When I was in elementary school, I seriously dreaded every spring. Spring meant candy fundraiser time, and candy fundraiser time meant my mom would push my brother and I out the door with our two boxes of 20 chocolate bars. We would then trudge forlornly from door to door, and even though I knew all of our neighbors, I hated it.
Hated it, hated it, hated it.
I am not a shy person – far from it – but pushing a product on people just did not make sense to me, even when I was 8 years old. I didn’t know it then, but I know now why it bothered me so much.
Sales is not about pushing, it’s about helping.
David Meerman Scott lays it all out beautifully in his Slideshare presentation, The New Rules of Selling. Want to be a successful small business owner? Here’s how to master sales:
Start with storytelling
People want to do business with people they like. They don’t want to know what you do, they want to know why you do it. They want to know what you value and the value you provide. They want to get to know you, and that starts with telling an authentic story about yourself and your company.
Content connects you with your clients
Focus on producing content and educates and informs. Carry that theme through your blog posts, ebooks, infographics, research reports, webinars, and social strategy. Think about sales as dating – date your potential clients, don’t sell to them.
Use data to hone marketing and sales
If you pay attention to data, you can seriously improve your sales numbers. When someone sends you an email, downloads something on your site, reads your blog or subscribes to your newsletter, they are sending a signal that they are interested in your company. Act on this information and reach out to ask how you can help.
Be ready to respond quickly
You not only want to respond quickly to the above sales signals, but you want to respond with helpful information that shows you understand the client’s needs.
Additionally, people expect real-time communication. Use social media to listen, respond, and participate in the conversation.
As a small business owner, what other tactics do you use to woo clients? How do you help them choose you?
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