Selling for Small Business & New Business Start-ups

Whether you like the thought or not, the having ability to sell will prove to be a distinct advantage.

However, this does not mean that you have to become hard or pushy – in fact the best salespeople are often the complete opposite. Selling is the art of finding out what a customer needs and satisfying those needs with the benefits of your product or service - not forcing something on them that they do not want or need.

Did you know? There is a great line in an old John Cleese training film that is worth remembering– “He may not be a good salesman, but people do seem to buy from him!”

Find customers

Before customers can buy your wares – they either have to find you or you have to find them! Once you have determined the profile of your best/most profitable customers, use a wide variety of methods to raise awareness of your service. Your marketing and publicity should help them find you, but networking, directories, newspapers, mailing lists, and the internet can all be used to compile your own list of potential clients. Follow this up with direct mail and telephone contact.

Did you know? Your new customers will generally come from at least one of the following groups: Recommended to you, responded to your advertising, solicited (you approached them), passers by, or former customers. Plan your approach accordingly!

Look after them

Do not take your existing customers for granted! Doing the best job that you can is the best way of retaining business but the more you show that you care about their needs, the longer they will stay with you. Keep in regular contact and why not occasionally surprise them with either a thank you letter or a small present.

Top tip! Most major companies recognise the importance of looking after their customers – hence the vast amount of money spent on corporate ‘entertaining’!

Keep them

If you are constantly spending your time finding new customers it will be extremely hard to build a stable and expanding concern (although a few trades do rely on one off sales only). A client BASE should be exactly that – a foundation upon which to build.

Find more

Regardless of how much competition you face, there will always be opportunities to acquire new business. The following client groups are always ‘up for grabs’!
Newcomers to the area, emergencies, dissatisfied customers, infrequent purchasers, competitive buyers (price is main concern), transient (move from supplier to supplier).

Even if you are doing well, do not become complacent – these are also the reasons why your customers may leave you!