Step 2: View Sales as the Lifeblood of Your Business
How do you feel about sales or having to sell to someone? Chances are you don’t particularly enjoy the activity. If you do, that’s fantastic, you are in the minority.
Sadly, in my experience it’s often the most dreaded activity of small business owners and solopreneurs. Picking up the phone and cold calling, or following up with prospects doesn’t happen as often as it should.
Infact, the No.1 reason most businesses fail is not because they have an inferior product or service. Not because they lack desire to be successful, or are afraid of hard work. Not because they don’t have knowledge in their particular field of expertise. They fail for one reason and one reason only – they can’t or are reluctant to sell. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
It isn’t just the lack of skills to sell; it goes much deeper than this. It’s the inability to overcome the ‘fear’ of making those sales in the first place. And that’s what stops you from picking up the phone and making those sales calls. It stops you from following up on those leads. It stops you from making that final call that should have closed the sale. It’s your emotional response to the sales situation and the inability (lack of skill) to handle the sales process. This is what kills your business.
Sales is a skill anyone can learn. It’s a simple process of opening, presenting and closing. But if you are weak in any one of these areas, then that’s where your sales process is breaking down.
On the other hand, if you are someone who finds yourself doing mundane activities (its called procrastination) instead of picking up the phone, or following up that lead then it’s most likely you have a deeper psychological reluctance (or fear) to sell. In which case, your emotional response in the sales situation will be taking you out.
If this is you then please don’t be alarmed as you’ll be in the majority of small business owners and solopreneurs if this is the case. But let’s check this out right now.
Do you find yourself saying any of the following when faced with a sales situation?
- I’ll do follow-up calls tomorrow, or later in the week
- I don’t like to bother people when they’re busy
- I’m sure they’ll think I’m a nuisance, or being too pushy
- They won’t like me if I keep calling them
- Perhaps I’ll send a letter, email or brochure instead of calling
- I don’t want them to ask me something I don’t know
- They haven’t replied so must think I’m too expensive
- I don’t want to be a pest, I’ll leave it for now
- I’ll do it after I’ve had another coffee or filed these papers, walked the dog, got myself organised …
- And more …
SYMPTOMS include …
- Low £-turnover
- Poor customer service
- No sales system in place
- Inconsistent follow up
- Feelings of anxiety
- Depression and low self-belief
- Business failing
The good news is there is a cure!
- Do you have a step by step sales process taking prospects through to paying customers? Review what you currently do.
- Do you regularly track your sales progress and identify where you can make improvements?
- How do you feel when making sales calls or following up by phone?
- How do you feel when dealing with sales face-to-face?
- How confident and competent are you at giving a sales presentation to a group of people?
- How competent overall do you rate yourself in sales on a scale of 1-10? (1 = poor, 10 = excellent).
Emotional barriers (often subconsciously) and lack of skill prevent the sales process from moving forward. Fear of sales manifests in self-sabotaging actions and subtle messages you give yourself.
True sales training will enable you to change on a psychological level so you feel confident at every step of the sales process. It’s also one of the fastest and quickest ways to bring immediate cash into your business. In short, sales training is the best investment you will ever make. It brings benefits to all areas of your life – as well as your business!
To read the 1st Crucial Step to Achieving Giant Results – click here
If you had $5,000 in your marketing budget… what would you choose to do?
Is it more effective to:
- Buy a major list and send out to those people, five hundred postcards promoting your offer.
- Find a list of 25 individuals and send them something that’s very specific to what you do?
I was in my local garden centre recently and I came across some of those nice little ‘messages in a bottle’ which you can send instead of a card. But these were $4.95 each as against the $0.85 postcard.
However, can you imagine if you ran a marketing campaign and you sent out the message in a bottle as against a simple postcard. That’s something much more expensive to send out than a post card, but can you imagine the impact?
And this is especially important if you are targeting to the more affluent clients because, you’re in there marketing to affluent people, you can charge premium prices. For instance, let’s just say that you’re charging $5,000 for your offer, well, even if you only got five clients that’s $25,000.
So think in terms of your target market and if you want to attract more affluent clients who will pay premium prices, then you need to be more creative and prepared to spend more to bring them in.
It’s also a lot more fun coming up with some of those creative promotional items too!
It’s so frustrating isn’t it when you’ve spent time and effort to really understand the prospects problems but they won’t commit to the project because they “want to think about it”. Aaarrrgghhh!
Has this ever happened to you? If so, then you need to act fast. You need to give them an incentive to make the decision sooner rather than leave it until later, by which time they may have gone back into their comfort zone and not want take up the offer.
And for you there’s nothing worse than being left in limbo. What started out as a hot prospect has dragged out to be a continuous process of following up and being put off until later scenario. This can waste your time and energy chasing those ‘maybe one day’ prospects. You want to avoid this wherever possible.
How do you get clients to make a decision to buy from you without them feeling as if you’re putting the pressure on?
The answer to that is to make them see the value in what you are offering. That is of course providing you have initially qualified your prospect properly in the first instance and established what their pressing need is.
In qualifying people and understanding their problems you will have identified a solution for them. The questions to ask yourself are; do they want to make the decision now? can they do that? and is their need for your product or service right now?
When someone has had an initial conversation with you and had the opportunity to gain rapport then they will have a fairly good idea of whether you are someone they will want to work with. So to avoid the “I’ll need to think about it” scenario you need to create incentives for them to take up your offer now and not leave it until some time later.
Here’s a selection of fast-action incentives for you:
- Create more value by having a reward for making an immediate decision. This might be an additional product or service of value as a reward for making an immediate decision.
- If someone does ask for a few days to go through things then by all means do that but make sure you set a day and time to call them back. Make it very clear to them that you will expect them to have made a decision by that time.
- Offer an additional level of service such as giving them a direct line contact number or a private VIP email address so that they can get in touch with you directly.
- Provide gift vouchers such as cinema tickets or restaurant vouchers for the first 10 people to sign up. Remember that when doing this if it is a high priced ticket you are selling that the voucher must be of similar high value otherwise this won’t be an incentive for them
- Offer a cash incentive. For instance if you have a program which costs £1,000 then give them a Fast Action Bonus Incentive such as £850 to say ‘yes’ now.
- If offering training or coaching sessions you can offer an early bird discount. These are very popular especially when there is a short time frame. You can remind people to grab the early bird now as the price is going up by tomorrow.
- Offer a payment plan so that the investment is spread across a number of months. I find a yearly programme paid monthly works well for my VIP clients to allow them to spread the cost of their investment.
Whatever offer you choose to give to people always ensure that you have set a decision deadline. This means that you are meeting your own objective which is to get them to make a buying decision today rather than leaving you in limbo. By enabling them to make a decision it frees you up to move forward or to move on to the next prospect. This makes sense in that you are managing your time, resources and energy effectively too. This makes complete business sense.
Article by Wendy Howard
Join me: www.twitter.com/wendyhoward & www.linkedin.com/in/spiritofvenus
The Three Biggest Sales Blocks Of All Time.
1. Allowing your emotions to take over, especially at a critical moment. When that happens you either clam up or fall into the trap of defending yourself. Either way, the sale is lost.
To overcome this get used to tapping into and identifying your emotional state. Recognize and acknowledge it. When you find your emotions coming up, ask your prospect a question about them. Become more interested in them and let your emotional state settle back down.
2. Giving in to the fear of selling and letting it manifest in your behaviour of avoiding certain situations or not picking up that phone when you know you should.
To overcome this try to identify what your emotional attachment is. In doing so, you will be in a far better position to try to overcome and move beyond it.
3. Lack of knowledge or ability to create a great sales conversation. All good sales people are excellent communicators at all levels in a number of different ways.
As such you will have a preferred way to sell. In doing so, how you communicate your message in your preferred way will always work best for you.
Article by: Wendy Howard
Join me on www.twitter.com/wendyhoward & www.linkedin.com/in/spiritofvenus
Why Is Selling So Difficult For Most Entrepreneurs?
Do you struggle to make the sales you would like for your business? Do you feel uncomfortable asking for the sale? Do you feel you handle the sales process badly?
Lack of sales is often the very reason most businesses fail as there is no cash flow into the business to sustain it. So shouldn’t it be a priority to ensure you have the skills to sell?
Absolutely! But there’s more …
You see sales skills are often taught by teaching you how to begin by introducing your business and then taking your client step by step through your products and services – right?
Why? Because you are talking all about you and your services and true sales people are more interested in the client and the client’s business. In other words its not about you or your products or services, it’s all about them and their problem which you will solve.
So the first part of this is really about your mindset which should be focused on serving your client and helping them solve them problem by matching up the solution you’re your products and services – rather than trying to sell to them.
If you think of sales in this way, then you are approaching the sales process with a completely new mind frame.
But here’s something else and that is to be able to take the ‘emotion’ out of the sales process to that you remain as emotionless as possible until after the sale.
Why is this important?
Because it’s the emotion that is driving the fear or the negativity towards you’re having to sell. And until you are able to recognize and tune into the different emotions they may still sabotage your success in sales.
How do you do this?
Start to recognize when feelings of discomfort come up and try to identify the emotion which is driving the feeling. Secondly, try to pinpoint the time that these emotions come up. Is it at the thought of having to sell? Is it when you try to close the sale? Is it when you ask for the order?
All of this is important when learning the skills to sell because the more in tune you are with your emotions then the more able will you be to control the sales process.
So, by working on these two simple processes alone i. Mindset and ii. Emotions, you will be able to start to transform the sales in your business.
Article by: Wendy Howard
Join me on www.twitter.com/wendyhoward & www.linkedin.com/in/spiritofvenus
Want to improve your sales skills? Go here www.grow-training.com