The job of your sales team is to bring in a constant stream of new clients to keep your business thriving. However, if you’re running a small business, then you’re probably the sales team, marketing team, accountant and janitor all rolled into one. When you’re dealing with that kind of stress, it’s difficult to spend time really diving into the sales process. Failure to keep your sales process going can mean an abrupt end to your entrepreneurial life. This means you must be constantly courting new clients. No matter what else you’re doing, the sales process should never stop.
Throw out the script
So many sales techniques start with a script, which can often sound wooden and dishonest. When you read from a script, you’re not actually listening to what your lead is saying, instead you’re focused on the next part you need to read, finding the answers in your manual and just following a process. Get rid of the sales process and focus instead on listening to your customer and his or her needs. It’s a far more effective way to generate the trust needed to inspire a sale.
Show them you care
Instead of focusing on selling your product, spend time learning how you can solve a problem. Start your conversation by getting to know your lead’s needs. Find out where they have a gap and then, and only then, start talking about how you can step in to help. If you just open with a sales line about all the great products or services you have to offer, they may shut you down instantly.
Do your research
You may not think you have the time to research each and every person before you pay a sales call, however you’re wrong. If you spend the time to research the person you’re approaching, you’ll be able to speak far more clearly to the issues he or she may be facing. A simple, “I see from your LinkedIn page that you were a public speaker for XYZ University, how did that go?” can inspire trust instantly, as it shows the client that you’ve taken the time to learn about what they do.
Set the right goals
As you’re planning your sales calls, make sure to take time to plan your goals for each call. Remember what your goal is, and what it should be. The objective of any sales call shouldn’t be to get a meeting or to get a sale. Instead, it should be to solve a problem or to determine if that potential client has a problem that you are able to solve. If you aren’t able to solve that problem then you can end the sales process there, and you can move on to a better lead that will find much more value out of the products or services you offer.
This article was written by Deborah Flomberg of Examiner.com for CBS Small Business Pulse.