EP 296: Putting The Humanity Back In Sales With Lawyer Autumn Witt Boyd

In This Episode:

  • How attorney Autumn Witt Boyd discovered that she’d over-automated the sales process for her law firm
  • The adjustments that she made to get her sales process back on track—and why she chose to put a human touch on it
  • What steps a potential new clients goes through in Autumn’s hybrid sales system
  • How her values are reflected in the way her business does sales now

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We all have a story about a bad salesperson.

Ask my husband about buying a car and he’ll tell you about the time he and his ex-wife got trapped in a user car lot when they refused to make an offer on a car that was well over their budget.

It’s cliche—but true.

If this is the kind of story you think about when you think about sales, it’s no wonder that selling your own products or services would be a challenge.

But this is not what your sales system needs to look like to be effective.

You can be a kind, generous, and human sales person and be incredibly effective.

This month, we’re talking sales.

We’re going to get into the human side of sales in a minute or two. But first, I think we need to make an important distinction here: marketing is not sales. Sales is not marketing.

Can there be overlap? Sure. Does one often support the other? You bet.

But marketing and sales are not the same thing.

In fact, an intentional, proven sales system is often one of the missing pieces of a business that almost works—but isn’t quite there.

You can’t market your butt off and expect it to just materialize into purchases—you have to sell.

So then, what is sales?

Sales is the system that presents the offer, answers any questions or objections, and then makes the ask and closes the deal.

Sales tends to happen a little more behind the scenes—which is why it’s one of the more misunderstood parts of running a small business. It often happens in an email, on the phone, or even in person.

Our goal for this series on sales is to demystify the process and give you a look at what really works when it comes to selling your service, your program, or your product. We’re even going to take a look at sales through a feminist or anti-capitalist lens.

To kick things off, I thought it was fitting to talk with a lawyer—another profession known for their sales techniques… about how she moved away from impersonal, automated sales processes and into a more human way of selling—and why that generated better results for her firm.

Today, I’m talking with my friend Autumn Witt Boyd, the founder of The AWB Firm, which specializes in helping online business owners protect what they’ve built.

Autumn and I talk about why she started tinkering with her sales process in the first place, the speed bumps she experienced along the way, why her sales process ended up too automated, and how she’s taken a more human approach and actually gotten much better results.

Now, let’s find out what works for Autumn Witt Boyd!


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EP 299: How To Design Your Own Sales System

EP 299: How To Design Your Own Sales System

This week, I’ve got 4 more stories to share with you from small business owners who have intentionally done things their own way when it comes to sales and selling. They’ve found what truly works for them–even if it bucks the prevailing wisdom or would make a bro marketing expert role his or her eyes.

These stories come from business coach Ashley Gartland, marketing expert Amy Lippmann, designer Mel Richards, and work reinvention coach Lydia Lee.

Listen for how they incorporated these same considerations into finding their own unique sales systems. They designed their systems with personal values, strong relationships, reduced anxiety, and agency in mind.

EP 298: Creating A Less Harmful Sales System with Wanderwell Founder Kate Strathmann

EP 298: Creating A Less Harmful Sales System with Wanderwell Founder Kate Strathmann

This show is called What Works for a reason.

Sometimes it’s a declaration: this is what worked for this small business. And often, it’s a question, “What works?”

Today’s episode is very much a question, many questions, really:

What works when it comes to selling when you want to avoid manipulative or exploitative practices?

What works when your values conflict with many of the best practices of selling online but you still want people to buy your stuff?

What works when it comes to sales in a business that is actively anti-racist and anti-capitalist?

And even more bluntly: Can you even sell things without causing harm or perpetuating harmful systems?

My friend Kate Strathmann is the founder of Wanderwell, a bookkeeping and consulting firm that grows thriving businesses while investigating new models for being in business.

Recently, Kate took a bit of a detour from how she’s used to building her business, which is 90% referral based and fueled by deep relationship- and community-building. She decided to offer a small group program called the Equitable Business Incubator as a way of exploring anti-capitalist business practices and how they apply to the small businesses we’re building.

To fill the program, Kate need to sell differently.

Which led her to asking the question: Can you even sell things as a anti-capitalist?

While that might not be your specific question, I have a feeling that you too have wondering how you can effectively sell your offers without causing harm, perpetuating harmful systems, or damaging relationships. And that’s why I knew Kate and I needed to explore this topic on the show.

This is a conversation about what a kinder, less harmful sales process could look like—and it probably contains more questions than answers. But I’m confident those questions can help you find the answers that are right for you and the sales system that you want to build to make your business stronger.

We start out by defining what we’re really talking about when we talk about capitalism and anti-capitalism. Then, Kate shares how the Equitable Business Incubator came to be and how she ended up selling it. And then we dig into what makes many of the sales formulas and best practices being taught today problematic—and how to think differently to create your own alternative practices.

Now, let’s take a look at what works for creating less harmful sales systems!

EP 297: Selling A New Program With Proof To Product Founder Katie Hunt

EP 297: Selling A New Program With Proof To Product Founder Katie Hunt

Today’s guest is Katie Hunt—who is a member of the former group and serves the latter group.

Katie is the founder of Proof To Product, which helps creative entrepreneurs run and grow thriving product-based businesses. She works with designers, illustrators, and artists to help them develop in-demand product lines and get them sold in stores all over the world.

Not long after the pandemic threw her business and the industry she serves for a major loop, Katie and her team launched Proof To Product Labs to provide a completely digital, ongoing support opportunity for business owners when they needed it most.

And that launch was a smash.

Katie and I get into all of the nuts and bolts of how she adjusted the offer to meet the moment and how she warmed up her audience before the campaign, as well as the exact mix of emails, podcast ads, and social media content she used to sell the offer when it went live. We also talk about how she sees the sales system evolving in the future and how the offer has been received now that people are using it!

What Works offers in-depth, well-researched content that strips away the hype of the 21st-century economy. Whether you love the podcast, the articles, or the Instagram content, we’d love your support