As a mindful small business, you walk a tightrope. On one hand, you want to deliver quality and value, via a customer experience that feels authentic and friendly. On the other hand – you need to be turning a profit and supporting your business’s long term sustainability. Sales matter – but you want to achieve your conversion goals without feeling like you’ve sold your soul.
When it comes to planning a sales strategy which aligns with your underlying business mission, it’s clear that some careful thinking is required. Ultimately, there’s no need to choose between profit and your core values. Working with a clearly defined template for your sales strategy – factoring in some key tactical “cornerstones” – can help you to sell in a manner that feels authentic and gets results.
In this article, we’ll explore some of these key areas of focus that can help you build out a template sales strategy that boosts your bottom line in a way that aligns with your sustainable business’s deeper ethos.
We firmly believe that behind the success of every sales-dependant business lies one factor: unshakable confidence in your product or service. When you truly believe that what you’re offering represents real value, opportunity or advantage, selling in a convincing and authentic manner comes naturally.
With this in mind, as a mindful retailer, you should be at an automatic advantage – one which you should leverage when planning a sales strategy. Your products have likely been sourced in a manner that takes into account a wide range of factors, all of which will touch upon the core concerns of your audience. From sustainable production methods and ethical sourcing through to eco-friendly manufacturing and shipping, take the time to ensure that what you’re offering goes beyond the expectations of your customers. That way, you’ll never find yourself on the backfoot when it comes to your sales strategy.
In order to achieve this kind of “belt and braces” confidence in your business’s offering, it can help to apply an outside perspective. Explore the MindfulCommerce Sustainability Framework for an expert-backed, fully comprehensive approach to ensuring that your products are mindfully sourced, designed, delivered and much more.
Transparent Communications And Innovative Impact
Another important element to consider when planning your sales strategy is the way you convey your ongoing and innovative impact. Telling the story of your business in terms of the short and long term goals you have, both for the positive impact your products can have and the way in which you intend to continue to make a change for the better - is a crucial part of the customer journey. And it is one which your audience will increasingly be on the lookout for.
Poorly executed sales strategies are often seen as “smoke and mirrors” – relying on exaggerated claims or economical truths. When it comes to selling within your mindful business, honesty is always the best policy. Full transparency is expected, and rewarded.
What might this look like within the context of your own template sales strategy? Openness about the impact of your products is essential – and your best defence against any accusations of greenwashing (which is getting even more difficult to get away with).
The more information you can give your customers access to, the more trust they’ll feel for your business and sales process. Think about things like clearly stating the provenance of your products, and giving specific instructions regarding the recycling of the packaging that it comes in.
Carbon labelling is set to become a much more widespread practice in recent years. If you’re looking to get an edge on competition, then looking into applying this to your own products is a great way to demonstrate your awareness of the impact you’re creating (as well as the desire to reduce this.)
Allbirds and BAM Clothing are already getting ahead of the curve here, check them out for some inspiration! And don’t forget our friends at GreenStory who can help with carbon labelling your products in a user friendly way.
How can you ensure that you’re communicating your intentions clearly and effectively? This all comes down to storytelling. Your products are more than products – their purchase has a positive impact that goes beyond a happy customer and a boosted bottom line. Whether their creation is providing skilled work and a reliable income for disadvantaged minorities, or bringing a more environmentally friendly alternative to an established product, make sure you’re giving a compelling and clear overview of the difference your business is making - and the difference your customers are making by completing their purchase!
Be sure to show that your dedication to doing the right thing is a constantly evolving process – talk about the changes you’re making, the lessons you’re learning as a business and the direction you’re taking things in in the future. This all helps to build awareness, engagement and investment in your customer base – giving them a reason to stay loyal and keep on supporting your efforts.
Injecting a little humility into your sales strategy is also a smart move. When it comes to running a sustainable, ethical and mindful business, everyone is learning as they go and making improvements where they can. Be upfront and honest about the areas of your business where you hope to improve in the future – MindfulCommerce are huge advocates for the saying “progress over perfection”. Don’t be afraid to speak up! This is called “Greenhushing” and can be even more detrimental than Greenwashing!
When it comes to planning a sales strategy, businesses operating within the mindful retail space have a distinct advantage. Even when we’re competing against a business courting a lookalike audience, we’re still united by common goals that go beyond our bottom line. Whether we’re pushing for reduced environmental impact, more mindful spending on quality products that last, or a move away from incentivizing overconsumption by routing out flash sales and extreme discount, mindful business can achieve a lot together – and learn from the experience.
For this reason, when you pull together your template sales strategy, it's a great idea to consider the possibility of cross promotion. Teaming up with like minded brands is a wonderful way to spread your reach (and sales) organically. What might this look like in practice? Shared giveaway contests on social media can be a brilliant way of quickly accessing a new, perfectly aligned trench of potential customers. You could also consider shared promotion within newsletters, guest content or new product collaborations.
Help is at hand when it comes to upscaling your cross promotion efforts. MindfulCommerce supporters, GoodCarts offer a fantastic (and amazingly, free) service. They pair your business with many similar retailers, offering their customers a coupon for your store after they check out. This drives highly qualified and motivated traffic your way, incentivising new customers to explore and purchase from your own business.
Testimonials and Reviews
When it comes to conscious consumerism, community matters. When formulating your template sales strategy, it’s incredibly important to give a voice to the customers who’ve already purchased and loved your products. Reviews and testimonials provide unbeatable social proof, building your reputation as a trustworthy and conscientious retailer, and acting as a signpost to other similarly aligned shoppers.
It’s also a great opportunity to demonstrate your respect for existing customers, by giving them a platform and actively requesting and responding to their feedback. Beyond this, reviews can actively reduce the impact of your business, by allowing more informed purchase decisions to be made, resulting in lower return rates (and fewer transportation emissions!)
Think about ways in which you can leverage user generated content, reviews and testimonials throughout your sales strategy. From adding star ratings to your Google Shopping ads, through to embedding shoppable galleries that showcase your customers’ social images across your website. There are many creative, conversion-boosting ways that you can weave these votes of confidence throughout your sales process template.
Finally, don’t neglect your sales support. When planning your sales strategy, ensuring that you have quick answers and helpful insight accessible and available to curious potential customers is a critical element of the process. Mindful businesses attract a discerning audience. These shoppers care – they have questions, and they want to know that they’re making the most ethical, environmentally sound choices when they make an informed purchase from your business.
The more informed your customers are before making a purchase, the less likely they’ll return it - saving you money and reducing emissions caused by shipping and returns.
Keeping lines of communication open, informative and friendly helps increase your transparency and the storytelling aspect of sharing your innovation and impact. You can even bring the community aspect of your strategy here, by integrating product “FAQ” sections populated by answers provided by your customers.
Customer service touches every point of your sales process, from helping customers make a more informed purchase decision, helping with aftercare and resolving any issues that might arise speedily. It’s also a great chance to show the personality and values of your brand – so if you’re leveraging customer support bots like Gorgias to do some of the heavy lifting here, be sure to customise the automated responses that you configure, to keep things feeling on brand at all times.
Selling Doesn’t Have To Feel Sleazy: Make It Mindful
Hopefully this article has given you plenty of food for thought when it comes to planning your sales strategy in a way that feels authentic and helps you build on your brand values - instead of undermining them. Mindful businesses have a real edge when it comes to sales.
Demand for ethical, sustainable products is high, especially amongst younger generations, which means the market will only continue to grow.
While growth of this kind should, of course, be welcomed with open arms – mindful retailers must also be aware of the fact that competition will increase. Although there’s often a natural urge to focus on your product and impact – now is the time to get building your sales strategy template.
Profit isn’t a dirty word – in the context of mindful retail, it means your ethical business is able to make even more of a positive change!
Interested in learning more about sales strategy from mindful businesses just like yours? Download the MindfulCommerce Sustainability Framework Guide and Video course today!