As a new business owner, you are likely to be an ideas person. You have come up with an excellent product or service and spent an age developing it until it’s pitch perfect. The trouble is, when it comes to selling that product or service, you might be reaching beyond your skill set.
Let’s face it – this can be a major problem. Selling is the part of the business that many first-time entrepreneurs forget about. And, it’s tough if you aren’t a natural. The good news is that you can learn to sell just as you can learn another language. Here’s a beginner’s guide for you to get started and make sure you can grasp more opportunities.
Put sales at the center of your business
Selling your products should be at the heart of your business strategy – not an afterthought. We’re not just talking about physical transactions here. We mean your marketing, website, content creation and any analysis should all lead to finding more prospects.
It’s known in the modern business world as ‘sales enablement.’ It helps your company’s different departments to align with a common goal. Consider looking into a sales enablement strategy for your business and it should help you to progress in a more consistent way.
Research your prospects
The days of cold calling are all but gone for many industries. While that might be a relief to those that come out in a cold sweat about making unsolicited calls, it leaves businesses with a problem. The solution is to take the time to research your early-stage prospects as much as possible. It will give you the opportunity to tailor each pitch to their needs. It will also save you a lot of time as you will be able to decide whether a prospect is worth the further contact.
Ask the right questions
Don’t just jump in when selling a product with an outline of what it does or why it is so great. Instead, think about the needs of your prospect, and come up with solutions to their problems. All of a sudden, you aren’t a salesperson – you are a problem solver. And that makes a far more compelling offer when it comes to your prospects deciding to make a purchase.
Closed and open questions
The art of selling is always finding your entry point into the minds of your customer. The trouble is it takes some doing, as everyone is different. Let’s say you hold up a pen in front of a group of people and ask them what they need it for. Some might need it to take notes; others want it to finish their crossword. Some may even use it to sign a birthday card or a contract, and so on.
Everyone has different needs – and your job is to expose them. So, the best way to do this is to make your prospects feel comfortable with a few simple, closed questions that take no effort. Once you warm them up, ask some open-ended questions, and you will learn a lot more from them – including their precise needs.