Who is the best salesperson in your company? The answer better be you, the entrepreneur. Entrepreneurs not only have to be salespeople. You can only call yourself an entrepreneur if you are a salesperson. That is key to owning and growing a successful business. As the business starts up As an entrepreneur, you have to always be selling. Selling ideas, selling yourself, selling your product, selling your service. That is something that cannot let up, even when you bring other people into the company to fill sales roles. The truth is that no one can ever sell your ideas as well as you can. This is especially true when your company is just starting up. No one has the same passion and heart as you,
Is there anything worse than “being sold” something? You know what I’m talking about. The hard sell. You know that the person in front of you is trying to sell you something, touting its benefits and expounding its virtues. And that person is not listening to what you are saying at all. The truth is that people hate “being sold”, but they love to buy. If you are guilty of trying to “sell” your prospects, you need to change your approach by looking at the sales process as a buying process. It is a business growth strategy that will pay off with big dividends. Orient your sales process around the buying process that your prospects use. Ask open-ended questions that get your prospects talking. You
Shameless selling. You love your company. You believe in your products. Why wouldn’t you always be telling people about it? What is shameless selling? Now, shameless selling does not mean becoming a “Product Pusher”. That kind of selling involves only talking about your products and nothing else. Can you imagine walking into your class reunion and only talking about your new line of plumbing supplies? Your former classmates would probably look at you funny before running away as fast as possible. That is not a business development strategy any business should adopt. But, what if one of those old classmates started talking about the problems she is having with her current home’s plumbing? You know that one of your new products might solve her problem.
Have you ever been to a movie that was so good, you found yourself telling people all about it as you left the theater? Have you ever left a restaurant and started telling people on the streets that they have to go in and try the best food on the planet? We call those people “Raving Fans”. If you are looking for a winning business development strategy, getting your raving fans to do the selling for you is the way to go. How do you create raving fans? Offer extraordinary customer service. Create the “WOW” factor. That happens when one of your customers says, “Wow, no one has ever done that before”. That level of customer service needs to be present from the moment they
Is your sales process effective, efficient, and money-making? That is a question you need to be asking yourself every day. Whether you are building a brand new process or refining an old one, you need to find out what works and what doesn’t. Success in this part of your business is one of the most critical business development strategies you have. Without a successful sales process, your business will not be successful. How to build a better sales process You can use these four principles to ensure that your sales process works: Understand your sales style. Your sales process is going nowhere until you know how you interact with prospects. Some industries thrive on long-term ongoing relationships, while others demand a short buying cycle with
Are you just another vendor looking for a senior executive’s time? That will get you nowhere fast. The secret to building relationships with the C-suite is to become more than just another vendor. You need become a trusted external advisor. And it is one of those business development strategies that takes time and dedication to implement. The power of the C-suite Senior executives have the power to say “Yes” and sign contracts. However, they do so much more than make purchase decisions. Senior executives can implement real change, provide insights into company thinking, and get sticky situations unstuck. Remember, it is always easier to start at the top than the bottom. Preparing to meet the senior executive You must move beyond the title of the
Consumers often do not know what they want until you show it to them. The story behind Starbuck’s Pumpkin Spice Latte is the perfect example of this. Since it was introduced in 2003, the Pumpkin Spice Latte has been sold over 200 million times. It has an cult following among its fan base. Many fans line up to get their first taste in the fall and mourn the day their local store runs out of it. The kicker to all this is that, if the company had gone with the wrong business strategies, that flavor would never have reached the consumer’s hands. The Story of the Pumpkin Spice Latte Back in 2003, Starbuck’s product development team was looking for a new espresso flavor. The company
How many times have you run across a customer who is looking for the cheapest price? If you have been selling for any length of time, you have probably run across plenty of customers who buy based on price. Being able to manage such a customer is a business growth strategy you need to master. Digging out the reality behind their price point Buying based on price can take a few different forms. It is important to do a bit of digging to find out what form each customer is using. Buying within a set budget. Some people have $X amount to spend and that is it. You might be able to bump their base budget up by a small percentage, but not by much.
Building a high-value target list of potential clients is a business growth strategy for companies of any size. The list helps target marketing and sales efforts, while guiding product and service development as well. Creating such a list is an investment in both short and long-term growth. But, not all target lists are created equal. To build a worthwhile list, you need to put time and effort into the process. Five steps to building a worthwhile target list A worthwhile list is not a random list of potential clients. It is well thought out and thoroughly researched. Know your ideal client well. This involves building a persona for each of your ideal customers. Who are they? What kind of company do they work for? How
Leads. Leads. Leads. They are the fuel that drives your sales engine. Without leads, your sales efforts will go nowhere fast. Finding ways to generate more leads is a critical business development strategy that you cannot afford to ignore. Three ways to get more leads Here are three ways you can generate more leads to fuel your sales engine: Offer something of value for a limited time. You may have plenty of prospects who are interested in your products or services, but do not have an urgent need to take the next step to become a lead. If you offer something of value free for a limited time, it can spur those prospects into becoming a lead. The free time period can be a month,