Sales are the building blocks for business success. But with so many sales programs and systems out there, business owners are bombarded with complex or even contradictory advice. We believe there’s no single “sales system” or “process” that’s the best, because salespeople come in many personality types, and so do buyers. So instead, we present to you a set of guidelines that can help every entrepreneur boost their sales.
1. Find your comfort level.
Getting comfortable with selling is a key step for any entrepreneur, To gain inside knowledge and confidence you need, one could work temporarily for a similar business as Allis did, or seek guidance from a mentor, or take a sales class.
2. Define your target audience.
Identifying a specific customer target will refine your selling and you will be more efficient. If your company sells photocopying equipment and accessories, who will be most of your customers? Perhaps schools, organizations or small retail businesses?
This is important data, because new businesses lose many times because they try to be all things to all people. It’s important to segment your selling efforts.
3. Study customer habits.
Once you definitely know your customer audience, pay strict attention to the customers’ individual purchasing behaviors. If you are selling a high-priced item, you will usually notice that your customers without exception will take much longer to make a decision over these items. In this case, it’s important that your marketing and sales interactions are designed to educate customers on your product.
4. Fawn over your first customers.
When you start out, you should do everything to please your first customers, even if it means not making as much money. Those first customers will create your company’s reputation. You are going to need testimonials to jumpstart your word-of-mouth business.
5. Take time to build relationships.
A very costly business mistake business owners make is failing to build close relationships with their customers. Rick Segel, sales expert and author of Retail Business Kit for Dummies, advises, “The first thing you are selling is yourself. If they don’t like you, the sale is not going to happen.” That is unfortunate but very true.
One simple and effective technique is to send personalized emails to consumers rather than a standardized message.
6. Stay on the radar.
Once you’ve built a line of camaraderie with customers. stay in their mind, utilizing regular newsletters about your business, active blogs, and an interesting web site.
7. Become an industry expert.
Establishing yourself as a leader in your field will strengthen sales, perk your reputation and attract new customers. Leverage social media and your company’s website to engage and interact with consumers. This will humanize your brand and build your authority.
Consumers want to see you as someone who understands the industry. If they see you as an expert, that’s even better. It gives them confidence in you, which turns into confidence in your business, and that’s the starting line for success.