I’ve spoken with a lot of talented business owners—in all industries—who have blocks when it comes to sales strategies. For one reason or another, these intelligent, successful people believe they “aren’t good at sales” or even that they don’t have what it takes to sell effectively.
In reality, anyone can sell successfully. Here are some tips I’ve found to be helpful, especially for those who don’t consider themselves naturally sales-oriented.
- Stay positive: Between gloomy assessments of the economy and personal beliefs about your sales ability, it’s easy to build a self-fulfilling prophecy that your sales will be bad. Approaching sales with a positive mindset will go a long way toward helping you succeed. Remember during the sales process that you are offering goods or services to help make people’s lives better. You aren’t burdening them. You aren’t asking for a favor. You’re offering help that will make them happier.
- Shrink your field of prospects: If you’re selling to a big, generalized pool of potential clients, chances are you’re hearing “no” a lot. For better results, shift your focus: invest more time in identifying who your ideal clients are and how you can best reach them. When you do reach out, you’ll hear “yes” more often, enjoy a higher return on your investment, and be able to offer the clients you do land invaluable assistance.
- Set goals and limits: Trying to sell to everyone will end in failure, so don’t even try it! Limit yourself by setting concrete goals for each sales effort you make. With these goals in mind, you’ll be better able to focus your energy and your services on the people who you are best equipped to help.
- Take a multi-pronged approach: Reach out via email, phone calls, letters, live events, and networking. Raise the odds that your ideal clients are hearing your message by putting it out over various channels.
- Focus on current clients. Referrals from current or former clients are invaluable, so be sure to treat each of your current customers in such a way that they’ll want to refer you to others. This means focusing on their problems and goals, offering concrete suggestions, and delivering (or over-delivering) on your promises. Refer them to professionals you trust for matters that aren’t within your scope, and you’ll demonstrate your commitment to their success.
- Increase your visibility. Maintain a blog, write for industry magazines, speak or volunteer at conferences, attend networking events, host webinars, and otherwise ensure that your brand is visible to potential clients. These efforts have the long-term effect of helping you establish relationships with prospects. When they’re ready to buy, they’ll naturally think of you because they’re familiar with you and your work.
- Keep building your skills. If you want to grow your business, it’s essential to develop the skills that will lead to that growth. Read books, attend conferences, work with experts, and otherwise continue developing yourself as a salesperson.
Selling successfully is crucial to any business—and it’s completely within your reach. I’d love to hear about specific challenges you’ve faced (or overcome!) in sales—feel free to email me!
Sales Strategies That Work