Wanting to make 2016 the best year ever for your business? See our checklist of points to consider when wanting to grow your small business sales.
SELL YOUR PASSION
As a small business owner, you have two strengths when it comes to sales: knowledge and passion. These are two of the strongest sales tools you will ever possess. So spend time working in that area of your business. Too busy in other areas? Determine the amount of time you will need to dedicate to sales, then track where you are currently spending your time. Outsource what you can and reallocate the time saved for selling. And ensure you maximise your time. Work out your goals and set targets for sales per month, amount per sale, profit per sale, etc, then measure and track progress.
STICK TO YOUR NICHE
Don’t try to be everything to everyone. It’s important that you build your small business (products, processes and reputation) around being the leader in your core field. Focusing on this (before focusing on expansion) will ensure you generate more leads, close more sales and can charge higher prices. Unsure of your niche? Look at what your business does best, who needs your product/service, what they are willing to pay and how you reach them. If you can’t readily come to a conclusion with each of these points, then it’s time to sort some clarity to get back on track.
Don’t sit back and wait for your customers to contact you. Go find them! Launch a lead generation campaign – direct mail, e-marketing, telesales, seminars or face-to-face sales. It can take up to seven contacts to make a sale, so use this time to position your small business. How? Assume your prospects will buy only what they need and position your business as the number-one answer to their needs when they are ready to buy. How can you convince them of that need? Reduce costs and solve problems for the customer in your marketing and sales pitch.
BUILD YOUR REPUTATION
Reputation won’t drive immediate sales, however it will build value in your brand. And a strong reputation is essential to convert leads to sales. Invest in PR – write an e-book, get an article published or speak at a conference… Showing you are a leading thinker in your field is a great way to build your business’ reputation. Customer testimonials and social media will also help. When applying social media – LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram – to your business make sure you focus on adding value, not creating sales. This will help build endorsements from customers and peers, and be visible to potential new business leads.
FOCUS ON CUSTOMER SERVICE
So you’re building your reputation, you have strong referrals and sales skills and your message is answering the needs of your target audience… So what’s happening at the back-end? Follow-through and customer service are the keys to capitalising on it, so make it count. Be better than your competitors. Ask strategic questions, develop your listening skills and respond accordingly to your customer.
DEVELOP YOUR DATABASE
Don’t have the database you need? Find it. Once you know who has the database, you need, you need to develop a strategic alliance. Can you help them achieve their goals so that you can achieve yours? Look to customers, suppliers, industry bodies and companies that sell complementary products/services. Just ensure you align with a company that shares the same integrity as you. Also consider collaborating on events or seminars, these are also a good way to build your database with a target audience.
FOCUS ON THE BASICS
What are your weaknesses? Even the best of us have our weaknesses, the difference is that the ones who succeed are the ones willing to look at them. Think about the perfect salesperson – what attributes would they have and what tools would they have? Compare yourself and your business to that ideal, then determine your areas of improvement. Consider not just your verbal sales pitch, but also how you find your leads, the type of research you do prior to contact and your documents. Also think about your attitude – how does that impact your success? Stop thoughts that are unproductive and look for ones that improve your happiness, confidence, commitment, motivation, enthusiasm and, importantly, resilience.
BE AHEAD OF YOUR COMPETITION
Keep an eye on your competitors and make your business as competitive as possible. Renegotiate with your suppliers, ensure your team is productive and remove products or processes that aren’t working. If you make savings, then re-invest them into growth strategies or offer something more competitive to your target market – all will attract leads, then it’s up to you and your team to close the sale.
If you are operating at your optimum and know it’s time to grow your business to make more sales? Look to financing. We offer an online assessment in seven minutes for a credit line of up to $100,000. Contact us at kikka.com.au for more information.