Welcome to August. This month we start getting into the fall mindset, and one of the keys as far as your business goes is to think about business development: sales, client acquisition, and putting money in the bank!
Summer is a time for vacations, time outdoors, family time, camping, and maybe even going to a ball game. But as we focus ahead, it is vital for your business to succeed and grow by you getting into selling.
Not too many entrepreneurs like doing it. FEAR is usually the reason business owners do not enjoy selling. In my work coaching and teaching sales, I hear several reasons for not wanting to sell. The list includes: a fear of failing; not knowing what to say to someone; and not having a process or knowing the steps you need to take in order to get someone who is interested in what you are selling.
Here is the process I use and teach. It includes 7 key steps.
Step 1. Being Prepared
This means, figure out who your clients are going to be? Who do you want to work with? If it is women entrepreneurs, then develop a list of at least 50 companies owned by women. Then, proceed to develop that “Ideal Client” list. Prepare what you will see when you reach out (phone is best for first time contact), know the proper spelling, address, email of the prospective client (you may have to follow through with an email or mailing a package after the call and you don’t want to make an error on spelling their name).
Be prepared with knowing what to say when you speak to a prospect for the first time. Be prepared mentally, physically, and emotionally, too, because during this time we have been in, the market conditions and buying cycles have changed and your clients are in different places, too (in terms of where they are at in the life of their business).
Be prepared emotionally to handle rejection, be prepared physically, too so that you come across with enthusiasm and energy, even if it is challenging you to the core. Be prepared physically as you want to be at your peak best when engaging with your clients.
Step 2. Researching the Market
Get the goods on your clients and prospects. Understand what is happening in their world and what issues, challenges, and needs they have, so you can present ideas and value right from the start.
Then know yourself! Know how your industry or what you do for clients can help impact them in a positive way, and make sure you communicate the benefits when you first chat with a prospect. People want help, ideas, and solutions. They don’t want to hear how good you are!
Research the market, the trends, and your industry, and determine how what you do can truly help someone in their life or business. For example, the women entrepreneurs I mentioned, think, what do they need or what challenges might they be having? Maybe they need help managing workflow with their business, because they are balancing kids being at home studying and running the business, so they are time crunched. Or maybe, they need better technical systems to be able to work from home now, like security, lighting, and sound for the video conference calls.
Knowing this, you can now address the challenge and present an idea to help.
Step 3. Prospecting
In this day and age, prospecting is done by attending online networking events, unless your community is cool to meet in person. You also need to become friends with the phone and do some strategic cold calling, too.
Plus, use your social media to engage, educate, and showcase yourself as someone who shares information about how your business impacts people.
For example, if you are working with women entrepreneurs and you are a “virtual assistant”. Talk online using Facebook live video, or on Linked In and share case studies and time-saving tips.
The goal of prospecting is not to sell, but to book a meeting. You cannot sell in the time you have to share your value and get the attention of the client; however, you can intrigue them enough to have them meet and discuss possibilities to work together.
You have a maximum of 10 seconds time to say who you are, what you do, how it benefits the client, and if what you do is a benefit that the client likes; and if it is, you ask to book a meeting!
Step 4. The Meeting Phase
This is known as a “discovery call” and the goal of prospecting is to have a face discussion meeting first, to get to know the clients and for the clients to get to know you!
In this step, you are simply asking questions of your clients to see what they need, when they need it, what challenges, hopes, goals, outcomes, maybe even if they have any doubts about working with you, and what they expect once working with you is complete.
I call this step “a get to know you phase”. It is like a first date. If you like each other, you get to go out again! There must be a fit. Can you help them, and do they trust you to do that, based on your reputation, ideas, and experience?
Step 5. The Presentation
Here is where you reflect back to the clients, the challenges and needs they have, and then how your ideas and solutions can help them get to the “promised land” so to speak. Keep your presentation short, repeat the needs, home in on your ideas/solutions, and share the value the clients will get from working together. You also ask for the sale, and you may need to address objections and solve them or negotiate a sale.
Step 6. Doing the Work
Once you get the business, then you begin doing the work. Do it to the best of your ability, and be sure to check in with your customers to see if they are happy and if not, listen and act, show that the client relationship matters, and act on what they would like.
Step 7. Nurturing the Relationship
The final step is to nurture the clients. After they buy, it should not be bye-bye.
Your clients are great sources of repeat business, referrals, and testimonials. Nurture the relationships or your competitors will sneak in and grab those customers. (I hate when that happens!)
In closing, practice the steps, get coaching on them, or find an accountability partner to help keep you on track.
You got this! I am rooting for you!
The post Set Sales for Success: 7 Steps to Great Results appeared first on Home Business Magazine.
Author: David Cohen
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