Now that you’ve bought the business opportunity you’ve been dreaming of for years, you need to start selling your products or services. So few new owners have selling as a skill set, but it is critical to business success.
You need to close deals, whether you sell sandwiches or offer consulting for commercial fishermen. When you make sale, customers give you money. That’s what lets you pay your overhead, suppliers and staff.
With money, you stay in business. With lots of sales, and lots of money, you profit and thrive.
Here is a look at 9 ways you can develop the ability to market what you have to offer, close the deal and make money.
#1. Feel successful, even when you aren’t.
Much like dogs and horses who can sense fear, customers sense desperation. It kills the chances of a sale. You may have an excellent product, the customer may need it badly. But if you try too hard, they will buy from someone else.
Almost everything about sales is in the attitude. Buying and selling isn’t based on fairness. Customers don’t buy from people who are worthy and deeply in need. They buy from those that reek of success.
#2. Know your product.
Do plenty of research about the features of your product. And figure out how each feature provides a benefit to your potential customers. They aren’t interested in what it does, they just want to know how it will help them.
If you do demonstrations, practice a lot before you go near your first customer. Get a partner to help you do several run-throughs to work out the kinks.
#3. Know your customer.
Find out what problem they need solved. Figure out how your product will help. Be specific. Show them with numbers, graphs or a demonstration how you can save them time, effort, money or angst.
Read their website and any reports or other material they have available. Ask questions before the sales call if their needs are not clear to you.
#4. People love testimonials.
Bring positive feedback along to sales calls. Post them on your website. Use letters written by satisfied customers in your presentations, pitches and proposals.
How to Make Contact
#5. Target the right people.
Find out who makes decisions about your type of product. Get a name and contact information. Don’t try to sell to gatekeepers or people who don’t have the authority to buy. You’re wasting everyone’s time.
If a technician wants for a demonstration, feel comfortable asking that the decision maker be present too. This is a fair expectation.
#6. It’s a numbers game.
The more people you see, the more cold calls you make, the more email pitches and regular mail letters you send out, the better your chances of making a sale. Always figure quantity of contact into your sales strategy.
#7. Make it a conversation.
Let your customer know right away that you are here to sell. It’s silly to try to disguise it, and totally ineffective. Then simply start a conversation. Ask about their needs. Ask what would solve their problem.
Your job as a salesperson is to help potential buyers, not sell. During this conversation, work in your products benefits. Talk with authority, use the right terms. Mention trends in the industry. People want to deal with experts.
Don’t speak like you’re reading a script. Use what you practiced in a natural way. Draw out the customer.
#8. Connect with your customer.
Build rapport with humor. Find common interests like hobbies. Talk about the local sports team. Listen to what they have to say. A customer in need will tell you what will make him buy, if you really listen.
Consider reading a short ebook on Neuro-linguistic programming, or NLP. This philosophy of connecting says people absorb information either visually, through hearing or with their sense of feeling, called Kinesthetic. Learning to use this fact can reduce the time it takes to establish rapport.
#9. Ask for the sale.
Many people new to sales forget to directly ask for the sale at the end of the presentation. Or maybe they feel embarrassed or pushy. But you need to tell people what you want from them or they won’t take the next logical step. Don’t assume anything, simply ask with confidence.
That’s selling in a nutshell. Get good at it to stay in business and prosper.
When you dreamed of owning a business, you thought you were checking out franchises and businesses for sale. But what you were actually inspecting were sales franchise opportunities and sales business opportunities. Because the essence of very single business is the sale.