Whatever product or service you offer, the one thing that all businesses need to survive and thrive is steady sales growth year over year. There are many great strategies that you can use to drive sales, but there are also many poor strategies that can actually hurt your business. In this article, we’ve compiled a list of the essential tips and skills that all small business owners need in order to drive sales and dominate their market.
Of all the skill sets that you can learn, the following two we are about to cover are of the utmost importance to small business owners (and all businesses for that matter).
If you try to blindly take broad swings at the consumer market without having a solid prospecting strategy in place, you might as well be fishing without any bait. An effective prospecting strategy is going to identify your ideal customer, build a consumer profile, and deploy a multifaceted plan that maximizes your chances of obtaining qualified leads from the audience you’re after.
Once you know who your target consumers are, what they’re looking for, and what they talk about, at a bare minimum you’re going to need a dedicated website along with social media profiles on whichever platforms are most relevant to your market.
From there, you can develop marketing strategies that target the prospects you’re after. If you want a more detailed explanation, check out our article on how to get more clients.
If you want to maximize your success, you’ll have at least one (but preferably multiple) sales funnel in place. This is your step by step process that takes new leads from prospect to sale in an organized, optimized, and efficient manner. Depending on the product or service you’re offering, the length and complexity of your sales funnel is going to vary. However, no matter how short or long it is, you’re going to have three distinct stages: interest, nurturing, and the sale. Check out our article about creating a basic sales funnel to learn how they can dramatically increase your sales.
Now that we’ve got the absolute essentials out of the way, it’s time to look at the key skills that all small business owners should learn and master to maximize their sales.
One of the best ways to dominate your niche and stand out from competitors is by having a USP. This is a something that sets you apart from the pack and usually brings more value to consumers. The world of business is highly competitive, and prospects are constantly faced with multiple products and solutions for their needs.
Whatever your differentiating factor is, it should clearly paint a picture for the consumer that explains why you’re a better option and what specific benefits they will gain that they wouldn’t otherwise have if they went with a competitor. It can be anything from a product feature to an extra service they get (like 24/7 customer support) when they sign up with your company.
In order to this, you have to first identify exactly what your target consumer is struggling with, and then dig even deeper. Aside from your product or service helping them solve their problem, how is the solution going to benefit them on a deeper level once it’s resolved? If you can gain a deeper understanding of your target consumer, you’ll be able to better market your product or service to them.
To give you an example, a small business owner wants to drive more traffic to his website. Why does he want more traffic? Because it will drive more sales and help his company become successful. Why does he want success? Because he will have more financial freedom. Why does he want more financial freedom? So he can have more free time to spend with his family and live the life he’s always wanted. That’s the pain point.
As simple as it is to say, patience is one of the hardest skills small business owners have to learn. The bottom line is, results don’t come overnight. Rather, they’re a product of consistently implemented strategies.
No matter how much you may want to, you can’t rush prospects through your sales funnel. You have to let them work through at their own pace and make a purchase decision on their own. Impatience will only serve to sabotage all of your hard efforts.
The harsh reality is that not everyone is going to want to buy what you’re offering (although that would be great). If you’re not used to rejection, it can be hard to handle and ultimately affect your mental state. When you let it get to you, negative emotions can overflow into other areas of your work and bring productivity to a grinding halt. Learn to let things go and focus your attention on the prospects that do want what you’re selling. You have to be able to get back on the horse when things don’t go your way and look at the bigger picture of things.
Prospects are professionals at coming up with reasons not to buy something. Whether you’re writing a rebuttal that will be placed somewhere along your sales funnel, or you’re preparing to call a potential prospect on the phone, having planned rebuttals is always a better strategy than winging it.
Identify the most common hang-ups that your prospects have along their journey toward the eventual sale. By doing this ahead of time, you’ll be better equipped to handle objections and gain a powerful edge.
These are some of the most important foundational skills that all successful business owners have learned at one point or another. Even though you’ll always need to expand your skill set to stay competitive in your niche, if you can master these, your sales will see a noticeable boost.