Editor’s Note: Speaking as a career sales and marketing executive, this is my favorite topic on the site. No matter how digital the world gets, there’s always a place for a sharp eye and a little hustle to close deals.
To kick this topic off, here’s one of our contributing writers, a marketer who stepped up into a sales / demo role with another small business. This concept can be applied to a wide range of small businesses, from software to service businesses..
Why Freelance Sales Agents Are Needed For High Ticket Purchases
I love digital marketing. But nothing can take the place of a human connection. Especially if you’re trying to sell a product or service they’ve never experienced, on behalf of a brand or business they’ve never seen before. Think about your own experiences as a consumer.
At what point do you demand to speak to someone on the phone before buying?
Industry wisdom tells us that $2000 is the point where a typical consumer needs to speak to someone.
So what if your product is worth more than that? This happens all the time, for things such as “premium” training or prestigious events at an exclusive resort. Especially in the business-to-business space, where you can easily justify charging $25,000 – $50,000 for a high impact service which will take a client’s sales to the next level. Would you spend $50,000 for a chance to make an extra $250,000? I have. So pick up the phone and convince me that your offer is the real deal and that you can deliver on your promises. Come take my money!
If you’re a big company, this is not a problem. They have tons of experienced sales people, trained to close deals. But what if you’re a startup or a small business without an experienced sales team? Do you scrape by, content with selling scraps at a low price tag? Or do you invest in sales talent to help close these deals?
This is an opportunity for someone with our skills. Someone who knows how to listen to a customer, answer their questions, show them how they will benefit, and close them on a high ticket purchase.
Coffee is for Closers
My first experience with helping close high ticket sales was when a marketing friend had a large product launch. He was just about to launch his $1997 marketing course. Because I knew the guy, I knew he was the real deal and actually had a lot of valuable information to share. He had already made a fortune online without selling anything related to teaching this stuff.
During his big ticket product launch, he was also promoting a high end mastermind coaching group. To be a member of this group it costs $10,000 per year. In the group he taught even more advanced tactics, had weekly live Q and A calls with the group to help them with their specific online business problems, and had an annual exclusive event hosted at beautiful beach resort. Unlike the $2,000 course where he sold as many as he could, the mastermind was limited to no more than 50 students at any given time. This ensured he could give everyone the focus and attention they were paying for.
The sales page to this group was actually just an application form. People applied to the group and then they were scheduled with a “discovery call” to see if they would be a good fit. In part, the purpose was to filter out people who wouldn’t be a good fit for the group. The main purpose was to get prospects on the phone with big ticket closers that would help them off the fence and turn them into paying customers.
I was one of these high ticket closers. I wasn’t an employee. I was an independent sales consultant. This was basically remote contract work. During my friend’s product launch, I and a few other high ticket closers were scheduled with these calls with strong prospective customers. Our job was to help push these interested parties into purchasing. We were there to help with any last-minute resistance. After two weeks, all 50 spots were filled and my services were no longer needed. I worked completely on commission but in that two weeks I closed six customers. I made $1,500 per closed customer. Not bad for two weeks of scheduled phone calls.
Not all high ticket selling is temporary like mine. Some online business owners need a team of consistent high ticket salesman as a regular part of their day to day operation. Usually, you can do this as a remote worker from home on a commission basis. Sometimes they even pay a small monthly salary. Don’t worry too much about salary though. If you wanted a basic salary, you’d be applying for yet another boring desk job. Commissions is where the real money is at. I definitely recommend the independent sales consultant life over being an employee.
Is High Ticket Sales Closing For You?
It’s true that sales isn’t for everyone. However, a lot of people might be surprised at how good they truly are at sales. If you’re friendly and good with people, that’s an excellent start. If you had some kind of sales experience, that would definitely help, but it isn’t necessary. There are plenty of free resources online on how to become a better salesman, even specifically for high ticket sales.
The beauty of being a high ticket salesman for businesses that sell courses, coaching, and other high end products, is that this isn’t cold calling. You’re not that annoying telemarketer interrupting someone’s day. These leads have already shown a very strong interest in what you are selling, or they wouldn’t have scheduled a call. Not only that, in most cases they have already proven to buy something relatively expensive. Your job isn’t to annoy someone and then manipulate them into signing away their life savings. These customers already see the value in what you’re selling. They are just looking for someone to address any last minute concerns, remind them of the value of the product that they are already interested in, and hold their hand through the process.
Lastly, most of these high ticket closing gigs have a basic script to follow. The business owner knows his customers better than anyone and more importantly, knows the common concerns to be addressed. They want you to succeed and will usually give you every tool needed to do so. They want you to be the laser-focused Ferrari salesman who knows exactly how to help these specific customers. They don’t need you to be the door to door vacuum cleaner salesman who churns through 100 doors slammed in their face.
So, if you think you could help close an already interested, very warm, proven buyer, this absolutely could be for you.
What Niches and Kinds of Products Can Be High Ticket?
Most anything that has to do with making money can have a high ticket element. In my personal example, it was selling the high ticket coaching mastermind group. Other high ticket items that can be sold in this niche are one-on-one coaching, business consulting calls, high end software subscriptions, and tickets to large exclusive events.
Other online high ticket closing opportunities I have seen are things like financial advice from top stock brokers, relationship building events, high end investment opportunities, and even high performance training in relation to sports and fitness.
The truth is, most niches can have a high ticket element. Even a travel blog that sells an e-book with tips on traveling around the world can sell high end travel packages. A business that sells survival gear can have a high end, week-long survival getaway training camp. Anything that sales high ticket items online is bound to need high ticket closers and they are often willing to pay high commissions.
Finding The Right Business To Close For
When looking for businesses to do this for, it is important to find both a business owner you can trust and also a product you believe in. If you can’t trust the business owner to pay your commissions, then it is a waste of time. If you don’t believe in the product, it is going to be pretty difficult to convince someone else to pay several thousands or more for it.
I got lucky with my first gig like this, because I already knew the business owner and he approached me based on my previous interactions and the enthusiasm we shared for the niche. Because I already knew him, I knew that I could trust him. I knew he had successful launches in the past and that none of his salespeople ever complained about not being paid.
One of the best way to find high ticket closing gigs is to join prominent online business communities. These can be large Facebook groups of online entrepreneurs, online forums, and other such communities. First, just be an active member. Start networking and participating in discussion. In a lot of Facebook groups I belong to, it’s not unusual for someone to post saying they need high ticket closers. You can even simply tell people in these groups that you are a high ticket salesman looking for a new opportunity. Most business owners with high ticket items are desperate for a good closer. Check out our free guide to finding consulting clients on LinkedIn.
Once you have someone interested, make sure to do your homework on them. Are they the real deal? If they are teaching how to do something, have they already shown themselves to be an expert? Have they had any successful product launches in the past? Are there any current salespeople working for them that can vouch that you’ll get paid? These are all important things you should find out.
If there are no red flags, be sure to sign a contract for the work. It needs to clearly lay out what the pay is, and when you will be paid. While I said previously not to worry too much about salary, if someone is offering a small flat salary along with your commissions, that’s a good sign everything is legitimate and you’re not going to get scammed for all of your time and hard work.
How Do The Leads Work?
Typically, for high end selling, the leads will be very strong. Like in my case, the people I were talking to had already bought a similar product for $2,000. They had shown strong interest by filling out the group coaching application and scheduling a discovery call. This is a pretty ideal situation.
In another high end sales situation I heard about that was similar to the one I was doing, the business owner actually made applicants pay to apply. They didn’t have to pay the full amount, but it was a $100 application fee. The fee was fully-refundable if they decided not to buy or the application was rejected. If they went on to buy, the fee was deducted from the price of the product. However, by simply having this fee, this made the leads much stronger. Not only were they interested, but they were already putting down a good amount of money to show their interest.
Typical High End Sales Call
A typical high end sales call wasn’t necessarily the high-pressure situation that it sounds like. Sure, sometimes it could be, but often it was simply asking questions to the prospective customer and responding accordingly.
For my sales call, we were asking questions like:
- What is the number one goal of your business in the next year?
- What do you hope to get out of this group?
- If we were to accept your membership application today, what part of the program would be your priority?
As you can see, all of these questions actually have a bit of sneakiness to them. By asking about business goals, I was getting them to see us as the solution to those goals. For the second and third questions, it was to have them tell me the benefits of the group. If they come up with these answers themselves, they are basically selling themselves.
Eventually, I’d make a hard call to action and directly ask them to buy. If they were still hesitant, I would just be direct and ask them what concerns they still have. Then I would systematically address these concerns. Some calls could be 30 minutes to an hour before an agreement was reached.
Expanding To An Existing Business
Even if you don’t want to be a high ticket salesman for someone else, if you currently have a business, you should definitely add a high ticket product. This can be coaching, an exclusive event, or something else. Be creative and see what your competitors are offering.
Editor’s Note: Offline Businesses
As a career sales and marketing professional, I absolutely loved this story. And the opportunity here goes way beyond just helping online businesses and influencers upsell customers to high ticket offers. There’s plenty of opportunity lurking in boring traditional industries, which need a salesperson’s special touch to help move product. Here are a couple of ideas to get your imagination going:
- Market Access / Sales Pathfinder: Do you have deep knowledge of a particular business community or niche market, especially one which is a little isolated or unusual? I’ve seen folks make a lot of money helping mainstream companies translate their established product offerings to work with specialty markets. My last job included a lot of this kind of market development selling and it can be a ton of fun, especially if you find a new idea to bring to the table.
- Manufacturer’s Representative: Do you have a big Rolodex in a particular industry or industrial market? Consider using it to help introduce emerging brands and new products into that market. You provide the introductions and use the manufacturer’s product expert to close business. And get paid a commission. (I’ve done this one too, as the product guy). Consider checking out Emissary.io as a potential platform to help put these connections to work.
- Referral Fees: The consulting and technology version of being a manufacturer’s representative. It works the same way. If you spot an opportunity and connect the business owner with a qualified service provider, you get a referral fee. This can be especially useful if you’re already selling something else and want a way to monetize your unqualified leads.
- Build A White Label Service Business: This emerged as a common theme in our research efforts and is a compelling opportunity for experienced sales professionals and side-hustlers. Use what you know about sales and management to start a white label service business where you sell the work and others deliver it. We have a couple of case studies focused on the small business market: building websites and managing Facebook Campaigns. Both of these ideas had a common theme: connecting a small business audience with remote service professionals who can help take their business to the next level. This idea can easily be applied to other industries and services. The key to success here is sales and relationship development, not technical expertise. Sell the business impact.
In any event, good luck and good hunting!