Sales is an important part of every small business; it's also a common challenge for many small business owners. If sales is something you struggle with in your small business, it can be helpful to spend some time getting a better understanding of the sales process and fine-tuning your sales skills. With some practice, you can become a better salesperson, one who is not only more comfortable with the process but also more effective.
Here are some tips, tools, and advice to help you improve your sales skills so you can sell your products and services more effectively.
Understanding the Sales Cycle
The first step to becoming a more effective salesperson is refreshing your understanding of the sales cycle. It can become a lot more manageable and less overwhelming when you look at it like a standard process with recurring activities, instead of a leap into the unknown every time you begin the process. Get familiar with the seven stages of the sales cycle that go from prospecting to asking for referrals from the new customer, and begin to systemize the process.
Once you have a solid understanding of the sales cycle, it's time to make it shorter and more targeted. The last thing you want is a sales cycle that goes on and on without ever being able to close the deal. You can control the sales cycle by becoming more efficient at each step and adjusting the time accordingly. With practice, you can reduce the length of the sales cycle and close sales faster.
Creating the Perfect Elevator Pitch
An elevator pitch is a useful tool to have in sales and many other business situations. The more comfortable you are delivering a summary of who you are and what you do, the better you will be able to do it. And this applies to sales meetings, cold calls, and everyday networking.
Writing a Unique Selling Proposition
Another very useful tool in sales is your unique selling proposition (USP). A USP is a statement that outlines how your business, product or service is different from the competition. Your USP can become the cornerstone of your sales pitch that identifies your business as the better choice and explains why prospects should choose you over the competition.
Overcoming Sales Objections
One very common hurdle in the selling process is dealing with sales objections. To get past this challenge, you need a plan in place that helps you identify sales objections so you can build the right arguments to overcome them.
Although every sales process may be different, there are several common sales objections that you will see pop up over and over again. Using the right techniques to overcome them can help you close the sale.
Negotiation can be a key part the sales process, and the ability to negotiate effectively can be useful in many different business situations. When you are a good negotiator, you can avoid sales objections, make your prospects and customers feel like they have been heard, and close the sale with terms that work for everyone involved.
If you don't know how to negotiate, you may struggle with closing sales. Start with knowing what you want to get, tackle the easiest issues first, and keep compromise in mind and you are on your way to a great negotiation.
By understanding the sales process and practicing the areas where you struggle, you can become a better salesperson who not only has the ability to sell more of your products and services but do it with more confidence.