Sales Fundamentals for Small Business Owners.

The fundamentals of effective sales for small business owners, with host Henry Lopez. Henry shares his experiences and thoughts, and walks through the typical sales process, to help you overcome the fear of sales or to improve your sales skills.  From the common misconceptions about sales, to a detailed process for improving your sales efforts, this episode covers the fundamentals of selling for small business owners and entrepreneurs.

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“Sales” does not have to be a four-letter word – it’s 5 letters :-). And most small business owners need to embrace sales by understanding the fundamental concepts, techniques, tools and skills required to be an effective sales person.

What is Sales?

  • Effectively communicating your value proposition.
  • The best salespeople are those who are typically humble and approach sales as an opportunity to serve others. It’s not about convincing someone to buy something they don’t need – not about “hard” sales. And it’s also not just about telling people how great you are. It’s about uncovering and communicating the value for them. If you can truly help the buyer, then it’s more about helping them navigate through their concerns to the point of making a purchasing decision in your favor.
  • The business sales opportunities are out there – not in here! You know the most about your business when you are closest to the end consumer. The more you know about what your buyers wants, the more effective your sales approach
  • “The 1 Question: How will the customer be different as a result of doing business with us?” – from Episode 341 – Selling with Noble Purpose with Lisa McLeod.
  • People don’t buy WHAT you do, they buy WHY you do it.” From “Start with Why” by Simon Sinek.

Some Misconceptions about Sales:

  • It’s about manipulation.
  • It’s just a numbers game (partially true).
  • You don’t have to sell. If your small business is good enough people will find you.
  • It’s about giving buyers lots of potential choices.
  • It’s all about your features.
  • You are either a natural born salesperson, or you are not.
  • The internet has made sales obsolete.

What’s the difference between Marketing & Sales?

  • Marketing generates and nurtures interest in what your small business offers. Sales is the process of communicating value and generating revenue for your small business.

Why must small business owners get better at sales?

  • As the owners of a small business, we must effectively and comfortably communicate our Value Proposition.

Remember your Business Plan/Marketing Plan?

  • Who is your Avatar? Your Avatar (also called an Ideal Client or Target Persona) is the person who you are creating your business, your content, your services, and your products for.
  • For B2C businesses, your Avatar is an individual consumer. For B2B businesses, your Avatar is the decision maker or buyer at your ideal client company.
  • Listen to Episode 388Your Small Business Avatar to learn more about defining your target buyer.
  • What are their problems, pains, or needs of your target avatar for your small business?
  • How do you help them address their needs?
  • What is the value you offer them through the offering of your small business?

What is your Elevator Pitch & Script?

  • Your Elevator Pitch for your small business is the communication of you value proposition in a way that generates interest. It’s adjusted or unique depending on the situation – as in the proverbial elevator (when you meet someone), networking event, presentation, sales call.
  • Listen to Episode 373 – Your Elevator Pitch to learn more about crafting an effective elevator pitch for your small business.

The Sales Process:

    • Initial Engagement
      • Marketing ideally generates interest and generates qualified leads for your small business.
      • Work you most qualified leads first.
      • Respond quickly to qualified leads or inquiries!
    • Discovery
      • What is your process for uncovering the buyer’s pains/needs/desires – that you can address?
      • What questions do you ask (prepare a list of questions)?
      • During this phase of the sales process, you want to ask questions and listen so that you can identify and understand the pain, need, or desire of your prospective buyer.
    • Sales
      • The positioning of you custom solution for the buyer. Including the demonstration of your solution and any quotes or proposals.
      • How do you position your solution?
      • Do you know your competition?
      • Have you documented your sales process?
    • Follow-Up
      • The gold is in the follow-up!
      • How many times do you follow-up before you consider a lead dead? Different forms of follow-up may include a phone call, text, email, or personal note (standard mail).
      • Listen to Episode 415: Email Marketing to learn more about nurturing leads and following up with prospects through email.
    • Negotiation
    • Close – win/loss
      • You do have to ask for the business!
      • Debriefing: Why did you win or lose?
      • Track your Win/Close Rate.

Characteristics of a great Salesperson:

  • Empathy (being able to connect emotionally – putting yourself in their shoes).
  • Emotional Intelligence – ability to effectively read, influence, and control and react to emotions.
  • Deep understanding of your solution (not just the features of your product/service).
  • Deep Listening Skills – listen to Episode 233: Developing Deep Listening Skills with Oscar Trimboli
  • Strong Communication Skills including asking great questions and active listening.
  • Passion/Energy/Enthusiasm/Belief in what you have to offer with your small business.
  • Honesty and Integrity
  • Coachable – always learning!

Sales Tools:

  • CRM (Customer Relationship Management) like HubSpot, Insightly or Zoho.
  • Email Marketing platforms like MailChimp or Constant Contact (Episode 415: Email Marketing)

Your Sales Team (if you have a team):

  • Do they have a competitive Compensation Plan they clearly understand?
  • Does their Comp Plan motivate them to do the right things for your business?
  • Is your Sales Team also accountable for delivery?
  • Do they have the resources they need?
  • Are you investing in their skills development?

Key Takeaways:

  • Change your mindset about sales. It’s not a four-letter word!
  • Learn as much as you can about the problem or needs your target buyer has.
  • Be a leader in your small business and learn to effectively communicate your value proposition.
  • Learn about sales and develop your sales related skills.
  • Get sales training and coaching.
  • Just do it! Have the courage to communicate your value proposition and sell! And refine your process and techniques over time.

Resources:

Free Downloads:

Recommended Resource From HubSpot: 15 Tried and True Ways to Improve Your Sales Skills

Other Podcast Episodes:

Sales Episodes

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