You’re in that sweet and sparkly season of growth, and with every bottle-popping closed deal, you have a better understanding of what it takes to win.
But what could possibly accelerate or slow growth for you, $$$-wise?
There are always missteps you can make along the way. We’re not going to let you get that stiletto heel caught in the grate.
So we’ve put this little piece together. From the business coaches, legal experts, and fempower advocates at The Legal Godfairy, we don’t believe in “insider secrets” of high achievers. We believe in women helping women, sharing our wisdom and insights so you can succeed. No strings: just love.
Read on for the 5 must-haves to safeguard your sales.
Win at Branding
We all live with our best foot (and face) forward.
No one understands better than a businesswoman the power of a first impression. It’s the perfect French red lip. It’s where every sale begins. And, for your online business, branding is your carefully arranged ensemble.
On-point branding encompasses a variety of factors, from an expertly designed logo (and variations), to a carefully chosen color palette, to a cleverly phrased tagline. How you present your brand in the market says everything about who you hope to be.
Consider the following elements of branding:
Branding in the market
How does your brand compare to those that offer similar products? Think about which brands yours would join in a curated collection: are you happy with the selection? Does your brand’s strength and consistency inspire trust in the consumer?
Have you done the design and delivery of your brand collateral with your ideal customer in mind? This is important. Part of birthing a brand is immensely personal. And while a brand can reflect your own traits or character, it must translate as relevant to the end user.
Sometimes a Storybrand exercise or similar analysis can help you understand if you are focusing enough on the “hero” of the story, i.e., your client or customer.
As #1 influencers/ambassador of your brand, does your personal brand support your business brand?
Ultimately, you want to stand tall, represent your brand well on your personal platforms, and establish yourself both as an expert and thought leader. The power of your persona should not be underestimated. After all, people buy from people. They especially buy from people whose sweet style they love like #goals.
Branding isn’t just about the “look.” It is the sum total of these many parts that creates an instinctive “yes!” in your ideal customer.
If a brand is the first impression in the entryway, the product is what’s brought out for cocktail hour. It’s a bottle of 1990 Dom Pérignon, presented on a silver tray and poured into crystal flutes.
It’s the reason we’re here, and what you have put your time and heart into. But skillful productization is about more than just heart; there is a great deal of strategy behind it.
Product development goes through a few standard phases:
- Market and competitor analysis
- Research and development (often resulting in a prototype if it’s a physical product)
- Testing with a beta group
- Customer analysis, user feedback, focus groups, and retooling
- Final product, filing for trademarks, patents, or other relevant designations
- Creating a go to market plan
- Launching the product
Is your product suite as developed as it could be?
After all, your ideas are perfectly crafted, but without the right teal colored box and white bow, the diamond doesn’t have quite the same sparkle.
The interplay between your brand and delivered product cannot be underestimated: it creates the user experience, and it is why people will buy from you, not just once, but again and again.
Now is a good time to also address the reality that all of your created work should be adequately protected by good intellectual property practices. We recommend you open this to read next: Top 7 Ways to Protect Your Intellectual Property.
Uplevel Prospecting → Close Process
Overseeing and infusing fresh energy into the entire sales cycle will be the ongoing task of a business owner.
Until you have a fully formed sales department, it’s likely that you will have a hand in everything from prospecting to sales calls to closing deals.
There are ways to elevate these practices to new levels of sophistication, whether or not you have any background in sales. Here is an example of how to develop a robust sales strategy:
- Segment your audience — Only in very rare circumstances will a business have one kind of customer. More likely, there are at least two to three types of people who would buy from you. Define these.
- Create custom communication with audience segments — Have you ever opened an email and thought, “are these people in my brain?” Now, you may have been retargeted, but more likely you fall in one of their audience segments, and you are receiving specific communication. That is what you want to achieve. You can create custom email sequences or other types of communication that appeal to different audience segments, which builds trust and happy, warm feelings.
- Take time to nurture leads — The more you learn about the attributes and behavior of each of your audience segments, the more you can meet their needs with intention. Perhaps they need a different kind of e-newsletter. Perhaps they respond best to certain promotions. Take time to get to know your audience, and nurture them in a relational way.
- Lead scoring — The “Advanced Placement” level of effective sales is lead scoring, in which sales qualified leads (SQLs) meet certain criteria and then are scored based on their business value to you. It’s a data-based exercise that can help you weed out unqualified prospects and get to the ones who are most ready to buy.
Grow Your Sales Team
If all of that, especially the AP level, sounded a little outside your lane: never fear.
Unless you want to be, you don’t have to be the Director of Sales for your company. Often, your time is better spent in leadership activities anyway.
What you may see as obvious is that you will want to make a plan, as early on as possible, to equip other people to sell for you.
These steps may include:
- Recording sales calls for sales team members to listen to, so they can mirror your attitude and approach.
- Creating pitch decks and sell sheets so the sales team has plenty of collateral to share with prospects.
- Having your lawyer draft a contract sales position based on the commission terms you want to use.
Your goal is to work ON the business, not IN the business forever, and building a sales team may be an important step to increasing profitability and decreasing your load.
Have Legal Frameworks
There is no end to legal challenges that business owners may face. Often, you’re navigating uncharted territory, operating an online business that sells something incredibly unique.
You’ve worked so hard to nurture leads and get to a point of sale. Are you safe against legal backlash?
Refund policies — If you sell services or products online which require delivery like courses, memberships, programs, coaching or consulting services, then you need a refund policy STAT.
Although there is no legal obligation to offer refunds, there are still good business practice reasons to put one in place. A good refund policy can help safeguard your hard-earned sale, potentially increase sales and win your customer’s trust and loyalty.
The trick is to ensure your policy is straightforward, clear, concise, and not open to any interpretation. What’s the exact procedure for the refund? What’s the timeframe for the refund request? Are you willing to issue full refunds, partial refunds, no refunds? Are any alternatives offered like exchanges, store credit or discounts for future purchases? If a physical product is involved, does the customer need to pay any shipping fees or restocking fees? It’s gotta be irrefutable in black and white, contractually binding and tied with a bow.
Pro tip: make it effortless for customers and clients to access your refund policy by including refund provisions in your contracts, link your refund policy on your FAQ page, website footer, shopping cart, checkout page, and website chat tool.
Federal Trade Commission rules — The FTC has federal consumer protection laws that should guide your business practices like how you approach much-needed social proof and testimonials. It’s important that you’re operating according to the law, because the reach of the feds is deep. Make sure you’re serving customers with your whole heart… to the letter of the law.
Legal docs — Everything from your LLC articles of operation to your first client contract should be reviewed by a legal professional. Find a lawyer who specializes in small business development or even in your field, and can steer you in the right direction through every season of growth.
Legal Support From The Legal Godfairy
There’s a reason we exist: because the right legal resources can make a world of difference. Ask any woman who’s climbed to the top of her field: she’s done so based on sound advice, time-tested principles, and the right tools with a gang of experts on her side.
Here at The Legal Godfairy, we believe you deserve to conquer any market, and you can make it big pursuing your passions. We offer a few key supports to help you advance your wildest dreams:
- Browse our collection of contracts and legal documents
- Learn more about The Legal Legacy Lounge™
- Investigate more ways to work with us
Whether you need a fresh business contract right this moment, or you want to join a community of like-minded business owners, we’re here to remove obstacles, reduce friction, and unlock all of the potential you can imagine.
Here’s to shattered glass ceilings and actualized potential! Here’s to you. 🥂✨
*Disclaimer: This blog post has been prepared solely for general information and educational purposes. It is not intended to provide, nor should it be relied on for, legal advice. Should you require advice regarding a specific matter, appropriate legal or other professional advice should be obtained.