So, you recently started your online business and are looking to get dem clients. Or, maybe you've been running a business for 20 years and you're somehow here anyway. It doesn't really matter. The rules still apply.
When you put out sales offers - whether it's a digital product, an e-book, a 1:1 coaching program or anything else - you're bound to get a variety of responses.
Some are full of excitement for the opportunity. Others sound like they were written by drunk babies. And others are just straight up weird.
I'll never forget the time I received an email that said "Lena, I love you, I want to come see you and be with you, I can't wait. Sincerely, Arthur from Pakistan"
And while it's sometimes entertaining, eventually, it gets old. You just want to know: How can you weed through the people who are wasting your time and just get to the people who are ready and excited to invest in you?
In my experience, there are six red flags that show that a person is a definite NO when it comes to the sale. There is no science that backs these up or stats that prove that my conclusions apply across the board. These are just my experiences. But, come on...you and I both know I'm probably onto something.
The guy who's short of $5
I'm embarrassed to admit how many times this has happened with me. I'll get a response to a sales email that says something along the lines of "I literally have $47 in my bank account and your product costs $50. Is there any way that you can make an exception?" It doesn't matter if you then proceed to offer it to him for $1. This dude will never, ever buy from you, no matter how much you reduce the price.
The girl who needs the extension
If someone comes to you the day after you close your program registration with an email that says "I really wanted to sign up for your program, but I'm still trying to get the money together / am in the middle of finals / was on a vacation with my pet llama. Is there any way that you can still let me in?"
Even if you say yes, they will never sign up. People who can't do something as basic as respect a deadline will never take an intensive program seriously.
If they really thought that the $5K investment would be the game changer for their business and they were actually excited, they wouldn't fuck it up by missing a deadline. It's sort of like showing up for a first date 20 minutes late in a nightgown. If you really cared about making a good first impression, you would have probably made the effort to show up on time and put pants on. Same goes with programs and deadlines. If they don't respect the due date, they don't respect you or your offer.
The guy who uses your email address as an emotional outlet
Sometimes, I'll receive an email response that I have to set an hour aside to even get through. These long, emotional, belligerent rants typically revolve around the same issues: their worries about leaving their jobs, external pressures from their parents, their cat who's currently undergoing chemotherapy, and their inability to get unstuck and take a chance on themselves. Talk about heavy.
Rule of thumb: If you can imagine someone balled up in a corner, crying into their keyboard as they write this message, they will never buy from you. They're using you as a person to vent to and seek validation from, but they have no interest in working with you. Even if they are, at this point in the game, they're too insecure and confused to take the leap. Goodbye, Hot Mess Express.
The person with an incoherent email address
Again, there's no science to back this up. But in my experience, 99% of people who have an email address that's impossible to read AND / OR the person who has a Comcast, Hotmail, or Yahoo address cannot be trusted. Keep it simple: your name at gmail dot com. Anything more than that forces me to think that you're an Estonian serial killer who's trying to catfish me.
The guy who says "It's not the right time"
Typically, when a potential customer says "It's just not the right time for me" and then shares some long-winded story explaining why, it's for the same reason that people say "It's not you, it's me" when breaking up with someone. They're just not that into you. Maybe they thought that it wasn't a good fit, they didn't see the value in your offer, or they thought it was too expensive. But because most people in the world want to be polite and avoid confrontation / awkwardness, they'll tell you that it's not the right time.
Side note: If you live in Israel like I do, this rule does not apply. If someone doesn't want to work with you, they'll not only tell it to your face, but use exuberant hand gestures and then somehow manage to insult your family.
The girl who wants to "pick your brain"
I admit that I used to be guilty of this. One time a few years back, I actually emailed a very well-known business coach and asked if we could just jump on a 30-minute call so I could "pick her brain". She responded with a blunt "Lena, people pay me thousands of thousands of dollars to pick my brain. I don't offer calls like this. Good luck." And I remember thinking: What a bitch! But now that I'm a business coach too and am constantly bombarded with emails from "free info hoarders", asking me to do everything from giving them my strategies to reviewing their sales pages to laying out a personalized business plan, I'm weary of this too.
People who continuously reach out to you asking for help after months of communication will never open their wallets for you. And even though it can sometimes suck to turn people down for support, you have to remember that you're a business, not a free therapy hotline. Move on!
Alright, that's all I've got. I hope that I didn't ruin all hope for you - I'm just trying to save you some time and heartache down the road. Focus on finding the patterns in people who want to buy from you and go all in on appealing to them. If you can do this, you're golden.