Posted by Deepshikha Shukla
January 13, 2021 | 6-minute read (1107 words)
Part of being a business owner is figuring out how to sell your products and services, but what if you’re a founder without strong sales skills? Your approach to reaching your prospects can help you build strong relationships and encourage peer-level interactions. Check out some of the skills that every entrepreneur should practice for effective selling.
Connect With Your Prospects
Selling starts by building authentic relationships and meeting and exceeding your customers' needs. Building relationships helps you know your prospects and the challenges they face. When you get to know your customers and ensure that they know you won't perform any hard selling on them, they feel less pressure and are more likely to accept your offering.
Be Persuasive and Inspiring
Selling is a demand-generating process with the goal of working with customers to find the right solutions and inspire them to change. You can achieve this by explaining to prospects how your product or service can solve their problems.
Tailor Sales Strategies
Understanding what drives your customers' buying decisions, needs and motivations can help you offer customized solutions and close more deals. Adopt a flexible sales approach to suit different types of customers. Your sales pitch can be better when you create it based on the person or company.
Plan and Practice
Selling requires meticulous preparation, planning and practice. Try to keep your body language confident, facial expressions relaxed, and tone in check since these factors can influence how your pitch is received. Ensure that your prospects understand the benefits of working with you and how your product fits their needs.
Create Strong Offers
Provide your customers with limited-time offers that include a benefit that prompts them to act quickly.
Customers are likely to have objections at various stages in the buying journey. Focus on addressing those arguments early to find the prospects' problems that they may face. Prepare for common questions about your product or service, learn about your buyer personas, and offer resources to help customers overcome their objections.
Think Long Term
Entrepreneurs who learn to accept denials and move on to other sales without disappointment succeed in the long term. A “no” today might become a “yes” later when you have a program that is a good fit for your prospects.
Listen More Than You Talk
Listen to your customers’ needs, answer their questions, and understand their key challenges. If you're meeting a customer in person, observe their body language and what triggers their passion or intensity. The more you can learn from what the customers say, the more you can tailor your message directly to them.
Document and Follow Up
Take notes and capture your observations of every conversation with potential customers. Schedule your next steps and create a follow-up plan to stay in touch with them over the next few months to increase your sales conversions.
Know Your Customers
Once you've identified the pain points of your customer, you are better equipped to offer a solution and demonstrate its value and uniqueness. Make emotional connections to turn one-time customers into repeat buyers.
Know Your Competition
Evaluate your competitors’ new products or services and their marketing strategies. Use this information to your advantage and tweak your sales efforts to show why your products or services are better. Offer something that sets you apart and compels your prospects to choose your company over your competitors.
Practice Active Listening
Customers will respect and trust you more if show you care more about their concerns than you do about pushing your products. Your engaged body language, thoughtful questions, and subtle feedback demonstrate that you have the full attention of the listener.
Letting go of any unsettling conversations can help you stay focused before you make a sales call or hold a meeting. Learn from every success and failure to find opportunities for improvement and growth.
Set Your Sales Quota High
If you keep hitting your sales targets, your sales quota might be too low. Set benchmarks that motivate you to get creative and find new ways to close deals.
Manage your time with sales automation and analytics tools to improve your productivity and efficiency. Sales analytics tools can provide you with the data you need to measure all aspects of your sales performance and understand your customers better. This way, you can identify and focus on the right areas to improve.
Do Your Research
Gather all necessary information about your customers before you make a sales call or schedule a meeting. Social media channels like LinkedIn can help you find an angle for a personal connection with your clients. Use this information to prepare for every question, objection or circumstance a prospect might throw your way.
Develop Demo Skills
During the sales process, you'll need to give sales presentations, conduct product demos and communicate with several other entrepreneurs. A sales demo will help prospects understand what they can get when they buy from you, so customize yours according to the customer.
Negotiation skills help you and your customers acquire mutually beneficial deals. Be up-front with your product pricing while negotiating and explain all the different factors that make up your pricing so the customers understand why you set your process the way you do.
Improve Your Decision-Making Skills
There are many important decisions that every entrepreneur has to deal with quite often, such as manufacture or buy, employ or outsource, and accept or reject. Concentrating more on providing a service or filling a need than making a sale can help you get many loyal customers. From social selling to marketing campaigns, you need to make many decisions that have a conversion goal.
Always Have a Learning Attitude
The sales industry is continuously changing due to updates in technology and culture. If you’re able to learn in any situation, it can help you expand your knowledge and understanding. Being a lifelong learner will allow you to improve your sales skills. You can learn a lot from reviewing what you did well and what went wrong in recorded sales calls.
Track Your Progress
A successful sales plan includes your objectives, strategies and tactics for generating revenue. It also defines how you will measure your sales performance and progress. To track your progress, set sales goals and record your achievements every week or month.
Use CRM Software
Client relationship management (CRM) software is a tool that helps you manage and track leads, contacts, customers and deals involved in your sales cycle. Use these tools to your advantage so the whole team is on the same page and can cater to customers in any way they need.