It’s the necessary evil that every entrepreneur must encounter if they want to reach success. Every industry requires sales skills, which means every startup and small business needs a leader that’s well-versed in the art of sales.
Now, there are dozens of books written about this topic. In fact, that list could take up a post in and of itself. (Here’s a good list to get ya started, if you’re interested.)
But before you dig into the nitty gritty of this topics, you need to understand the basics.
I’ve been doing sales since I was a young kid. I remember getting into trouble in school because of my entrepreneurial spirit. I had acquired a huge lot of NFL branded mechanical pencils for free, then sold them to my classmates for a profit. “The Man” didn’t like that too much.
It didn’t stop me from honing in my sales skills.
Over the years, I’ve learned that these three basic tactics serve as the foundation for sales. Regardless of your industry, experience or business, every entrepreneur needs to master these!
The Art of Getting Referrals
Josh has said it before and I’ll say it again:
Referrals = Gold
Learning the art of getting referrals is the quickest way to scale your business. It takes a lot of the grunt work out of the sales process, and leaves you with an automated, systemized, hands-free way to gain new leads.
And the best part? It’s much easier to close sales that come through as referrals.
Here are a couple of ways you can get started:
- Reach out to clients and ask if they know anyone that would benefit from your services.
- Make employees brand advocates. Give them business cards, make sure they know the basics about your target market and equip them to share what you do with others
Selling to a Social Generation
We’ve talked about social selling on the blog before.
As an entrepreneur that spends a lot of time on the web, I can attest to the power of this sales tactic. Once you can hone the skill, it can bring huge rewards to your company.
In case you’re unfamiliar with it, social selling is simply the act of using social media to generate sales for your company.
I’m able to bring in the greatest revenue using Twitter and Instagram for my business. But the networks you use may be entirely different. The most important thing in social selling is actually being social. You can’t go in the sales guns blazing and expect it to work.
Network with prospects, get to know them, contribute value and take interest. Just like with any sales tactic, it’s all about reaching them with the right solution at the right time in the right way.
Know Them Better Than They Know Themselves
You’ve got to know your target market.
I can’t stress enough the importance of this knowledge. Without a deep understanding of their fears, pains and challenges, you can’t effectively offer a solution.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself:
- What fears keep them up at night?
- What challenges keep them from reaching a new level of success?
- What pains make it more difficult to conduct day-to-day business?
- How can your solution tap into these fears, challenges and pains?
This isn’t an exhaustive list. But it should take you into a deeper realm of understanding. Once you’re there, you can sell your solution in a way that really matters to the target market.
And that’s when you’ll really start winning.
Which of these three tactics do you plan on strengthening in the coming weeks? And how will your business benefit from the newfound skill set? I’d love to hear about your sales experience and secrets in the comments below!