Sick of Selling? Here’s 5 Simple Ways to Get More Out of Every Sale You Make - Christine Kane

Think about this.

It’s seven times more costly (in both money and time) to get a brand new customer than it is to  KEEP an existing customer.

This bit of data comes to us from the White House Office of Consumer Affairs.  (I’m not just making it up so I can teach you some kicky new strategies.)

So take a moment to consider, not just how you GET your clients – but what you DO once you get them.  It makes a huge difference. Most solo business owners think only in terms of getting the sale. It goes like this:

  1. You put lots of effort into selling your thing.
  2. Someone hires you or books you.  Yay, you got the sale! (Or the date, or the client.)
  3. You fulfill the sale.
  4. Then, it’s over.
  5. Now you gotta go out and get another one.

All well and good.  (And like I said, it’s how many people run their business.)  

Here at Uplevel You, we call this a “transaction-based business.”  The people who operate this way are “Transactionists.”

When your business relies on transactions alone, it’s a lot more effort for you.  (7 times more to be exact.) You work constantly to find the buyer, market to the buyer, sell to the buyer, fulfill the sale – and then start all over again.  That’s a lot of energy.

Even if you DO master this model – (most people don’t) – you’ll eventually run out of hours in the day to fulfill each of these sales – or to keep finding new transactions.

Which is why so many business owners are so freakin’ tired.

In fact, the enemy of the Upleveled business is the transaction.  (Or at least, the transaction mindset.)

So, it doesn’t matter if you’re a lawyer, a coach, a wedding photographer, a designer, a speaker or a candlestick maker… if you want a consistently successful business, you have to shift into a new mindset.

How To Get the Most of Each and Every Sale

You must become what we here at Uplevel call an “Anti-Transactionist.”

An Anti-Transactionist lives from this philosophy:

When you get a sale, you don’t get a sale. You get a customer.  Huge difference.

An Anti-Transactionist does one key thing differently from exhausted business owners…

She sets up systems so that one transaction naturally becomes many others. She still makes transactions. But that’s never the end point.

How do you do this?

Well, here are the 5 action steps that will help you get the most out of every single sale you make:

1 – Sell packages, not hours

This one thing alone will change your entire business.

Rather than make an appointment here and an appointment there and charging dollars for hours (or dollars for sessions)…

….create packages so that you’re not waiting for clients to schedule their next transaction with you. It makes your life (and theirs) much easier.

2 – Create impeccable reach out systems

Sometimes an entrepreneur will frantically message me at the 11th hour. She wants to know how to “upsell” or pitch a renewal to a current client when their package is about to end.

The problem here is that it’s a hail-mary pass.  Offers like this are made out of desperation. Not service.

The time to think about a current client renewing is the minute he signs up the first time.  

In other words, sit down and map out exactly how you’ll add value, connect with and reach out to your current clients.  What does your on-boarding process look like? How do you celebrate when they hit a milestone?

When you create structures and messages to anchor your client, you create something that elevates them and helps them understand the value they’re getting during your work together.   This makes a renewal a no-brainer.

Direct mail guru Dick Benson said: “It’s three times easier to get a second sale from an existing customer than a first time sale from a non-customer.”  This means it’s worth taking some time to think about that second sale before the 11th hour.

3 – Create simple referral systems

Notice how the word  “system” is showing up here.  A system is something you build and orchestrate. It doesn’t have to be manipulative or slimy.  But it does have to be set up in advance. (In other words, you “winging it” is NOT a system.:) )

Nowhere is this true more than with referrals.  Referrals are not just little mysterious blessings that happen by chance.  Every customer you work with is connected to hundreds of other people. Learn how to orchestrate referrals to extend transactions infinitely and effortlessly.

4 – Always know the very next step

When you fulfill a transaction – whether it’s a speaking gig, a corporate training, a seminar, writing your book – always think in terms of the NEXT STEP.  What is the next step the audience, or the prospect or client can take? Once you know this, you can set up each transaction to lead naturally into that next step.

For example, when I was a songwriter and performer, I was on tour 260+ days per year.

One of my secret strategies was knowing that it wasn’t just about racking up more gigs. I also knew that in every audience (in addition to fans) there were people who

A] would come to one of my women’s retreats, and

B] would hire me to do a Creativity Training for their office or employees.  

I always made sure my stage banter included stories from those experiences.  I didn’t have to pitch these things. I just planted the seed. They would seek me out and ask for the next step.

So, if you fly around the country for speaking gigs – and each one of those gigs is the end of the line for the money flow – then you’re a Transactionist.

However, if you engineer a next step where audience members can sign up a VIP session with you – then you become an “Anti-Transactionist.”  You’ve added a “Next Step” that turns your transaction into a lead generator and extended cashflow.

(And hey, if I could do this stuff as a musician and entertainer…then anyone can do it!)

5 – Educate your clients

“My clients don’t know that it takes more than just one session to experience results.”

“My customers think it’s all about just picking my brain over lunch.”

“People just want a quick fix.”

If you ever say anything like this, then guess what?  

The burden is on you to educate your peeps how you can help them further.  And no, this doesn’t mean you create a brochure called “How I can Help You Further.”  It means you creatively and consistently educate your clients by dispelling their doubts, overcoming their objections and addressing their misconceptions.

Will these steps take focus, strategy and work on your part?  Yup!

But when you do them, your revenue flow will become more effortless. Check it out…

Becoming an anti-transactionist takes focus, strategy and some mindset shifts on your part. But we’ve seen thousands of our clients break out of the transaction mindset and make a lot more money without working more.

Now you… if you had to pick ONE of these, which could you implement quickly and what kind of impact would it have?

  • Gloria Philips

    Its rightly said that it’s seven (I would say 100 times) times more costly to get a brand new customer than it is to KEEP an existing customer. By the way, great post!

  • Kyle Bressant

    Greetings Kristine,
    Thank you for your post/ email about keeping my first time customers as ongoing clients. What a relief to see the ways I can do to keep client relationships going with systems in place that I see will continue to help us both grow. Many years ago. You came to my church One God One Thought Center for Better Living and have a lecture. I appreciated your energy then and am glad to have rediscovered you on your visioning website .

  • Dru

    I am going to work on a system to reach out to my customers. I will create added value and content to engage people who have bought from me before.

    • Christine Kane

      Even just simply staying in touch, reaching out, saying hi, Dru! That works! (Plus it can be fun for you as you connect.)

  • Lisa Wells

    Oh Christine, you had me at SYSTEMS! (Well, packages too, but systems really get me going). I often say that people are very much into decorating the operating room when they have a critical patient on the table. Without systems – marketing, sales, follow-up, relationship progression, referrals, testimonials, onboarding, intake, training team members, project management – you will feel like a hamster on the wheel and / or leaving money on the table.

    Systems and operations are actually my passion and what I do for my clients. If you need the “how,” I can help. For example, following up when attending an event, what to do before the event so that you can effectively engage during the event, how to follow up so that you are top of mind – I have dozens of these systems. Let me know, I’d be happy to share.

    Didn’t mean to be promote-y, but this post MADE MY DAY!

  • Denise Moser

    Hi Christine,
    I love and agree with this way of being in business, but I struggle to see my customer’s next steps, although I do keep in touch with them through my newsletter.
    I write custom, from their heart, songs for people. I have three packages. I would love to see more steps.

  • Moshe Chayon

    One of the points you made in this post is so powerful I want to share what it did for me. The referral system, I used it when i was fixing computers for a living. Instead of having to find a lot of clients myself I used the referral system to get more. I offered my clients one free hour of service for each client they refer to me. That way I had about 5 – 7 clients that never had to pay for my services, but they built up my client base.

  • Joyce

    This is my first exposure to this concept and I love it! Not sure what to do, however, with my new line of work. I have just rehabbed my first house and am now taking apps to get a renter. I will repeat the process again in the next few months. How can I use your ideas for investing in real estate?

  • Ahpisarr

    I started a business last year where we deliver online professional development courses. However, I now realise that the backbone of the tutoring is now done by tutors over whom I dont have that much control. So it seems like I am handing over my passion to be delivered by another person. Now it is too late for me to step back from this business as I am in a lot of debt – I dont think I made a mistake as such, but somewhere something’s definitely gone wrong. I have completely gone on to being a transactionist, where now the focus is only on paying the office rent, bills, and survival. Any ideas?

  • Sophie

    Hi Christine,

    I’m looking at my services and wonder how to value them…how to package them & offer them differently and I’m totally overwhelmed by the follow up. I feel like even with all the info out there, I get confused and not sure what to do with the info. Realising I need a stronger foundation, structure and balance.

    Any suggestions are appreciated & Thank you for your posts. 🙂

  • Elaine Enlightening

    Very nice article. I think the one thing that stood out to me to work on is the referral plan.

    I see the value in your concept of not being one who focuses on transactions. I focus on honoring my clients, since my work as a healer and spiritual teacher/coach is all about assisting people to face their fears and remove the obstacles. We usually need a coach because we are so busy devaluing ourselves and need non-judgmental guidance to get back on track. There is also the need for clarity and vision. I just want you to know why I appreciate your approach.

    I look forward to visiting your blog again!


  • christine from decorated life

    I love this post! I consider everything from FB, Twitter, pinterest and the blog as part of a sale – whether money is exchanged or not because if they remain on any of those lists they want to keep hearing from you and that is almost as good as a sale. Thanks for the great post Christine..

  • Laura Knights

    Christine, I love your work! I created a faith-based curriculum for adult women to be able to facilitate small spiritual development/life skills groups with teen girls. I know that my market is small, so I also created a interactive journal for the teen girls that can be used as a companion to the group or used independently by a teen girl. My “clients” (those who will actually purchase the products) are churches, schools, the adult women that want to lead a group, and parents (primarily for the journal for their daughters). My “anti-transaction” move is to collect emails (for a quarterly newsletter) and offer an intensive training for the women that will lead the group on how to effectively use the curriculum. I also will host “fellowship” events for the women group leaders to stay connected and encouraged, and an annual expo with fun events, entertainment, and breakout sessions for the teen girls. I’m wondering with this type of product, how much more “anti-transactionist” could I be? Should there be more? BTW…just finishing the products, so this won’t actually launch until January. So, much of this is intention that I will put into action very soon! Any feedback is appreciated!

  • Ahulani

    Dear Christine,
    Thank you so very much for this oh so timely and helpful piece. I am having the last session of my 3 month package with my absolutely divine ideal client tomorrow and I have been thinking about “what’s next?” and am stuck. I have been doing a healing session with her by phone which has been very helpful to her. She has had just extraordinary results and although some of her symptoms are still here, she says she doesn’t care because the other changes have been so magnificent. I am blown away by her and love her dearly.
    Here is my dilemma: I know she could benefit by more sessions and would love to continue our work together. Should I just say that to her and see if she wants to buy another package?
    I don’t know what else to say. I have included a cd and some report or some supportive gift each week or so of the sessions. I have a feeling I should just talk it over with her and see what she feels she needs for support now. But I am not sure how to price it. I don’t want to charge by the session, but honestly, that is the baseline for how I figure out my package.
    What advice do you have for me? I would love to have a session with her weekly or every two weeks. I think I could also ask for referrals now too.
    Any thoughts you have would be so helpful.

  • Leela Sinha

    Hi, Christine, I love the idea of moving away from transactions, but I struggle to get my clients out of the time-for-money mindset. The things I do (coaching and bodywork) are both very entrenched in the x-per-hour idea, and if I give a package price, I can just see people working out the per-session price even when there are all kinds of other things of value included in the package. As I consider using some of my other skills to reach more people (public speaking! workshops!) and bring the entry price down, I feel like I’m barking up the wrong tree–I know in my head that my prices are not too high and that money is the reason people give but it isn’t actually that much of a barrier–but I have other reasons why I want to work with rooms of people (I miss it! I was good at it!). And I’m struggling with how to stop it being exactly as you described: flying around the country doing speaking gigs that are the end of the line, assuming I can fill the room to begin with. I was thinking of a followup workshop, but now I see you’re suggesting speaking gig/initial workshop–>individual coaching package with a group component–>and then what? Two steps doesn’t feel like enough; how do I find out where the hunger in the room is so it can be in place when I begin?

  • Stacy

    Christine, I’ve been reading your posts for several months now. This post resonated for me. I run a consulting firm where I run workshops and do coaching around negotiation and conflict resolution. Great client base – domestic, international, for profit, not-for-profit, small and large companies as clients. We do good work. Yet I am convinced I’m leaving TONS of value on the table – my practice is actually very transactional even though I have some long term relationships with clients. Every time I think about how to do better (and to target an unreached market), I get almost paralyzed by the what-ifs so my ideas never get very far. And, I’m both a perfectionist and a procrastinator which also serves to stop me in my tracks. Where would you recommend I start? Visioning? Elsewhere?

  • Herdis Pala

    Girl was this article what I needed or what?!?!? I´m stuck in transactions!
    Companies keep calling me for presentations, workshops etc. so I don´t have/take the time to finish my e-book, my home-study-program and other things I want to sell through my website (
    I´m getting better at selling packages to my coaching clients though and don´t take any new cocaching clients for less than two months but I have to become more systematic in my coaching packages…..

    • Christine Kane

      Herdis – Yes! Definitely get more strategic in how you put together your offer. If a company calls you, think about how you could make it lead to something else – or raise your prices! That time you carve out to finish your e-book, etc, will bring in longer term income, which is crucial!

  • Alice Osborn

    Hi Christine,
    I needed to read this post today–I’m a writer who trains writers–this year I offered a 6-week, 2.5 hr beginning, intermediate and advanced memoir workshop series. My packages include one-on-one editing, coaching and an online correspondence class. From your comments, it sounds like I also need to provide a memoir coaching circle that’s only offered to the memoir graduates–am I on the right track?

    Thanks so much for everything you do!

    • Christine Kane

      Alice – Do the graduates get sad when it’s time to leave you? I’ll bet some of them do! That’s definitely a time to offer another deeper step with you and others who are doing this work. It’s up to you if you want to make it something more “maintenance” based or more “mastery” based. Two very different ways to approach the next step. What do THEY want or need the most?

      • Alice Osborn

        Hi Christine,

        Got it–most of them want to “Finish Their Memoir” which is mastery. That could be the title of the next step for them.
        Thank you!

  • Jennifer Flint ~ The Aura Reader

    This is really useful information. I was actually thinking just yesterday of setting up a package of aura and tarot readings and/or counseling for my clients, because I really prefer to spend more time helping one person than less time working with many (although I’m happy to do single sessions as well, of course).

    But I find that more profound transformations tend to happen in the more extended format, and I’m the type who really cares about my clients and wants to be involved in their progress anyway.

    Thanks for the encouragement and the great ideas – eerily appropriate as usual. Hey, I think you might be psychic too! 🙂

    • Christine Kane

      Jennifer — I’ve been told that I am! But mostly I just experience it as being very present to my clients. 🙂 Thanks for the response. I like your thought process here!

  • Tonya Gray

    I am currently in those baby step stages of creating an online site for customers to refer friends and to make future purchases. As an artist, it is my joy to create, but not to track sales and leads. I’ve hired a wonderful photographer to take some preliminary photos, and am deciding what creations to offer online.

    • Christine Kane

      This takes time, Tonya. But yes, you are in business. And no, you’re not wired to deal with all this stuff. Take it from someone who was in the arts and entertainment world – it’ll pay off if you get even a little better at tracking sales and leads!

  • Pidgen

    I really think that I “understand” this concept … but I’m getting a bit stuck in my own head with my own business. I sell cakes — great, a product that gets eaten up. Which does mean that the customer NEEDS to buy another one eventually. lol. Does that mean that my “system” should be more about making sure I keep in contact — like asking about birthdays and anniversaries? So that I can “remind” my customer that she NEEDS another cake? I think this is a great first step {creating a calendar for reminders and pat emails saying, ‘Guess what’s coming up?’} But is the true package deal an online class or a DVD or something that is teaching related that allows me to make passive income? Is there something else that I’m missing? I’ve watched so many of your videos assuming that I was going to go in a different venture, but the bakery fell in my lap and now I’m refomulating. LOL. {By the way, I really wanted the Bakery to fall in my lap.}

    • Christine Kane

      Pidgen – That’s wild! I am working on my Gold Mastermind training on referral systems – and the example I laid out for how to self-activate a stream of referrals was a cake business! Anyway – I think you’re on the right track by starting with reminders and staying in touch. Also – you’d be perfect to read “the e-Myth revisited” by Michael Gerber. The story running through the book is a bakery. 🙂 For now – YES, you need to keep in touch with your customers. Do you have a facebook page? Do you have a list? You are working in a visual medium that is also (lucky for you) very addictive… sugar! Plaster photos of what you’re working on each day!

  • Judy Parsons

    As a seller of the # 1 gift item in America, the next step for all my customers now would be to allow me to help them with their Christmas shopping! I need to contact every customer I can and offer them a Christmas Shopping special! The next step I need to do year round is remind customers of my personal shopper services and ask for referrals.

  • Jeanette Henderson

    These are great points, Christine. With a retail product business (widgets) this can be a bit more tricky, however. Customers may make a purchase on your website and then they’re gone. But, if you’ve collected their email, you can follow up and ask them to refer 3 friends in exchange for a coupon or discount toward a future purchase. You can also set up your shopping cart to suggest other products they may like before they complete the sale. Your email marketing might suggest how your products can be used in creative ways they may not have considered or remind them of the value of your product over competitors. You could offer bulk or volume discounts, etc. Your follow up system is so important.

    • Christine Kane

      Jeanette – VERY true! Again, if you can sit down and think about next steps, subscriptions, customer loyalty programs. Too often, people in your shoes give up and stop connecting with buyers because of the limiting belief that says, “Well, I guess they only wanted one thing.” Your job is to stay connected and find ways to offer another level or action to them. Thanks for your great input!

  • Marcy Heim

    There is a very old saying…”You’ve got to spend money to make money.” I think this relates to your article. You need to be willing to share some of your expertise, offer an free offer to draw people to your site, speak for no fees if it is the right audience, etc. But where your article is so important is you can’t just spend money….you’ve got to think about what it the next step you want them to take from the money/service/product you shared with them and be sure you have a package, product or something to offer. Thanks, Christine. Clearly I heard this before….but I didn’t hear it. 🙂

  • Andrea

    Hoi Christine, I love your post because I do love systems. Last Saturday I had my bodylanguage & communication- workshop. There were 11 people. At the end of the day they said: We need more of your knowledge. That just blew me away. They askedme for a follow-up. I love to offer that, but always when it comes to organizing I really feel stuck about the how. I do not know in which format (evenings or weekends)- because I want to make it good for everyone. Is there a secret?
    So I guess my next step is: To create the content of the following workshops.
    Love, Andrea

    • Christine Kane

      Hey Andrea — Rather than offering follow up workshops – I would consider offering your private trainings with a group intensive workshop thrown in. When you keep offering follow up workshops, you are ultimately continuing to offer the same level for the same people – and eventually, it might be harder and harder to get the same numbers enrolled.

      With that said, your business strategies are all about YOU choosing what is the best next step. Take some time to consider this and think about it! And congratulations for your amazing workshop results!