Being successful in business requires a strong foundation including great products, services, processes, customer satisfaction and systems among other things. In order to thrive in business you need a solid sales foundation. Sales is the lifeline of any company’s success. The main reason that sales are so critical to your company’s very existence is because without sales, you do not have a business.
Many entrepreneurs go into business without any formal sales training and quickly realize their inabilities in this critical area. To excel and become successful in selling anything requires one to have a proper sales foundation. Below, I’ve listed 5 steps insure your sales foundation is solid, functional and positions you for success.
- Develop a positive mindset
I believe it was originally Einstein who said “success is 80 percent mindset and 20 percent skill.” I will submit to you that sales is much the same way. Many people discount the importance of mindset as it relates to selling in business. However, undoubtedly your mindset will account for approximately 80% of your sales success or failure. Your mindset effects your attitude. Your attitude effects your behavior. Your behavior effects your actions. And for this reason, your mindset has everything to do with how successful of a salesperson you are. For the record, if you’re a business owner, you’re a salesperson. Your mindset is important because it will ultimately affect your posture in any sales scenario. Posture has to do with how you represent yourself, engage and interact with others.
A positive mindset requires you to always remember your two big why’s. Why did you start your business? Why is your product or service better or different than anyone else’s? Once you are able to clearly and succinctly tell your prospects why your business exists and how it’s different from your competition, it will help to establish an understanding about your brand and it’s purpose. People can’t get behind something they don’t understand. Confused minds never buy.
The answers to your big why’s will keep you motivated when the sales are not coming in or have gotten slow. You will have to remind yourself that your business is necessary in the marketplace and that people are waiting for you to show up. Understanding your why is vital in building a solid sales foundation.
2. Identify your target market
You’ve heard many experts tell you about the importance of knowing who your target market is. By now, you should know that everything hinges on the demographics of your audience as well as vital information like psychographics and geographics. Not only is it important to know the gender and age but you must know their buying habits, locations and in some case their race or nationality. Learning as much as you can about your target market will enable you to market and sell to them more effectively. How can you sell to someone who you know nothing about?
Understanding your target market means you are able to communicate with them and offer them products or services they are most likely to buy. When you’re able to anticipate buying patterns of your target market, you can better forecast your sales.
3. Identify a major pain-point. challenge or need of your target market
It’s not just enough to know the basics about your target market, you much understand the biggest problems a.k.a. pain-points they have. You must be clear about what challenges they face and what their biggest needs are. The fact is, people more readily buy a solution for something that is a pressing need or the answer to a problem they are facing.
Your first responsibility is to define the problem and all of the possible scenarios for how this situation could possibly play out. Next, prioritize the possible solutions you can offer your prospects. Understanding what they will need first, second, third and so on, is critical to your selling success. Remember, the last thing you want to do is sell a solution to a problem out of order. This means your customers may end up paying for something before they actually need it. It’s never a good idea to be the person who sells someone something before they actually need it.
Finally, you must help your prospects understand the cost of the problem they are facing. Without assessing a dollar figure to the problem or challenge, most people will assume they have time to waste before addressing it. In sales, you must create urgency in order to move your prospects closer to a buying decision.
4. Become the best at prospecting
Learning to be great at sales, means you have become an expert at prospecting and finding leads. It’s not possible to sell something unless you have interested people who are ready to buy. The key to effective prospecting lies in your ability to locate your target market and reach them in large numbers. You must learn where your most ideal clients are hanging out, on-line and off- line.
Once you learn where your target market is spending time, you must go connect and engage them. There are so many ways you can connect with your audience. Of course, the internet has made it easy for us to send emails, use social media as well as perform on-line marketing activities. However, nothing can replace direct contact by telephone or in person, live events. The art of prospecting by phone involves cold calling and warm calling, and there is proper protocol for each.
Find creative ways to truly connect with your audience in different ways and you’ll be one step closer to closing the sale.
5. Learn to educate and empower your prospects and clients
Understanding the art of educating and empowering your prospects and clients simply means you give them value. Creating value added opportunities to engage with your target market as well as existing clients is priceless. A great way to educate your audience to provide compelling content that educates them on topics they care about.
Selling your products and services becomes a lot easier once your target market becomes informed about what your products and services can do for them. Outlining the features and benefits of your offerings will be critical to your sales success. But don’t stop there, you must also address the wow factor or unique quality of what you’re selling. In the sales industry, this is called the unique sales proposition which differentiates you from competitors. Becoming great at highlighting what is special about your products or services, empowers your prospects to get closer to making a buying decision.
In closing, before you sell anything, you have to learn the best processes for success. if you begin mastering the steps I’ve outlined above, you will be well on your way to establishing a strong sales foundation for yourself and your business.
Would you like to apply for a FREE discovery session with Lori to determine the health of your sales foundation? If so, apply here.
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