business sales 101, sales definition, basics, and best practices
You. May have heard that cash, is king, I like. To think of cash in a small business as the, lifeblood. It, keeps things growing, and moving, and sales. Is the heart of your business it's what keeps the cash flow pumping, through your business now, if we want to have a healthy heart we want to exercise, regularly to build, up that muscle it's, the same thing with sales by, practicing. And testing. We keep that heart, healthy. And keep, the life blood flowing. Through your business there, are three things we want to accomplish when, it comes to sales in your business fast. Simple. And flexible. First. Is fast the, shorter, we can make the sales cycle meaning, the time from, a new prospect to, the point at which they become a customer, the faster, we can help money, flow, into your business so, we want that sales process to, be fast second. Is simple, look there are tens of thousands, of books and decades, of material, designed. To help you learn how to sell. But, in a small business you're too busy for that so, what I want, to do is give you a process, that's so simple, you don't have to think about it and it's, based upon the Distilled knowledge, of all that's been written about sales, and third. We want it to be flexible, now early, on in this process it may feel slow, to you but the more experience, you get with it you'll realize how flexible, it is and can be applied to new types of products, and services and situations. And lastly. There are great practices, when it comes to sales in big business let's. Make sure we look at that through the filter, of small, business, we, need things to be fast simple and flexible to, keep that lifeblood. Flowing, through your business and keep your heart healthy and pumping. In. A moment we'll cover the simple system, for sales, but, first let's talk about some principles that are universal, regardless. Of where you are in the sales process first. Is keeping. Customer. Focus, sales. Is about them, not, you yet, it's all too easy to, fall into the trap of thinking about I need to make the sale I need to get a conversion, the, more that we can focus on them and what they want the, easier, it is to make that conversion. Second. Is listening. If we're going to keep the focus on the customer, then, we want to listen to them often, customers, are telling us already what they want and what they need so, let's listen more, than we speak which. Leads to the third principle asking. Questions. Questions. Are a powerful, tool in your arsenal and, you want to be prepared to ask people, lots, of questions, and then listen to the answers you get fourth. Is what I call anti. Sales guy now, there's a stereotype, that, we're all familiar with, it's the salesperson. That makes us uncomfortable, that, we don't want to work with whatever. That stereotype. Does, do, the opposite, this, will actually help you make more sales because your customers, will be surprised, that you're not like that so, for instance rather than being a pushy salesperson. Be relaxed. And casual, and everything that you do 5th, is just, time, management have good time management skills. Surprisingly. Many, salespeople, lack, these skills sixth. Is follow. Up people. Are going to make commitments, of what they're going to do and you're going to make commitments, to them follow, up with them and follow through on those commitments and, finally. Simply, have, fun, sales. Is, occasionally. About failure. So take, breaks, relax. Someone. Once told me wisely. That funny is money. And if you can incorporate a little humor, and be relaxed, in the sales process you're. More likely to make sales these. Are simple, principles, and I recommend that you review, them, regularly. Use. Them on a regular basis. And you'll see how important, they are in making. Sales. The. First step is explore, and explore. We want to get to know the needs of your customers and especially. Their, wants, we'll, do this by asking them, questions. That get right to the heart of what's a most important, to them next. Is present. In present. Will, show how what, it is that you offer your product or service, connects. With what they want most, we, want this presentation, to be focused, on only. What they want and, number three is act all sales. Conversion, is in the end is really just helping, people take action, and you're, going to help your prospects, take, action, toward, getting, what it is that they want most and then, if necessary, you, repeat, the three steps explore. Present, and act, you're, going to adapt, this simple, system to the specific, needs of your business. The. First part of this three-step sales process, is explore. The, idea is we want to explore, what, it is that the customer, wants, most, can.
We Help this customer we, really don't know that until we've, taken the time to, explore, this with them this, helps set up for, the sales process later, on, explore. Is the most important, part of the three-step sales process, so, feel, free to spend the majority of, your time in this, step exploring. With the customer, the. More decision-makers. We have in the room or on the call the, easier, it is to get, all the information, that we need to get so, I recommend, that you take a moment and try, to set up the call or the meeting to have everyone, present. Exploration. Is about asking, questions, so we want to ask our customers lots, of questions, to, determine what, they want versus. What they need the, truth is most, people make their buying decisions, based on what they want because, it's more about emotion. One. Way to help you figure, out this information is by, using a questionnaire. In advance, of the official meeting if you want an example of a simple questionnaire, that you can use go to chaos. Quiz calm, that, is a questionnaire, that I use for prospective, customers. Also. We want to ask second, level questions, second. Level questions, are where we take someone's, answer, and we ask a question beyond, that for instance if they say I like, the color blue, then we say why. Do, you like the color blue we. Want to question the answers, that we get two questions and, then we. Want to take notes, on what people are telling us taking. Notes is important, because it helps us know what we're going to focus on when we present and, it. Also communicates to, the customer, that were really paying attention. Finally. After you go through the exploration. You want to restate. What the customer, has told, you one, way to do that is by summarizing what they do want, versus. What they don't want for instance we might say you told me that you do want the color blue, but you don't want the color red. This gives them the opportunity to, correct you and make sure that you're on the same page, everything. In the Explorer step prepares, you to present. Based, on what the customer, wants. And. Now let's move into the present, part of the three-step sales process, and present. We're, providing, what it is that they want we're showing how, your product, or service, matches, what it is they want most now, first of all a caution. Entrepreneurs. And salespeople have the tendency, to speak, a little more than they should so. Keep, your presentation. Brief we, also want, to avoid free. Consulting. This is where you give away too much, information because. You know too much instead. Only share, with them what they need to know about how your, product or service meets, what, they want also. Let's get money, out of the way early this. Means that we give the, price of our product or service, at the beginning, of the presentation or. At least give them a ballpark. Range, some. People spend the whole time during, the sales process not, even listening, to what you're saying because, they're wondering, how much it's going to cost so. Let's, put them at ease and make them comfortable by talking, about money early. Also. It's, important that we don't just speak. But it's not just our mouth moving the whole time but that we engage, them that we give them an opportunity to speak that we give them samples, of our product, or service that they feel it that they touch it we can ask questions, to engage them and make this an experience, not just listening, to you lecture. Also. Stay, away from giving people extra, information what, I mean is where you start to talk about the features, or the the special things that your product, provides that, really have nothing to do with what the customer wants, this, creates. An opportunity for them to change their mind, so instead, focus, on only what, the customer, wants. Also. Let's, use a little humor in your presentation. I'm talking, about occasionally, and appropriately, you don't need to turn this into a comedy routine but. A little bit of laughter goes, a long way toward helping people, feel comfortable with, you and trust in you and also. Look, at the nonverbal. Cues this. Is how the person, sits are they leaning forward, are they paying attention, are they distracted. If you see that someone isn't fully engaged, in the process pause, and, ask, them a question get them engaged and, last.
When, You're done with your presentation. Finish. Stop. Say. Nothing, wait. Rather. Than trying to fill, in the, space with your talking give. Them a moment to digest, it. Now. That we've explored what the customer, wants and given. Them a presentation. Based upon those wants we're ready for the, last step, which is act. Act. Is about helping the customer, move forward. It's about helping them do, something. Sometimes. You hear about salespeople, saying they want, to close the deal in this, situation, you want the customer, to close, the deal themselves. They. Are the ones who are going to decide what. They're going to do but, they must do, something about it and you, are the one who's, going to help them decide what. To do you're going to help them you're going to serve them now, in, an ideal, situation where. You know that, the customer wants, to do business with you you, can simply ask the question, how, do we proceed and. Often. They'll give the answer on their own just, make sure you assume nothing, about, what their answer is in most situations though, your customer, your prospect, is going to hesitate a little bit they're not going to be 100. Percent of the way there and ready to do business with you so, in this situation you, can ask, exploring. Questions, for instance on a scale. Of 0 to 10 how likely. Are you to sign up and. If there's anything less, than an eight I might, ask questions to explore that even further but. What if they're really. Uncommital, they're being very vague about what they want to do you, might ask a question, like it seems, like you're not ready, to move ahead is that correct, and then, ask questions, about what they say, you. Could also ask are you comfortable, with telling me no. Sometimes. Letting, the prospect, know that you're ok with them telling you no puts. Them at ease and helps them trust you even more, once. You've helped them figure out what the next action step is, we, want to determine a specific.
Date And a specific time when. They're going to complete, that action, so for, instance next Friday at 3 o'clock you'll. Send me an email about how you'd like to proceed it. May be helpful when setting, this date and time to, create some natural. And, stable urgency. People. Are more likely to make a decision if there's a little bit of urgency we don't want to pressure them but, if there's something natural. And understandable that, helps them move forward use, it for instance if you're genuinely, almost. Full, perhaps you only have room for 10, projects, and you've got nine right, now you, might want, to let them know that were only one, project away from being full so let's proceed quickly. This. Is also where time management, skills, become helpful you're, going to follow up with them if they say that next Friday at 3 o'clock they're, going to get an email to you then, you're going to want to create a reminder, for yourself that. You're waiting for that email on that date and that time, deliver. Whatever, it is that you tell them that you're going to deliver to them and follow, up with them on whatever it is they, tell you they're going to give to you. One. Last thing to consider many, of your prospects, at this point will still, be, undecided. This. Means that we're going to need to keep following, up with them in fact we're gonna follow up and follow up and follow up until, they say no. Your. Goal should be to get a no why. Would I say that, don't we want them to say yes well. Part of the reason why we focus on an O is because it's unexpected. And that, unexpectedness. Gives, your prospect, relief. Remember, the stereotypical. Salesperson. Is pushing, for, the yes you're. Gonna push for the no instead, and they're gonna relax this. Also saves, you all the time of following, up with people who are really politely, putting, you off when.
They're Afraid to just say no, so. When they tell you they're going to do something keep, to the date that they said don't. Stop until they say no, now, you might want to set, that follow-up, date with just a little delay, for instance if they're going to get something to you on Tuesday, you'd set the follow-up, on Wednesday. You follow-up, on Wednesday, what, if they didn't get back to you the, first time that happens it's a freebie you just say alright, I'll follow up with you on a future date what's the new date now, let's say that they gave you the date and they didn't, follow up on that second, date now, is the time where we're going to want to dive in a little bit and figure out why. They're, delaying you. Might want to directly, ask the question, are, you okay, with telling me no that gives them permission to again, not politely. Put you off but give you a direct answer if they. Continue. To dodge the question you, may even ask I'm, assuming, this means you're not really interested in doing business with me is that correct, one. Tip that you might use for an email is the subject, line is everything. Okay, this. Kind of an email typically, would come from a concerned friend and it, puts you in a position where they're most likely to open the email and be, receptive, to the fact that you want to help them again. Your, job is to help them get something, that they want many. Of your prospects, have been wanting, what it is that you offer for, a very, long time your. Job is to help them stop, wanting and start, getting, that, wonderful product. Or service that your business offers. You. Let's. Consider professional, athletes, for a moment they, practice. Over. And over they, practice, they practice, they practice, until, it comes time for the, event and when, the event begins the, practicing, ends and it's time to perform, professional. Salespeople should be no different, we, want to practice these, skills repetitively. When, it comes time to meet, with the customer it's, time to stop practicing and, perform. Repetition. Is your. Friend. It is good yet, so many of us are afraid of repetition. Because we believe that it will make, us mechanical. Or just be boring, what. I've given you so far is a framework, for your success, now. It's time for you to build muscle, in particular, mental. Muscle, memory or mouth, muscle, memory so that when, it comes time to perform, and meet with the customer you, just can flow, into the conversation. And be free, and creative, to.
Start This process I recommend that you schedule time to practice. At the, beginning, probably about two, hours per, week the. Pattern that you want to follow is D, P, o which. Stands for demonstrate. Practice. And observe, in the. Demonstrate, process, you're going to watch, someone, else do, it correctly, in practice, you're, going to practice. Using the skill and have, someone, give you immediate feedback and, make corrections as you go along and then, observe you. Do, it with no feedback until. The end this, is why it's helpful to do, this with at least one other person this allows you to role play and, to, give each other feedback. Embrace. Repetition. It will help build that muscle, memory so that you can be a successful. Professional. Sales athlete, the more you repeat the, more freedom you'll have while. You're having conversations, with your customers. Now. As you practice with your cell system occasionally, you're going to make changes, you may even want to make changes based upon what you've learned in this course how. Do you know if those changes, work, or improve, sales or. Let's say that you hire a new sales rep how do we know if that hire is performing. Well the, key is, measurement. We want to measure, everything. We. Can start our measurement, by using the sales funnel, and, its most basic a sales funnel is a huge, part at the top where new prospects, come in and then, they progress gradually. To the bottom the smaller part where they become customers. There. Are three key, areas of the most basic sales, funnel the, leads that come in the. Number of appointments that were making and the. Number of conversions, that, we're getting from those appointments first. Let's take at the number of leads. These are prospects. People who have self-identified. As, people, who are interested in your product or service the. Most basic area to measure is where, are they coming from this may sound vague, but the source is very important, because it can lead to the, quality, of conversion, for, instance our ability, to convert, referrals. May be much higher than our ability, to convert pay-per-click, leads, that, come from the internet, second. We want to measure the number of appointments, that, we're scheduling, this. Is often overlooked, by small business but it's critical, when. People, schedule an appointment are, they actually, following through and meeting. With you typically. The sooner, you create, an appointment the more likely, they are to follow, through on that appointment and then. Last we want to measure the number of conversions, one. Place that we can particularly measure, are the number of conversions based, upon, person. Or based upon the, salesperson, this. Helps us learn what systems, are working best if, one. Salesperson, has a much higher conversion. Rate than, what we want to do is look, at that sales, process, and borrow. And adopt, many of their methods, and make, it part of the company-wide, way, of doing things, keep. This measurement simple, there, are lots of numbers, that we can measure just, start, somewhere, and then, later, on add additional. Parts to measure as you, improve the sales process.
We've. Provided you with a framework for successful. Small business sales the, idea, was to make things fast, simple, and flexible so, that it can adapt quickly to the needs of your small business and your customers if this. Is the first time you've been through the course I recommend, you pick one, thing you want to improve on write, that one thing down and focus. On improving, it first, then. You can revisit this course in a couple of weeks and pick one more thing you want to improve by, repeating, this process over, and over you'll, gradually, and steadily improve. Your sales systems, remember. Cash is the lifeblood of. The business, and we. Strengthen, the heart when, we strengthen, your sales engine. You.