By Ashlei Jackson, Qlixite
Many small business owners are operating on a shoestring, some luck and an unwavering desire to be successful. Notice that a killer sales team was not included. So let’s say you’re in the business of pizza or plumbing or painting - odds are you’re really passionate about your industry. It’s this passion for excellence in your field that gets you into business. But sales is what keeps you in business. And tons of sales is what turns your little business into a dream job.
Getting Started: You can go out and try a bunch of sales tactics and see how they work or you can learn from the big brands. Every major company uses the following 5 tried and true, simple sales mechanisms...and you can too!
Step #1- Initiate Contact: This is all about getting out and getting seen. Find ways to get you and your company in front of people and then say “Hi” to everyone you meet. Just because it’s late and you’re picking up stuff at the store doesn’t mean you can meet one new person and find a way to tell them what you do.
Step #2 - Discovery Interest: When people do ask for more information, most business owners want to jump into what THEY want to say instead of finding out what the person WANTS to hear about. Spend some time developing 2-3 quick questions that will help you qualify a potential customer. You don’t want to sell pepperoni pizza to a vegetarian right?
Step #3 - 30 Seconds or Less: Cornering someone at the gas station and giving them a full demonstration on tankless water heaters is not feesible and might even scare some folks away. Instead you need to be able to describe your product or service in 30 seconds flat. It should be rehearsed and yet conversational. Here’s where you should demonstrate your passion but remember that you’re number one goal is for the customer to walk away knowing EXACTLY what you do and why they should use you.
Step #4 - Open your mouth & ASK: Too often people assume that asking for the sale can come across as pushy. Yeah. It can. But not asking for the sale when the customer is ready can also kill your business. If someone walked up and said that they liked your painting and you never offer them the option to buy...who lost? BOTH of you! Don’t be afraid of getting a “No.” If you keep it conversation and simple - you’ll be fine.
Step #5 - Referrals & Reviews: Whether someone is a client or not - they should have your business card. This can make it easy for them to contact you when they’re ready to buy OR it makes it really easy for them to pass it along to a friend. It’s all about letting other people sell for you, right? And don’t forget to have clients write reviews and testimonials on sites like Yelp, Yahoo, Google+ and Facebook. External validation can amplify your sales tenfold.
Step # 6 - Repeat Steps 1 through 5: Good Luck!