Tag Archives: sales

10 Tips For Making Your First Sale

So you’ve started a new business. Or maybe you’ve taken a job as a new salesperson. Congratulations! Now the work begins to make your first sale and start a pattern of success. So here are ten tips to help you make your first sale.

#1. Sell It Top Down

When selling something available at different price points, start with the most expensive option and why it’s the best at alleviating key pain points. If you sense hesitation, make your way to the next best option and so on. This educates customers so they feel better about laying down their money, but it also anchors them to a more expensive choice. Just don’t overwhelm them with options.

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Using Webinars to Drive Sales

As a small business, you likely have certain skills or knowledge about a particular subject or niche. This is especially true for services or when products have a long sales cycle because your potential clients don’t have a lot of experience in your field, while you guide clients through a particular process every day.

It’s a core concept of challenger sales and a source of power that you can, and should, leverage to increase your sales by helping educate potential clients. So let’s look at how you can start using webinars to drive sales for your small business. For even more tips, sign up to today’s free webinar on the subject.

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Turn Site Traffic Into Sales

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Do you need to get more leads for your business? Are you looking for a way to send web traffic to a specific page to do something, such as buy a product or sign up for your mailing list? If so, you need a landing page.

Landing pages are used to do one thing: get visitors to your site to take action. And that’s how they bring your business new leads. Today, we explain what a landing page is, how it differs from your home page, and how you can direct traffic to it.

The Difference Between a Home Page and a Landing Page

Many business owners believe that as their homepage is designed to convert traffic, that’s all they need—but they’re wrong. Your home page, unless you sell a single product, is for any and all traffic, who must, at that point, determine where they want to click next. Landing pages make it even easier by honing in on that thing they’re specifically interested in, and therefore, they increase the likelihood of conversion.

Using a landing page to sell your products or services is a great way to put all your attention onto a single product for the benefit of your customer. Show that you understand his or her needs, and that you can provide an effective solution.

How to Bring Traffic to Your Landing Page

There are several ways you can direct traffic to your landing page, such as:

  • A Pay-Per-Click ad (Google AdWords, Facebook ads)
  • Banner or graphic online ad
  • Link in email
  • Link in blog post

When considering which channels you want to use to help potential customers find your landing page, keep in mind your target. Where are they looking for information on brands like yours?

If you want more tips on converting visitors into sales through landing pages, then attend our free webinar, “Landing Pages That Sell” on November 19th, 2013, at 1 pm Eastern.

We hope to see you there!

 

How CRM Software Can Increase Productivity and Profits

Online tools

Naturally, small businesses tend to have their sights set on one thing and one thing only: generating revenue. But often this comes at the cost of letting other areas of their business slide—namely, organization.

Organization is the key to running a successful business, and by taking some time out of every day to do some simple administrative tasks, planning and arrangement, you’d be surprised at how quickly your company’s efficiency, productivity, and—most importantly—profits, could increase.

But the question is: How do businesses go about improving their organization skills? The answer is simple, but it may not be the first thing that springs to mind. Most people think of Client Relationship Management (CRM) software as a way of improving sales, but what they may not know is that it could prove to be an invaluable tool to boost your company’s productivity, sales tracking and internal collaboration, by streamlining all your communications into one database.

Still not sold? Well, if you’re not ready to upgrade that trusty spreadsheet just yet, here are five benefits that CRM software can offer your business that may just change your mind.

1. Better customer relations

Using a CRM often leads to greater customer satisfaction. All communications—whether they’re from marketing, sales or accounts departments—can be handled in a systematic manner. You’ll also gain a better understanding of your customers’ wants, needs and preferences, which in turn will help increase customer loyalty and decrease customer dissatisfaction. And what’s more is that as a byproduct, you’ll find that your buyers will share their positive stories about your company with their friends and family members—and as any business will know, word-of-mouth is the most powerful form of advertising for any business.

2. Increased revenues

So we know that putting a CRM system in place improves customer relationships, but did you know that it could also lead to an increase in revenue? Using the data you collect, you will be able to target certain products to your customers more strategically, meaning your efforts will be more effective. With the help of customer relation management software, you can create targeted promotions to specific segments within your client base, thus encouraging more sales, and in turn, an uptick in profits. Which leads us to our third benefit…marketing.

3. Easier marketing

CRM can help you understand who’s purchased what and how much they spent when they purchased it—essential data when it comes to launching an effective marketing campaign as it allows you to pinpoint the right potential buyers. Without CRM, this is a near-impossible task—your marketing department would have to go back over old invoices and PO’s to manually track this information and pull their target buyers’ contact details. With CRM, you can segment your customer database by a number of criterion to help you refine your marketing message and ensure it reaches the right people.

4. Efficient upselling and cross-selling

Often businesses spend a great deal of time and money trying to acquire brand new customers— so much so that they neglect to pay proper attention to their best source of revenue: their existing customer base. A CRM system not only facilitates upselling, but it also allows easy cross-selling—the practice of suggesting related products or services to a customer based on their previous purchases. In order to do this, salespeople need a good idea of their customers’ requirements and buying patterns, and CRM software provides just this. Any details about your clients are stored in a central database accessible by all members of your organization, meaning that when an opportunity arises, staff can cross-promote products to customers, and as a consequence, maximize sales.

5. Improved in-house communication

A central database of all your company’s valuable customer information doesn’t just help with external communication—it improves internal communication, too. Sharing important customer data between various divisions of your company encourages teamwork—which is a much better strategy for business than operating as a lone-ranger. Not only will it enable a higher standard of service, but it’ll also increase your company’s profitability.

Before you implement a CRM system (and ideally, before you even select one), be sure to do plenty of research and preparation. Begin by thinking strategically about your company’s mission and goals, and how you will measure your progress. Then start to think strategically about your customer segments and what you are doing with each of these constituents—this will help you define what information needs to be stored in your CRM system, what types of functionalities it will need to have, and what sort of processes people within your organization will need to carry out when using the system.

Remember: CRM is a dynamic application than can be used by more or less everyone in your company, and when used to its full effect, can hold vast amounts of data to create a pool of valuable information that can be used to prospect new business, identify leads, define customer segments, and much more. So, now are you ready to ditch that old spreadsheet?

 If you’re thinking of implementing a CRM system, check out Insightly and sign up for a free account.

6 Ways to Revitalize Your Sales Force

In sales, rejection is often the rule rather than the exception. Your team hears all the reasons why not and most of the time those reasons don’t come in the form of a kind, “No, thank you.” For even the most seasoned sales professional, constant rejection gets old.

When you add the constant pressure that comes with the unwritten (or written) “good numbers equal a job, bad numbers equal lay off,” burn out is real and it’s poisonous to your business. As a leader, it’s your job to keep your sales team excited and motivated. Here’s how.

1) Understand their world. It’s easy to label somebody as having a bad attitude, apathetic, or lazy but that may not be the case. It may be that they’ve gone too long without encouragement or support. Very few people will admit to their boss that they could use a dose of encouragement, but they are thinking it.

If you use outside sales reps that spend a lot of time on their own, the only interaction they experience throughout their day is through their customers. Understand that their job is tough and they need constant, deliberate, and sincere words of appreciation. It might be the best management strategy you employ.

2) Ask them what motivates them. Sure, what they want is to make money so it would seem logical that offering cash is the best way to get them working harder. That’s not always the case. Everybody has different thresholds, but at some point, not even money will motivate your sales force.

Merchandise they would not normally purchase themselves, a luxury trip for the top sales associate, the ability to telecommute once per week, or a paid day off may be enough. It’s not always about money.

3) Listen to them. Everybody wants to feel like they have a voice in the company. If your sales staff feels like the hired help, they’re only going to work as hard as they have to for the paycheck. Listening and responding to what they’re hearing in the field makes them feel like part of the team.

What are the top objections they’re hearing? If there’s a trend, respond to it. Make changes to your product or service based on the feedback. Lower the price or make the terms more favorable. Even the best salesperson can’t sell a broken product. Listening and taking action gives them a voice and makes their lives easier. Those are pretty powerful motivators.

4) Don’t forget about the money. Are you sensing that your staff is largely on autopilot? Is a product not selling as well as you would like? Change your commission structure. Offer a higher rate for a certain product and make sure you encourage your staff to go after the revenue driving customers.

Does your commission structure encourage your sales personnel to go after the accounts that will generate the most revenue? Examine your policies and ask for feedback from your staff.

5) Bring everybody on board. What could be more frustrating to a salesperson who finally lands a big account only to have the product arrive late, substandard, or the customer service staff is rude or unknowledgeable? Everybody in the company should know that they are a member of the sales team.

6) Keep it frequent. Motivation, positive reinforcement, listening to what they’re hearing, and making adjustments should happen frequently. Do not let your company or their job get stale or mundane. Keep it exciting. The ability to make money plus a rewarding experience is what keeps the best employees.

Want to learn more about how to ramp up your online presence? Attend a free small business webinar titled “Why Your Business Needs to Get Found Online,” March 5, 2013 at 2 pm Eastern.

How to Be a Bad Salesperson

Closing a sale is an art form, and not one that every entrepreneur has mastered. Still, if you run a small business, you’re involved in sales to some degree. These are mistakes that the very worst salespeople make. Just be sure you don’t make them too!

1. Research? Who Needs Research?
Greedy salespeople want to make as many cold calls as possible in as short a period of time as possible. That means there’s no time to visit a potential client’s website or read its Twitter stream to see what the company is up to.

So you missed the news on that merger. So what? You can backtrack and bluff your way out of not being prepared!

In Reality: Always do your homework before calling or visiting a potential client. Impress him, even, by catching the personal stuff, like reading that his son won a Little League tournament. By showing you’re paying attention, you immediately disarm a contact and make him warm up to you.

2. Sell! Sell! Sell!
Every salesperson has seen that glazed look in a potential customer’s eyes. It’s natural. And the fact that they back up into a corner when you emphasize why they should buy from you? Well, that’s not your problem. You’re there to sell, and you won’t leave till you do.

In Reality: Learn to read cues. If someone is nodding his head yes, but not paying attention to you, you’re through. He’s decided not to buy from you, and while he might not tell you why, you’ll only be making matters worse if you keep pushing. Pay attention to body language and respect when someone is ready to end the conversation.

3. Turned Down? Move On.
If a contact flat out tells you no, burn that bridge and move on to the next poor sucker. They’re useless to you. Asking why they didn’t want to buy from you? Nah, that just makes you look weak.

In Reality: Be humble enough to ask why a contact didn’t want to buy from you. It might be as simple as price or budget. If so, you can usually work around that. And by asking, you might find out there’s still the potential to do business down the road. Never burn bridges.

10 Tips on Offering Absolutely Brilliant Customer Service

Smiley Faces

When travelling one thing I always expect is good customer service, but I am often let down by people that just don’t get it. To ensure you’re giving your customers great service stick to these basic rules:

1. Ensure that your employees smile at customers. If you’re in customer service you must master the art of the genuine smile

2. Greet customers like you would guests to your home

3. Always say please and thank you

4. Try and memorise people’s name and call them by their name

5. Always under-promise and over-deliver

6. Answer the phone with a smile within 3 or 4 rings

7. If  you’re in retail  escort customers to a product or department they’re looking for rather than just pointing directions

8. Ensure that you and your employees are neat and well presented

9. If you’re in retail  ensure your employees wear name badges

10. Train your employees how to offer brilliant service