Monday, April 18, 2016

Breakthroughs and Bull-Calves: What Sales Funnels and Cattle-Raising Share.

Bull-calves and Breakthroughs - Sales Funnels and Trust(Download this audio.)

It’s fun when you find things crossing over.

As I write this, I’m in the middle of editing a couple of podcasts for our Selling Your Books Online podcast.

But that’s all after I had to rearrange some fences this morning and sort a couple of cows away from my bull-calves.

Raising cattle is very similar to what they call “sales funnels.” It’s a matter of building trust. Cattle who are calm will gain weight faster and not worry you so much when you have to move around them.

Your best scene is to be able to call them from several hundred yards away and have them come follow you calmly. You want them to trust you as a feed source, and you want to be able to trust them not to run you over to get to that feed.

Bulls have a deserved reputation for being cantankerous and downright dangerous.

We got ourselves a Galloway bull years ago and found that he is nearly as gentle as the cows. I’ve even heard a story of one Galloway bull who would lay down on the ground just so the little kids could play on and around him. Ours isn’t that tame, but he does like to get scratched.

The bull-calves I was sorting to day are his offspring, and I was worried that they were a little too skittish. During the sorting today, it seems that the more I’ve worked with them, the calmer they’ve gotten.

This, too, is very similar to what you do in order to get customers to move from just buying from you to buying consistently from you.

If you are only expecting to get sales from Amazon, you aren’t really interacting with your customers. And so they can act a little wild at times and run off when you’re trying to corral them into a different area. Most authors don’t see this, since they are told to keep their blinders on and just keep their books on Amazon.

Not too surprisingly, the authors I’ve studied who are making six-figures don’t follow that model. They bring their customers closer in by getting them to subscribe to their email list. And then those customers become involved in their writing and also in giving reviews, which moves their books up as better sellers on Amazon. They also provide other courses and material to their customers and also sell other places than just Amazon.

Having a herd of customers that come when you call, and will maneuver through the fences and open gates to get to you is quite nice. And you reward them with treats (valuable content they want) so they keep doing just that.

About there, the analogy quits. People need to be treated like people. You build real relationships with them as individuals. You build mutual trust.

I completed a couple of courses that I had signed up for this week, in part to sort out this exact scene of promotion and sales. Not too surprising, it became obvious that they had swallowed some “conventional wisdom” that didn’t test out. To a greater or lesser degree, this meant that they were unwittingly running a scam. What it actually meant is that the quality of their course was insufficient for this student to recommend them to anyone else.

In short, they were not above average. It didn’t matter what fancy titles they called their stuff, or what authorities recommended them. Their stuff simply didn’t work any better than anyone else’s. Average. Usual. Conventional. Strip mall quality.

And that’s not how you build relationships with your list. You need to be producing value far in excess of what they expect to find. You need to constantly go that extra, second mile.

The one key breakthrough I did get was incidental. It is the definition of promotion. I’ve been testing it out for a few weeks now and it’s held up:

“Ask to get in front of other people’s audiences and give then additional choices that they’ll appreciate.”

If you do this successfully, then that audience will also join your audience – often with the host recommending they do so.

I’ve worked up a whole episode which tells more about how that works (as linked) so you can follow my logic and test it for yourself.

This week, we didn’t get any new books for you. There are a couple of courses in the works. And this will mean a lot of short reads for you – I’ve got another podcast episode to finish to tell you how this model works.  But I have to get back to editing it into shape.

Meanwhile, we’ve been busy fixing some errors we found on the site, just to make it better for you. And a have a stack of about 20 books that my Indian VA will start cranking out shortly. All classics, all useful. And more about that later.

But I’ve been chewing on your ear enough today already.

Hope everything is going well for you.

There are a lot of updates on the site and on the various pages that are unannounced. I was able to tweak a few of them this week. So there may be downloads you haven’t seen before. Do make the rounds to see if you can find all the Easter eggs. And sign up for any you haven’t already. Your membership has a lot, it’s true, but there’s far more available…

Well, thanks again for all you do and all those you help.

If you do need anything from me, or just want to give an attaboy, leave a commend in the show notes or a review on iTunes.

And you can always email me directly.

See you next time.

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