What many solopreneurs or recent business owners often fail
to realise is that having – at least basic – sales skills is vital. Unless you
can afford to employ staff or have experienced family members who can help out,
chances are that you are going to be the sales person for your small business
in the early stages.
As you can imagine, getting into sales for the first time can be quite nerve-wracking as it can push you out of your comfort zone. Thus, allowing yourself time to build your sales confidence in advance is important.
Here, I have shared with you a few tips our BLAM team swears by that can help strengthen your sales confidence:
1. Build your knowledge. Knowing what you are selling is essential in terms of both your success as well as self-confidence. Studying your product in depth until you become unconsciously competent in selling it is the first and most important step in boosting your self-assurance. A successful salesperson is nothing less than an expert in their respective field and that is what you need to accomplish.
2. Define what a quality lead looks like. Until you sit down to specify the characteristics of your target audience, expect to waste a lot of time on unfit contacts. Trying to sell to people who are by default not likely to buy will not do any good for your sales confidence. Therefore, defining what a quality lead looks like should take place very early in the process as it is a critical step in getting you started with your sales.
3. Understand your role. It is important that you perceive yourself as a problem solver, trying to help others with your products. Focusing on the money a client is required to invest for your solution is a bad idea. In fact, try not to think about money at all and instead concentrate on how your product can make someone’s life better.
4. Believe in your power of influence. Getting to know the other person, their values and establishing common ground can increase your power of influence when talking to someone. Engaging them in the conversation by asking questions and involving them in the solution can also be very effective. Feel free to experiment with different techniques until you determine which works best for you and you will find yourself becoming more confident as you discover your very own power of influence.
5. Have a structured pitch. When building your pitch, make sure you follow an effective structure which guarantees you talk about everything important in the correct sequence. For instance, rather than beginning by describing the product, it would be better to identify the problem first and set the scene so that your client can understand the need to buy it. As previously mentioned, taking the first few minutes to get to know the other person’s background is important. Even more so when you are in B2B – understanding your client’s business and industry will definitely win you points of confidence when dealing with them as they are far more likely to appreciate your insight and accept your solution.
6. Focus on the benefits of your product . As important as having a varied pitch is, concentrating on the benefits your product can offer is without a doubt the most important part. Highlighting all the positive aspects of your solution can motivate you to feel more confident in selling.
7. Be prepared for a no. The sooner you realise how unlikely it is to sell to every single person you have contacted, the better for your sales confidence. Be realistic here – not everyone is going to be interested and that is absolutely fine! Knowing when to let go is an important trait of every salesperson. There is always the next time.
8. Practice, practice, practice. Cliché, but practice makes perfect and with sales that is definitely the case. There is nothing wrong with rehearsing your pitch in front of the mirror or with friends and family who can offer their honest feedback. In fact, it can save you and your client from a lot of awkwardness later on.
9. Don’t be one of those people that are afraid to fail. A lot of people – often myself included – become devastated in the mere thought of failure. In many cases, these are successful people who are simply too scared to ruin their track record of excellence. Let’s get one thing straight though – in sales there is no excellent track record. Failing to close a sale is in most industries much more common than closing one, so you better get used to the idea and embrace the failure. Once you do that, you will stop feeling so self-conscious every time you are about to make a sale.
10. Review all your past sales and client touches. You might want to start taking notes every time you finish contacting a prospect as reviewing your past sales, whether successful or not, can be a great lesson moving forward. Having a record of which technique has worked on each different type of client can prove invaluable for confidence building.
I hope you enjoyed this blog. If you have any sales tips, I would love to hear them so don't hesitate to comment below!
This weekend my wife and I have left the kids with nana and grandpa and we've travelled to Buxton in the Peak District, apparently England's leading Spa Town, nice. The weekend escape in February is an annual event that we commit to every year, visiting a different destination each time, we love it.
I do all of the planning. The research usually starts in November, and the challenge for me is to find an interesting town or city where Abby and I can spend a whole weekend not tied to the usual demands of a busy family and work life.
"I'm thinking about my businesses all of the time, it’s in my blood."
The break away from it all, is a very important event in our calendar and one that plays a significant role in my business life too. Don't worry, I don't spend the whole weekend working, quite the opposite in fact (except for this blog). But, as a certified, got the t-shirt entrepreneur, I'm thinking about my businesses all of the time, it’s in my blood.
When I'm away from the businesses (my staff and business partners know this) the constant contact that we get so used to is intentionally policed. That combined with the removal of family commitments (my weekend role is usually taxi driver, tutor and punchbag) my brain unwinds very quickly and I often have some inspired ideas that are implemented on my return with much enthusiasm.
The idea of taking a break away from it all to unwind is nothing new, but these days how much of a break do we really take when we have our phones in our pocket? Part of the ethos of our annual break is being disconnected from texts, LinkedIn, Facebook, What's app, phone calls and all the other distractions in our connected world. Here in Buxton for example, I have no data reception, no wifi, just, me, my wife and my thoughts. It was following one of my “thoughts", I felt compelled to write this blog as testimony to the power of the disconnected weekend break in Feb!
'I have no data reception, no wifi, just, me, my wife and my thoughts."
However, "embrace the beauty of technology" is one of BLAM's, and therefore my, core values and detaching myself from that technology in order to think creatively is something of an irony. The key thing for me is having the discipline to connect and disconnect to get the best results, something that doesn't always come easy to me.
I am writing this blog on my disconnected mobile, with relaxing music playing, in a clothes shop that has given me free coffee whilst Abby tries on several outfits. There's no signal so no interruptions, heaven :)
It's a well documented subject, the idea of intentionally unplugging and getting away from it all. My advice to our BLAM Partners is to make sure you diarise the breaks the same way you do with the work behaviours and consider the amount of connected time you allow yourself whilst you are there. Like me, I'm sure you will find hidden inspiration in your unconnected escape.
Next week, I will be refreshed and technology will be fully embraced once more and I'll be loving it! Now, where's that awesome little bar with craft beer on tap I spotted earlier, that looked really inspiring...
Pay-Per-Click advertising is one of the quickest ways to attract traffic to your website. Everyone knows that building your following organically can take quite a while - and for start-ups in particular time is gold!
Most people who attempt to set up a PPC campaign, however, tend to feel overwhelmed and often give up. There is such a wealth of possibilities when it comes to PPC advertising and so many different factors that need to be taken into consideration – not to mention the industry jargon which confuses people – that most beginners feel lost before even starting.
Despite these difficulties, we have identified a few simple steps that can lead any start-up to create a successful PPC campaign quickly and easily.
I would love to know what your thoughts are with regards to PPC. Are you planning to use PPC as part of your marketing?
Perhaps you’ve just had this crazy idea. Or maybe you’ve been thinking about it for ages. Whatever your situation, this article aims to help you realise why now is the best time for you to start your own business.
First, let’s define the term social media ‘strategist’, ‘expert’,
‘specialist’ or whichever title you prefer to use to describe that particular
marketing specialisation because I understand it
often causes confusion. I have picked the
term ‘social media strategist’ for this post’s title as for me it is the most
accurate to describe the role. A professional in this industry will never
proceed to manage anyone’s social media platforms without properly planning a
detailed strategy first, and that is usually the main difference between those who are qualified to do the job and those who
A social media strategist, therefore, is the professional behind any successful social media business page. That person is responsible for aligning a company’s social media activities with the overall marketing direction of the business. For some, this might still seem generic and difficult to understand, but hopefully, the rest of this post will shed some light into this role’s specifics while answering some common queries I often hear from clients.
Having said all that, and even though social media are a powerful tool, people should never make the mistake of thinking that a solid social presence is all it takes to ensure a good level of sales. The purpose of your social media strategy is to complement and augment your overall marketing and sales strategy. One cannot do well without the other, and anyone who tells you otherwise shouldn’t be trusted.