SMALL BUSINESS SALES HELP
As a small business owner you have the final responsiblity for every aspect of your business. At the very least you are sales manager, also likely lead salesman, and maybe even the only salesman. Selling is the driving force behind your business. Until there are sales, there is no business. Sales is the most important aspect of your business.
There are a lot of different "tricks" or techniques that salesman use. However, there are some important basic principles underlying salesmanship which you should consider first. The most important principle is for a salesman to truly believe in his product. If this belief is strong enough it will influence the attitude of his potential customers very strongly as well. This is not a trick... it is the truth, straight up. If the salesman believes, he can make the customers believe, and they will buy, simple as that.
Another important principle is to be friendly. This is beginning to sound a little simple minded, isn't it? If you want to have a friend, be a friend. Warmth, friendliness, courtesy, charm, call it anything you like, it will still attract customers to you like flies to honey... and they will buy from you because they like you. However, no "schmoozing" allowed... it has to be genuine. This is not BS... it does work.
Would like to slide this in here... there is a book which I highly recommend for anyone who needs lots more help in this area, The 5 Great Rules of Selling by Percy H. Whiting, Publisher: New York, McGraw-Hill -1957. This is a dynamite book, even though it was written almost fifty years ago. It is available on amazon.com for about $2.50 (plus shipping). It will help you A LOT.
If you aren't into reading books like this you'll probably need someone to actually tell you and show you how it's done. For this I would recommend the Dale Carnegie Sales Course. This is a little pricey (around $1600) but it really works and will pay for itself in increased sales. I've read the 5 Great Rules several times, and have taken the Dale Carnegie Sales Course as well (many years ago). They helped me, a lot.
A word about cold calling here... and the word is guts. Cold calling is when you make a phone call or just go out to talk to somebody about what you want to sell them. You don't have a referral, an appointment, or any other type of justification for doing it. This is pure salesmanship at the most basic level. If you feel as though you may lack the guts, or the intestinal fortitude for being thrown out on your ass, or at the least being hung up on after a few nasty words, don't feel bad. Nobody, including yours truly, likes having this done to them.
There is no doubt that you can successfully sell your product by other means, such as advertising, or by referral from customers you have done good work for. However, the guts to do cold calling, long and hard enough to find those people who are willing to listen to you and buy your product or service... bottom line, it is very often the ability to do this, and even more importantly, the willingness to do it, that can be the difference between success and failure for your business.
Well, that's about all that will fit on this page right now. I am now going back and adding more pages on each subject. Sales is almost my favorite topic, so you can be sure there will be lots more to read here very soon.
The first forum is now up and running. If you have a problem or a question, and need a helpful, straightforward answer for it... just click on the link below.
Small Business Helper Forum