Any successful business has these two things in common: a great product and a stellar marketing/sales strategy. Most founders tend to focus on perfecting their product, but often forget to craft a strong sales plan. Yet, it’s important to know how to do both—especially if you don’t have the budget to hire a team.
Learning how to sell will increase your chances of success and continue to benefit your business (by driving the bottom line). Some founders have a fear of self-promotion; others either hate it or don’t know how to do it. Like it or not, selling is an inevitable part of business. Mastering it can be the bridge to more growth.
Use these tips from sales consultant Kendrick Shope to close more sales faster:
Establish a reason for follow-up. Your customers are busy and multitasking every day. It’s your job to grab their attention quickly. The best way to do this is to reference a past conversation and mirror the words your potential customer used during your sales call. For example, if you learned that they’re struggling to lose 15 pounds before a high school reunion, then you would reference that in the opening of the follow-up after a friendly greeting.
Lead with a compliment. When reaching out to a potential customer, and before asking for a sale or offering your services, make them feel good about themselves. They’ll likely be more open to working with you afterwards. Remain genuine in your conversation, though.
For example, in the same outreach email with the follow-up, you can say, “You seem like the type of person who will take action to lose those extra 10 pounds before your high school reunion. I love working with go-getters like you.”
Highlight the benefits (rather than the features) of your product/service. When pitching, too many people tend to focus on the cool features of their products or services instead of the benefits. A feature is how your product or service creates the result. A benefit is what changes after the result is accomplished. Customers make purchasing decisions based on the emotions they associate with the benefits.
Address concerns. When you have a product or service that can change someone’s life, you have to listen and address any doubt or hesitation they might. Listen to your customers’ concerns as they consider buying from you. What are your most frequently asked questions? Can you use the feedback to make your product (and also your pitch) even stronger?
Make it easy for the customer to take action. Restate your desire to help your potential customer and the outcome, then proceed to show (rather than tell) where to begin. Map out in numbered steps how they can get started and if possible, be flexible enough to offer a special first-time rate or their money back after the free trial.