5 Smart Things to Try When You’re Not Getting Sales

We live in a world of ebbs and flows. Things come and go, shrink and grow, bloom and fade.

And if you run your own business, you’ll notice changes throughout the year just like the seasons in nature. Well, except for here in Orlando where it’s blazing hot for all 12 months…

Some months you’ll be jamming along getting sales every 5 minutes. And some months you’ll wonder if all your followers collectively decided that they don’t like you anymore.

I’m approaching my 3-year business anniversary, so I don’t feel as stressed out when I’m in a low period as I did when I first started. I know that sales will go up again soon enough.

But I also know that I’ll get those sales sooner if I take some action to turn it around.

Could your business use some editing?

Here are 5 smart things to try when you’re not getting sales.

Problem: You don’t have a subscriber list.

Easy Edit: Send warm letters to your most likely buyers.

When I’m on a call with a new client and she’s not getting sales, the first thing I’ll ask is how many subscribers she has on her list. My heart breaks a little whenever I’m met with a blank stare and “What list?”


If you want to sell your products, you must nurture your prospective customers.

This means creating a fun and helpful freebie in exchange for their email addresses (this is called permission marketing). Once you have their email addresses, you can send weekly newsletters to keep them in the loop about your business news and upcoming products and services.

But what if you don’t have a list?

Step 1, create a freebie. Step 2, link it to your email provider with an opt-in box (I recommend Kajabi). You can see my freebie, the Productivity Power Pack, in the sidebar.

Step 3 is to send warm letters to the people who are most likely to buy from you now. The warm letter process is described in detail in the wonderful book The Referral of a Lifetime. Seriously, grab a copy.

Sending warm letters to the folks who already know, like, and trust you will increase your chances of getting sales.

In a few months, the people on your subscriber list will know, like, and trust you (that is, if you’ve been sending your newsletter). I get 100% of my income from my subscriber list, so get to it and set yours up today!

Problem: Your list is tapped out, and those folks who would buy from you already have.

Easy Edit: Do a massive traffic-driving campaign.

If no one knows your business exists, then you won’t get sales. You can’t expect to build your website and pray that your ideal clients somehow find you.

If you’ve already set up your freebie and linked the opt-in box to your email provider (see above), then your next job is to send as much traffic as possible to your website so that people can get on your list and start receiving your amazing weekly newsletter.

You can’t slack off on this step! A good business owner is constantly driving traffic to her website. You’ll need to grow your list and attract new followers all the time to keep getting sales.

As I mentioned in a recent blog post, I left helpful comments on other blogs in order to get the word out that my business exists. You can do the same—just look for blogs where your ideal customers hang out and then leave a comment that positions you as an expert.

You can also submit guest posts to websites that your ideal clients would read. Guest blogging is a fabulous way to get your name out to a much larger audience. Be sure to mention your freebie in your guest posts!

Problem: You have no upsells.

Easy Edit: Create a sales funnel.

There’s nothing more frustrating to me than coming to the end of a guidebook or course and having the business owner drop me like a hot potato. “WAIT!!! Isn’t there more? What am I supposed to do now?”

Please, please, please—I beg you!—don’t leave your customers hanging. Design a simple sales funnel so that when they come to the end of one product or service, you immediately take them by the hand and lead them to your next offering.

You are the leader of your business, so lead your customers exactly where you want them to go.

If you’ve downloaded the freebies in my Editor’s Toolkit, you’ll know that the last page of my worksheets is an upsell to the next step in my sales funnel, a free call with me. In fact, all of my blog posts end with a simple line of text and a link to my Work With Me page.

Here’s what my current sales funnel looks like:

  1. They find my blog through a friend, social media, commenting, etc.
  2. They sign up to get the Editor’s Toolkit. This gets them on my newsletter list.
  3. They purchase entry level digital guides, join a group program, join my membership site (coming next month!), or have a free call with me.
  4. After the free call, they sign up for a paid coaching package.
  5. They go through a VIP Day or coaching packages (3, 6, or 12 months)
  6. They attend my live workshop here in Orlando (coming in 2016!)
  7. They join my Life Editor Academy yearlong mastermind group.

Your first sales funnel will be much shorter. Just think about the logical next steps you want your customers to take and lead the way.

Problem: You have no easy buys.

Easy Edit: Have a bundle sale or create an entry level product.

Sometimes you’ll have a lot of products, but they’ll be a little outside of your followers’ budgets. In this case, you can either group multiple items together in a bundle and sell the bundle at a deep discount, or you can create a smaller “bite-sized” item that makes purchasing it a no brainer.

For instance, twice a year I do a bundle sale of my digital guides and home study courses. You could also bundle physical items such as jewelry or stationary sets.

If you don’t have an entry level product, consider making one ASAP! Yes, of course you want to get paid thousands of dollars for your work. But don’t ignore your fans who could purchase an inexpensive workbook or other item. Those little sales add up quickly and can help you have a baseline income from just passive sales.

Problem: You’re completely overwhelmed and that desperate energy is seeping into your work…and turning off potential buyers.

Easy Edit: Hire a coach.

“Wow, Sage. That’s a real self-serving answer.”

Yes. Yes, it is. 🙂

But I’ve seen the results I’ve been able to achieve by having my own coach, and I’ve seen the brilliant outcomes my clients have achieved through my coaching packages.

The whole reason I rebranded myself as the Life Editor was because of the advice from my coach. And it saved my business! You shouldn’t have to figure it out all on your own, and having someone in your corner seeing things with a different viewpoint is transformative.

Let’s get real here—you can tell when someone is selling something and she’s oozing desperation and neediness out her pores. And guess what? Your followers can tell when you’re desperate for cash, and no one wants to buy from someone who’s trying too hard.

Hiring a coach can help you shift your mindset from lack to abundance and implement marketing tactics that actually work…like the ones mentioned in this post!

Speaking of which, we’ve come to the end of this blog post, but I won’t leave you hanging. If you want to learn more about editing your business, click here to set up a free call with me. See how easy that is?

This post focuses on Step 3 of the Life Editing Process, Add Good Habits and Routines. For more about life editing and what it can do for you, click here.

How to Run a Successful Online Business In Just 1 Hour Per Day

Take control of your time, streamline your systems, and attract your most likely buyers.


  1. Erika Swafford on October 26, 2015 at 7:40 pm

    All great insights, Sage. I need to work on my sales funnel. With the various changes I’ve made in my business I seem to keep myself at the beginning. But I am determined to make it work!

    Thanks for all your encouragement. And yes, hire a coach! That’s when I get the most done in my business! 🙂

  2. Lea Bullen on October 22, 2015 at 8:39 pm

    Hey Sage,

    Entry level products are a great suggestion, especially if you typically sell higher priced extensive products. I gives the customer, as you said, a bite sized chunk. That way they get a little taste of what you have to offer and can get more comfortable with the idea of diving into your other stuff.