This April up your Sales & Marketing efforts! Follow along here for winning strategies.
This article was originally published in 2016 and gives 4 Personal Skills entrepreneurs need to have to master the art of sales.
When the National Small Business Chamber (NSBC) interviewed over 18 000 small businesses throughout the country for the 2015 National Small Business Survey, they found that almost half (43%) of small business owners said sales is one of the areas where they require the most assistance.
While these business owners were clear about how important it was to get their sales strategies right, they are still somehow missing the sales mark.
Mike Anderson, CEO of NSBC, has an idea why this may be the case. He believes business owners often rely solely on the power of a well-crafted sales strategy, often neglecting personal skills that could mean the difference between a successful sales pitch and an unsuccessful one.
A major mistake he says business owners make is forgetting how key they are to making sales.
“Business owners most often outsource this function within the business when they should, in fact, be the primary ‘rainmaker’ – the person who secures many clients and brings in profitable sales. If the business owner has passion, perseverance and persistence, success is assured,” says Anderson.
You need to connect with the decision-makers on a personal level, understand his or her needs or problems and then solve and satisfy.
Here are personal skills that Anderson suggests business owners should cultivate to nail their next sales pitch.
1. Be confident
Demonstrate confidence is Anderson’s first lesson. He says when business owners are confident they are able to walk into a room and engage the entire audience.
Being confident also gives you the ability to convince a potential customer why they should choose you, he adds.
2. Speak less and listen more
“Listen, be genuine and understand the client’s needs and get to know their pain. You need to recognise that before you can sell something, you need to know what the prospective client wants to buy,” says Anderson.
Listening is one thing, says Anderson, you also need to make sure that you are communicating with the right person.
“You need to connect with the decision-makers on a personal level, understand his or her needs or problems and then solve and satisfy.”
3. Develop and maintain contacts
One of the biggest mistakes that many business owners are guilty of, according to Anderson, is failing to follow up.
“Keep following up and never take no for an answer. You will be respected as a true professional by your prospect.”
He says by following up, business owners are also able to maintain existing relationships.
“Customer retention is vital and more cost-effective than driving new sales.
“Don’t market to people you don’t know until you have mined all your existing relationships.”
4. Celebrate every success
Don’t be shy, says Anderson, to promote your successes to clients and potential clients, says Anderson.
“Be comfortable in announcing your successes. If you show excitement about what you do, your prospect will in most cases, become equally excited.”