Are You Selling Yourself Short?
“I struggle with sales.” How often do you hear this from business owners, consultants, entrepreneurs? I used to say it! Go figure! How is that even possible as I own my own consultancy you ask? Let me say this. I used to struggle to close the deal, or sell my services, in what I perceived as a hard sell, yet I am getting better and better at it. My current clients have come to me as referrals, or found me on social media, made contact with me and then asked to work with me. I’ve had it pretty easy, so far. But that’s not the reality for many business owners. Selling services can be a real struggle and the need to provide for family and making a go of a new start-up, is real.
Step One: Know What You Are Selling
If you know what services you are selling and you are confident in your abilities to perform to task; great! If you are focused on a niche market and highly target your advertising and marketing to that market that helps a lot, too! If you have done your research and understand and know your ideal customers and what makes them buy and where they buy, you hit the nail on the head.
Step Two: Ask for the Sale
In my personal life as well in my capacity as entrepreneur, I dislike asking for help. I treasure my independence and my resourcefulness. This doesn’t mean that I never ask for help at all; I do know my limits and when I land in a time crunch or simply need an extra pair of eyes or hands, I will ask for help. But I don’t like it. And I don’t do it often. This used to translate in my not wanting to ask for the work, for the contract, for the sale. Even if I knew I could make a difference to a company or business owner and I knew I could do a great job, I didn’t want to be pushy or be perceived as pushy. But I’ve learned to do just that! Ask for the sale!
I do a lot of local networking. I love to look someone in the eye and talk. Read their body language, read between the lines of what they are saying to what they really mean. I’ve never had to cold-call or go ‘banging on doors’ to drum up new business, yet there have been slow times in my 4 years of business that I would go back to previous prospects who initially said ‘no’ to ask again and get a ‘yes’. Boom!
Step Three: Be Prepared To Close The Sale
So back to sales and closing deals: I am very aware of the fact that there are many businesses that need or could use social media consulting and management services, even in my own (small) town of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina there is plenty of business to be had. Reaching them is not the problem: I am active on various social media platforms, I still network in-person and I get referrals. Closing the deal is what has been holding me back to a certain extend. Of course, I’ve learned a lot about closing deals. They include simple things like
- get a proposal on paper to a prospective client in the shortest amount of time possible.
- always carry a contract when visiting a prospective client.
- never compromise on the price point. Never.
If you want to learn more about ‘closing the deal’ like I did, read the following three articles: Solid and actionable advice in all three of them.
From Inc Magazine – 6 effective sales strategies to close deals faster
From Entrepreneur – 12 commandment for closing a sale
From Harvard Law School – 5 tips for closing the deal
From my own experience, as I got better and better at closing deals, I can tell you who ‘The Biggest Closer’ is!
The Biggest Closer
- Works hard
- Smiles a lot
- Stays calm
- Has a positive attitude
- Does research
- Knows the facts
- Knows their business
- Knows their worth
- Never gives up
- Follows through
- Asks for the sale
- Proposes on paper
- Carries a pen
- Carries a contract
- Delivers as promised
…and closes the deal!
How are you at closing sales? Are you struggling like I was when I had no sales experience?
Here are three more things for your to remember when you are closing the deal!
- Practice makes perfect (practice in front of your family, or a video camera!)
- It’s a numbers game (for every ten no’s you will get a yes!)
- Be selective; not everyone wants what you sell
Go get ‘em!
This article was syndicated from Business 2 Community: The Biggest Closer
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