It's amazing how many small business owners think 'sales' is a bit of a dirty word. I come from a sales background so it's pretty second nature to me, but I definitely understand the hesitation people may have in thinking of themselves as 'salespeople'. Many of my clients feel like this is a part of their business they wish they were better at. And to be honest, you can't really afford to ignore this part of your skill set if you want your business to grow and thrive. I want to share with you all in today's blog post the reasons why it's so important, and how you can develop your own sales style that will help you feel more comfortable and confident in promoting your business.
The first thing you need to do is to know how to communicate your value succinctly, and with conviction. Your passion and self-belief needs to come across when you're talking to your customers, but also networking with other small business owners, suppliers, even your family and friends! But of course, that is easier said that done. Knowing how to communicate your value boils down to knowing your point of difference or unique selling point, and the value that provides to your customers. If you don't feel sure about your point of difference, or the value that your business represents to customers, that's probably one of the major reasons why you're lacking confidence when speaking to others. If you need a bit more help on this, I talk about how to identify your point of difference in a recent blog post here.
The key to sales, and being good at it, is being able to develop long term relationships with your customers. Developing those sort of relationships in business is no different to developing those sort of relationships in your personal life - one of the major factors is trust. Doing what you say you're going to do, when you say you're going to do it. But it's also about being genuine - so while it's definitely important to come across as confident and well-informed, it's equally as important to do it in your own personal style - your customers and professional network are far more likely to trust you if you're communicating in a way that is natural to you. For example, I am quite a direct communicator, however I enjoy having a laugh and a personal rapport with my clients. I have been told that I come across as a 'what-you-see-is-what-you-get' type of person, and I believe that to be true. Being approachable and warm is important to me. So for yourself - work out the sorts of things your friends would say about you, or the type of communicator you would like to be. Write down some key words, even visualise yourself communicating successfully at an event!
Lastly I will mention the importance of uncovering your customer's needs. It is so important to really understand your customer's perspective - what is important to them, the pain points they have, what drives them to behave in a certain way. Otherwise known as market research, this is the difference between being a good business and a great business! Be prepared to take feedback and adapt your approach accordingly. Know how to ask the right questions (the right combination of open & closed questions is critical), and know what you want to get out of each encounter. Being an effective communicator is crucial!
This post was inspired by my upcoming appearance at Fusion Ladies Events #Girlboss Brekkie - I'll be sharing more about creating a great elevator pitch and nailing your WHO, WHAT & WHY. Info here and tickets here - use code 'ONESTEP' at the checkout to get your VIP discount. Would love to see you there!