send an email to them.
Amy Posner 25:51
Because there’s a certain way that I’ve done it, that people tend to respond.
Amy Posner 25:57
And part of what I’m doing there, two of the things that that are important there: one is getting… caring how people talk about the product, because how you talk about it and what you how you think they’re using it, or what their needs are, may be different than what they probably do. It’s usually true, and it may even be different for them, what they were thinking when they bought it to what happened when they when they got inside. So, anything that we can glean is really interesting, especially if things are lining up, and people are saying the same things. And then we know it’s something that we need to address either in the course itself or in the marketing so that we can make it more I don’t know… more appealing, more saleable? All those things. And I’ll also, we’ll also have some talk about pricing and value, but I’ll have a better sense of that once I see what you’ve got.
Amy Posner 26:46
So, let’s just in wrapping up… you’ll send me, you’re going to give me access to the course, you’re going to send me the lead magnet. We’re Friday now. So if I get back to you say next Tuesday, Wednesday, does that sound about right to you? The timing?
Yeah, also I’ll just send you everything before I knock off for the day. And then you can take as much time as you need to look that over.
Amy Posner 27:10
You are going to get me the access to the course and the lead magnet. I’m going to get back to you next week…. so, do you want to put a date on books now for next Wednesday, just so our calendars don’t get booked up and we blow by it?
Sure. Yeah, that works. Should I just use your “schedule-y, link-y” thing?
Amy Posner 27:28
Yeah, we can do that. Or does this time work for you on Wednesday, this same time?
I think so… let me look real quick.
Amy Posner 27:39
Yeah, that should be fine.
Amy Posner 27:44
I’ll send you a zoom link for a meeting and we’ll just figure that we’ll meet again next Wednesday at this hour. Perfect.
Okay, sounds good. Thanks!
Amy Posner 27:51
All right. Bye.
Amy Posner 27:10
Okay. And I think, I mean, we’ll do one of two things, we’ll hop on another call and talk, I may shoot you some emails… but I think the next thing to come out of that would just be a scope, sort of outlining the deliverables and pricing and timing and all like that. But I don’t think we’re far away from getting there at all.
Okay, that’s good. I was afraid I was gonna have to rebuild everything. So that’s reassuring to hear.
Amy Posner 27:35
Yeah, you won’t have to, but we’ll know more really soon. And, I mean, with the timeline we’ve got, I don’t think it’s unrealistic with the New Year’s goal. So, let’s see what happens.
Cool. I learned a lot today. Thank you so much.
Amy Posner 27:49
Oh, good. Informative, and whatever… I don’t know. Okay, good deal. So anyway, it’s been great talking to you. I’m glad we finally got the live time and I’m excited, because I think it just sounds like something really worthwhile.
I hope so. Thank you so much.
Amy Posner 28:09
Yeah, thank you. So, talk to you soon.
All right. Take care. Bye.