5 Home Truths About Selling

5 Home Truths About Selling

… and five ways to increase revenue

There’s a lot written about sales on the internet and much of it is useful, but when you scrape away all the rhetoric and good and bad advice, there are just five sales truths you need to know and five ways to increase sales.

First the five truths:

Selling isn’t easy – or at least not most of the time. Sure there’s always some low hanging fruit you can gather, but heck it’s not going to be enough to make a whole pie. If you think people will be lining up to buy what you sell, then think again. You need to have a sales strategy, and learn quickly what prevents people buying from you. Selling is about handling objections – if you can negate every single objection you have the sale.
Everything starts with a sale. Zig Ziegler once said that the only activity in a business that contributes to profit is selling, every other activity represents a cost. So many small business owners get wrapped up in the product or service and forget that no matter how good it is, if you don’t sell anything you haven’t got a business.
Selling is all about numbers. First you have leads – you need a whole heap of these. Then you have to discover which leads might actually be in a position to buy what your selling – these become prospects. Prospects need to be converted into customers – these are awesome individuals! Customers are worth different amounts dependent on what they purchase and how often they purchase. So, the more effort you put into getting vast numbers of leads, the more prospects you will have and if you do a half decent job you will in turn end up with more customers.
Selling is your number one priority – period. Number three, above, was simple eh? Not rocket science that’s for sure – BUT, the vast majority of small business owners do not rate selling in their top three priorities. Heck, there’s so much else to do when running a business; important stuff right? Wrong – nothing is more important than bringing in orders!
You are the best person to do the selling, especially when the business is in its early growth stages. Later you can bring other people into handle sales, but unless you’ve done it first you’ll never be able to train them effectively. You need to know how prospects feel about what you sell, and what objections they raise, before letting others sell for you.Community Futures ad 2

Okay, now for five simple ways to increase sales:

  • If you are the owner of the business, whether you currently handle sales or not, get out and do some face-to-face selling. This will a) bring in sales; b) help you understand the barriers (objections) to getting orders; and c) allow you to better train your salespeople. If you already do the selling, start developing a sales strategy and create a training manual for future salespeople.
  • Find more leads – more leads equal more prospects and more prospects mean … well you know the rest.
  • Convert more prospects into customers. Analyze what you do right and what you do wrong on every sales call. Do more of what brings in orders. Repeat.
  • Encourage customers to purchase larger quantities. Offer discounts; package in larger quantities; and make it easy for customers to buy more.
  • Encourage customers to purchase more often. Talk to them, or visit them, more often; introduce a loyalty program, introduce new products or services. It’s easier and less costly to sell to existing customers than to find new ones.

At the end of the day, selling is a numbers game – the more hours you sell, the more product you will sell – the more leads you have the more prospects you’ll identify – the more prospects you pitch to, the more you will convert into customers – the more customers you have the more revenue you will generate.

One final way to increase sales to any level you desire without improving your sales technique. If you analyze your sales performance and discover it takes 100 leads to find 50 prospects which result in 5 customers, your conversion rate is 10 percent (duh!). To double the number of customers, simply start with 200 leads! Of course, it would be more efficient to improve other elements of your sales strategy and technique – but this shows sales is truly a numbers game when you get right down to it.

This article is provided by Community Futures Okanagan Similkameen. Questions about your business? Contact their office at 250-493-2566.

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