Creating sales is often viewed as very difficult by small business owners. If you suffer from feeling overwhelmed by sales the reason is simple to understand. You don’t have a process in place to follow.
In working with small businesses, I’ve found that simple sales processes work best. Here are the basic steps that need to occur, in order, to create sales consistently for any business.
Step 1: Sales Lead Attraction.
This step is commonly called marketing. Business owners often confuse marketing with advertising, when in fact, advertising is simply one tactic of 100’s possible in the marketing mix.
The most effective marketing and the quickest way to attract people to your offer is by establishing yourself as an expert. Try conducting monthly teleseminars as a way to educate interested buyers.
If you combine teleseminars with telephone outreach as a way to get your message out quickly you can expect to experience a lower cost per new client acquisition and results that grow consistently over time for the effort you expend.
Step 2: The System of Selling.
Once you have gained interest from your attraction/marketing campaign, you must convert that attraction into revenue at least one in five times. This is done through your sales system.
Direct sales can be done one-to-one or in mass via the internet or some other automated sales closing method. A good rule of thumb to follow is the higher the price point of the item you’re selling the more important direct contact becomes.
Start your sales meetings by understanding the value your prospect hopes to gain from talking to you. Understand their challenge, be sure you’re clear on how they go about making a decision and then recommend services that solve the challenge.
As you present your recommendation make sure you show the dollar value or Return on Investment (ROI) your solution provides the prospect.
Always remember, people buy solutions to problems that provide great value. Prove that value in your sales meetings and you’ll be on your way to more sales in less time.
Step 3: Client Relationship Management (CRM).
The majority of businesses completely ignore clients once they purchase. A ‘hunting’ mentality ensures that small businesses have to keep working hard for every sale they generate.
An easier way to grow a business is by “farming” your existing client base. In other words, create ongoing sales by continuously providing value to existing clients instead of always having to look for new people to work with.
A big part of a successful CRM program is staying in touch. It can be easy, with many steps automated.
A weekly or monthly email newsletter will help you maintain top of mind awareness with clients.
Sending greeting cards to announce specials, provide tips or to let clients know you appreciate their business works very well.
You can even go low tech by picking up the phone and calling once in a while. Just remember, if you don’t stay in touch you will quickly be forgotten.
A winning sales process combines all three step into one distinct strategy. Taking a little time to accomplish this step now will ensure healthy sales today and in the years to come.