Written by Josh Coffy
This post is going to sway a little out of the style I ‘normally’ write.
While I typically write on social media marketing, traffic, blogging, etc., today I want to talk about sales.
Because let’s face it — it doesn’t matter if you have 100 or 10,000 social media followers (or email subscribers,) if you aren’t making sales, then you don’t have a business. You have a hobby and a dream.
Why Your Sales Suck
Earlier this week, I was speaking with a colleague of mine and he told me that he left corporate world to start his own marketing company about 8 months ago, but hasn’t drummed up a whole lot of business.
When I asked him about his sales calls, he said he rarely has them and hates doing sales calls when he actually does have them.
That blew my mind.
Because, seeing as I’m in the service world (marketing & advertising,) making sales doesn’t happen without sales calls.
Sure, it can be awkward at first without experience, but as a business owner in the service world, the cold-hard truth is that you must possess some level of sales skill to actually make money and scale your business.
Luckily, if you can play your cards right, you can eventually do what you love and hire a salesperson.
But, for those who are solopreneurs or don’t have the money for a team yet, here’s how you can improve your sales by the end of the day:
1. Have a System For Leads
Once you have a few leads, what do you I next?
If you don’t have a sales process to funnel your leads through, then your sales are going to dwindle and you’ll miss countless opportunities.
For example, if Jane Doe requests a free consultation with you and it’s the weekend, it’s easy to tuck her email away for Monday, then forget about her.
Or let’s say you give the consultation, send a proposal and now you’re in the ‘client evaluation’ stage.
How long do you give it before you follow up?
These are all pieces to your sales process.
By having a system in place, you’ll feel more confident (covering this later) and you won’t have to think twice about where they are in your process & what to do next.
Here’s what Flight Media’s generic sales funnel looks like:
- Initial Communication
- Do Background Research
- Schedule Sales Call
- Establish Need
- Propose Solution
- Develop Strategy & Send Proposal
- Client Solution Evaluation
- Follow Up With Client 3 Days After Sent Proposal
- Purchase Order
- Send Invoice & Begin Project
That’s the exact system our team uses for every lead.
When the lead requests a consultation, we do background research and schedule the consultation.
Then, via email or on the phone, we then evaluate the need, propose a solution, write & send a proposal, await their response (follow up if they don’t respond in 3 days,) and send the invoice to get the project started once the contract/proposal is signed.
Below is a screenshot of our CRM, where we track the opportunity in the sales stage.
Recommended Tool: Insightly
2. Make Them Love You From Day 1
Have you ever heard the saying, “People only buy from someone they know, like and trust?”
This couldn’t be a more true statement.
Think about it. How many times have you bought something from a telemarketer or a spam sales email?
If you’re like me — you never have.
With that said, I make it my #1 goal to make the person on the other end of the line fall in love with me from the first call. (Through humor, whit, knowledge, experience, etc.)
John Maxwell said it best, “People buy into the leader before they buy into the vision.”
If you can sell someone on YOU, then you can sell them on anything. (Click to Tweet)
3. Be A Confident Teacher
This is a double-edged sword. (That can win or lose the sale)
If someone is looking to hire your company for it’s expertise, there can’t be any guesswork.
No more “I’ll have to get back to you on that.”
If you aren’t confident in your business, services and pricing, it’ll drastically lower your closing rate.
Alongside being a confident expert about your business, it’s also important to be a teacher.
If you send a huge (great) proposal and they have questions about different sections of it, know the process’s entailed in each section.
(I actually experienced this today on a sales call, when a potential client asked about subdomains, landing pages and email followups. I had to explain what each one was, why we do it and the process we have for each–which sold a $1,400/mo contract.)
Taking a hobby to a business is tough.
But, if you can improve your sales skills, you’ll have a much greater chance at making it a reality. These are simply 3 strategies that I implement into my daily routine.
And like anything, it takes a lot of practice, boatloads of perseverance and a ton of coffee.
Have any of these tactics worked for you? If so, which ones? What has helped you make more sales?
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