We love working with small businesses and our ultimate goal is to help them succeed, so we have put together a series of powerful small business tips. Success is impossible without selling.
It doesnâ€™t matter if you are an inventor, store owner, consultant or service provider – if you are an entrepreneur, then youâ€™re a salesman. Without sales, your business wonâ€™t survive, and when you are trying to take your business idea from concept to reality, you have to quickly learn how to become your company’s first salesperson.
The trouble is, often the analytical idea makers of tomorrow are introverts by nature. Although this type of person can ultimately be a great entrepreneur, startups still require someone socially adept enough to connect to potential customers or clients to sell an idea.
If this sounds like you and youâ€™re looking for ways to get your name, brand or product out there, then youâ€™re in luck. Below we have put together some sales tips and strategies designed to help budding business owners take their first steps towards becoming successful entrepreneurs with these powerful sales tips for small businesses.
Tip 1: Acknowledge that sales is the lifeblood of your company
They say the first step to solving any problem is recognizing there is one. As a business owner, recognizing a problem also means you have to take responsibility for it, and then solve it. This part of the process is all about your perspective, and the most effective way you can make a positive impact is to have a positive outlook.
You are starting a business because it is something you believe in. That means deep down, there is a passion that has driven you to create your business in the first place. Embrace that passion. Let yourself get excited about it and want to share it with others. After all, selling will require you tell a bit of a story about your product or service, anyway – so do it with enthusiasm.
Roughly 50% of a salespersonâ€™s ability to be successful is commonly attributed to their energy, excitement and enthusiasm that they bring to their presentation. For you introverts, the psychological explanation of this is that your emotions are â€ścontagiousâ€ť and by bringing energy and excitement to the conversation you have a greater chance of passing that excitement on to your customer.
Tip 2: Donâ€™t think of it as selling. Think of it as building relationships.
Just as people are able to feel and get caught up in your excitement, most people can also get a feel for your intentions. If you are feeling heavy pressure because you are intensely focused on needing to land the next sale, chances are your body language will communicate higher levels of stress, or you may even speak in a more intense, less casual tone. These subtle queues can be all that is required to make your prospect uncomfortable, and ultimately uninterested.
The trick is to not focus too heavily on the selling aspect, and instead think of what you are doing as a chance to build a relationship. Letâ€™s just assume that you did land the customer. This means that you will likely be interacting and doing future business with this same person again and again. With that in mind, the best thing you can do by any customer is to be as friendly, sincere and helpful as possible. These are the same traits you would expect when building a solid friendship. If you focus on bringing these traits to the table every time you interact with your customers, the sales will be a natural evolution to the relationship (assuming things like product and price are a reasonable match for the prospect).
Tip 3: Manage and track your sales data accurately and effectively
Unlike most personal relationships, business relationships that involve sales demand a certain level of professional management. This is because although you are building relationships, these relationships have goals that you are working towards, and to effectively meet goals requires effectively tracking them. Since you are likely to be building multiple relationships at the same time, your prospects will undoubtedly wind up being in different stages of your sales funnel. This means you will need some way to track the progress of each relationship separately so you can continue the conversation with each lead when and where it is most effective without falling out of touch or overreaching and accidentally pushing them away.
Whether you want to use a professional CRM (Customer Relationship Management) tool, an Excel spreadsheet or a pen and pad of paper is entirely up to you. A good CRM will ultimately be your best friend, but get started with what you are most confident you will keep up with. Remember, flying by the seat of your pants is a dangerous game that isnâ€™t a matter of whether you will or wonâ€™t lose, but WHEN youâ€™ll lose.
Final Thoughts + Bonus Tip: Tuck and Roll
Although each of these tips are important to incorporate into your selling habits, they are by no means a guaranteed knockout combo. You are going to make mistakes, and sometimes they are going to be a bit rough. Instead of letting yourself stop flat with a face plant, â€śTuck and Roll.â€ť Being able to take a hard landing and keep moving forward is more important than getting each sales pitch perfect every time. In fact, it is those experiences that you will ultimately be the most grateful for, because they will be what sharpens your skills for the sales youâ€™ll land in the future.