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6 steps to easier selling

by Alison Bradford

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Does the thought of selling your services or products leave you with an uncomfortable, icky feeling? Are you squirming right now?

First things first – you are absolutely not alone. Most business owners feel like this at some point. It’s perfectly normal.

BUT, assuming you want your business to be profitable, you are going to have to get over it.

I don’t want to be harsh but I do want to be truthful with you – if you think you can ‘build it and they will come’ or that your services or products will ‘sell themselves’ then you are deluding yourself and will end up with a hobby not a business.

Let me help you get a bit more comfortable with the whole idea of selling and ensure your business is on the track to making money.

1.     Start with your customers

Your starting point should always be your customer. Who are they and what are their problems? How do your products and services ease their problems?

It’s all about them and how you are going to add value to them.

If you don’t believe you can add value to them then you should not be trying to sell to them – this is not being authentic and I don’t believe this is what you’re about.

Always focus on your customer and what they need, not on what you are offering.

Ask them questions. Be curious. Really get to know them better.

2.     Be clear in your offering

Once you know how you can help them, TELL THEM.

It may sound obvious but this step often gets missed.

Maybe you think you already have at some point. Maybe you mentioned it during a conversation. Maybe it’s there somewhere on your website.

Don’t leave it to chance – be really clear in telling your customer what you have to offer them, how it will help them and how they can buy it.

Don’t confuse them here with too many options or being vague about how they can purchase.

Spell it out for them and make it easy for them to buy.

3.     Practice

If you’re going to be having face to face meetings, or even talking to prospects on the phone, practice beforehand.

Rope in a good friend to role play the prospect for you and practice going through it until you feel comfortable and confident.

Pick someone who will give you honest feedback for this – you need to refine it as you go through it.

If you’re feeling brave, record it so you can give yourself feedback too.

4.     Find more ways to talk to more people

Technology nowadays can make it easy to think you can sit locked away in your office and still sell to your customers via social media or your website.

This is, of course, possible, and it can be a great way to reach lots of people quickly. The problem can be the other noise out there distracting them from your business. We’re all a bit overwhelmed with emails and social media updates right now, so a lot can come down to timing with this.

Face to face is always the most effective way to build a connection with someone and develop the ‘know, like and trust’ factor so that they become your customer.

Consider doing talks where your future customers are hanging out.

Don’t dismiss the phone either. This comes a close 2nd to face to face in building a connection and is harder to ignore than an email.

Think about ways you can reach your target customers and get out there talking to them.

5.     Follow up

People will rarely buy at the first contact. It often takes several meetings, calls, emails before someone is ready to buy.

Don’t be put off by this.

Following up is not about being pushy either. It’s as simple as staying in touch and checking in with them to see how they’re doing.

Make sure you always take a prospect’s contact details so that you can stay in touch with them.

6.     Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose

Don’t get attached to a sale. Sometimes it will come through and sometimes it won’t. So what.

If you’re the business owner it’s easy to take a ‘no thanks’ as a rejection.

‘No’ doesn’t mean they don’t love you!

Happy selling.

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Alison Bradford

Alison Bradford is a business coach who works with smart, ambitious business owners to get clarity about how they can grow their business and increase profit. Sign up here to learn 6 easy ways you can boost profit in your business today.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Alison Bradford April 2, 2013 at 2:14 pm

Thanks Cheryl. Good luck with your pitch tomorrow – let me know how it goes.

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Cheryl April 2, 2013 at 2:07 pm

Great blog post and tells the truth in a harsh but nice way. Thanks for the tips I am doing my first sales pitch tomorrow evening so also perfectly timed!

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