As a small business owner you are forced to wear many hats. Accountant, manager, HR department, however the most important hat you have to wear is that of the salesperson! Becoming the best salesperson in your business is probably the best thing you can do to push your operation towards success. Without sales your business fails! It’s pretty much that simple.
So first off lets clarify something. Sales is not a slimy, fast-talking thing that has some secret line that gets people to sign the contract. If that is the impression that you have then it’s time to rethink things a bit. Sales techniques certainly differ from industry to industry, however the best salespeople in any industry are problem solvers. Your customer has a need and your product or service is the solution.
Lets discuss the sales process for a minute. It follows a very clear path.
Let me quickly define these steps.
Introduction – This is simply when you introduce yourself and your business to your client. Be polite, it helps!
Qualifying – This is when you ask a series of questions to try and determine which product or service that your client might need. Sometimes qualifying can be related to determining whether your client is able to buy the product or is the decision maker. However it is important to NOT get into the habit of telling yourself that clients can’t afford to buy before you know they can’t.
Presentation – This is where you present your solutions. It is very important to NOT just run down a list of features that your service or product offers. People purchase based on the BENEFITS that service or product offers. Spend more time focusing on the benefits of the product or service and you will make more sales.
Handling Objections – It is perfectly natural for a client to have questions, sometimes even ones that seem critical. This is actually a good thing, your client is actually interested when they have objections. Handle objections in a positive and productive way. Go back to the advantages and benefits you are offering, that is what your client is attempting to clarify.
Closing – ASK FOR THE SALE! That is the best advice anyone can give you! This does not have to be intimidating or painful for you or the client. People have often times asked me, “What is the secret to closing sales?”. It’s pretty simple…. If you have done your job on the way to this step then it should be as easy as saying “So do you want to go ahead and get this?” Or “Can I go ahead and write this up for you?” If the answer is NO, then you need to return to the previous step and continue trying to solve the objections your client might have.
That is a brief explanation of the path you should be following on the way to the cash register at your business. If you aren’t doing that then you might need to re-examine your sales process. It is easy to get caught up in bad habit on the sales floor. The best salespeople out there are constantly studying and practicing ways to get better.
So how do I find more business?
This is a question a lot of businesses need to answer. The term for this is “Prospecting” there isn’t a definitive answer that works for all industries however I have found that there is some simple logic to determining what it takes to get a potential buyer.
This a simple formula I have used over the years. I call it 10-8-4-2-1.
- First you need to find 10 people
- Only 8 of them will even care about what you have to say
- Approximately 4 might be interested in what you are offering
- 2 of them might be qualified to actually buy it
- Then 1 might actually buy!
So now that you know this formula what is the first thing you need to do?
Correct Answer = FIND 10 PEOPLE
The math on this formula might seem a little depressing, however you will find it to be pretty close to reality. The fact of the matter is, you need to get your product or service in front of as many people as possible! The more potential buyers you cross paths with and present your product or services to the more you are going to sell.
In conclusion, if you review your sales process and try and improve it, you will sell more. If you get your product, services or business in front of as many people as you can, you will sell more! Don’t fear the sales process, EMBRACE IT! You can do just as well as anyone else out there it just takes a practice! Not everyone is going to say Yes, accept that and don’t take it personal. If it was easy then everyone would be a top salesperson!