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The Team at NOW bring you topics of interest to owners of small businesses. Please feel free to leave a comment or let us know if there are particular topics you'd like us to cover.

Sell For Success 4 - the 4 No's

The Team - Thursday, April 12, 2012

This is the fourth and last in our series of articles on successful selling. When I first started out in business I was taught that there are four reasons that prospects don't buy from you. They are:

No Trust - they don't know you, don't trust you and don't want to deal with you. When you get an unwanted call in the evening and they say they are in your country and the telephone display shows 'overseas' then there is no trust and you hang up.

If you are starting up in business then perhaps you have some expertise. Your prospects may not know this unless you tell them, not by being boastful but also not by hiding your experience. Think about how you develop a feeling of trust with your potential customers, through your branding, customer service, image, history, easy access and communication.

No Need - they have sufficient trust to be prepared to listen to you but they weren't awake in the middle of the night wanting what you have to offer. However, many can be convinced and this is where knowledge of potential pain is required.

No Help - now they want what you are offering but they are not convinced that you are the one to buy from. They want to check competitors, websites, etc. When you can match your benefits to their pain, you can demonstrate that you are the salesperson who will help them.

No Hurry - they have decided that they need what you have to offer and that you will be the person that they will buy from. One day! Maybe soon! Maybe not so soon! A lot of sales are nearly made but linger on at this point without going ahead. Think laterally about how to overcome this because it can sometimes be the hardest obstacle of all. Discounts are commonly used, although not my preference. Imminent price rises are good if they are true (you will lose trust if they aren't real). Generally people don't like being squeezed into making a decision and sometimes giving prospects a bit of space and then following up promptly can be a good strategy. It alway surprises me how few salespeople follow up.

Happy selling.

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Sell For Success 3

The Team - Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Elevator Pitch

You've probably heard the term "elevator pitch." As if you were travelling in an elevator, this is the pitch you make in the few moments you have to say something that sparks the listener's interest in your business. If your pitch is effective the listener will be sufficiently intrigued to ask you to elaborate. And who knows, this person could be your next best customer!

What Do You Say After You Say Hello

Think about what you say when you meet people at a function and they ask ‘what do you do?’. Does your response invite them to engage in more questions or do they move on to the canapes? 

My elevator pitch for NOW Business Mastery might be:

"I make businesses three to five times more valuable than they would otherwise be."

That's it. Short and sharp! If a person is a prospect they will say something like 'Really - how do you do that?'

Then I could follow up with 'lots of ways - depends on the company - where do you think the value lies in your business'.

In different circumstances I might say:

●      We help get systems in place so things don't fall through the cracks;

●      We take businesses on a proven ABCDE pathway to growth;

●      Accountants will tell you that a business is valued at about three times EBIT but if you know how then it can sell for many times that;

●      Our clients are helped through succession issues; and

●      We help find growth capital.

The next blog will look at hurdles that a salesperson must overcome.

Happy Selling!

Bob Cross

Comments
Andy Buchanan-Hughes commented on 29-Feb-2012 04:05 PM
Best elevator pitch I ever heard was from someone in the financial planning business. He told people when asked what he did, he replyed I'm a millionaire trainer.
Jon commented on 04-Mar-2012 12:52 PM
Thanks Andy, that pitch is certainly short and sweet and gets straight to what he is offering as a benefit. Makes you want to ask more. Jon

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Sell For Success 2

The Team - Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Sell for success 2

This is the second of four blogs on selling. There is a science to selling - let’s talk about important steps in successfully obtaining sales.

Some preparatory work is required before you start talking to people.

Brainstorm a list of all the "pain" that people in your market experience. (If you don't know you shouldn't be operating in this niche!).

Then, list the features of your product or service. Features are the capabilities / specifications that make yours a good product or service. With this list, construct a table with the following headings:

Feature                          Benefit                                     Evidence (How)

For each feature, add “and this means that . . .” to determine a benefit. How will it reduce pain and make life better for the people who may buy your product or service?

For each benefit, add “how we do this is . . . ”. This is evidence that the benefits claimed are real.

For example, if a web developer were to do the exercise, they may produce the following features in a brainstorming session: great design and content; Search Engine Optimisation; robust development; and a good price.

Here is a table that could be developed from these benefits:

Feature

Benefit

Evidence

Great Design and Content

People will stay longer and probably buy from you

Pictures of sites that have been developed; testimonials

SEO

People will find to your site

List of previous customers that rank high on a search

Robust Development

Site will continue to operate under adverse conditions

Qualifications on sales material; testimonials

Good Price

The site is affordable and good value for money – the decision maker won’t feel ‘ripped off’

Preparedness to do a fixed price development; testimonials

When your salesperson is talking to a prospect, knowledge of the pain that prospects may be experiencing and the benefits that you can provide is invaluable.

The salesperson’s task is to bring to the surface the pain experienced by each prospect - to make them realise how bad their life has become. Note that different prospects will have different pain.

When, and only when, the prospect desperately needs the pain to disappear, the salesperson can offer relief by showing the specific benefits that will relieve the pain. This is the heart of making a sale.

The next blog will look at an important method for getting more prospects.

Happy Selling!

Bob Cross

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logo designer commented on 24-Feb-2012 12:49 AM
Thanks for publishing these details on your site.

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Sell for Success 1

The Team - Tuesday, February 07, 2012

DON'T FORGET TO SELL

Today there is a lot of emphasis on marketing, particularly on web marketing, with an expectation of being able to convert sales without a face-to-face meeting with a prospect. Marketing alone rarely converts prospects into customers and business owners have to remember to "sell". This is the first of four blogs on selling.

Marketing brings income into an organisation by convincing people to buy your product or service. Marketing should develop awareness, trust and desire. Conversion or selling creates action. Aspects of marketing include:

  • Branding;
  • Market research;
  • Advertising;
  • Direct marketing (inc. web and social media);
  • Public relations;
  • Workshops and articles; and
  • Selling.

All of these except the last normally involve pitching to a very wide audience in the expectation that a percentage will gain an interest and will take action to buy. In practice, the percentage that takes action is a very small percent of the market addressed.

INCREASE YOUR SUCCESS RATE

Selling – face-to-face or over the telephone – brings a human face to the process and a high conversion rate from interest to order should be achieved. A good salesperson raises interest and then helps the prospect over hurdles far more effectively than other marketing processes.

If your organisation raises interest but you would wish for a higher conversion rate into a sale, maybe you need a dedicated professional sales person or if you are a small organisation, dedicate some time each week to focus on converting prospects to customers. Methods other than selling provide useful support for your sales people. Other marketing methods help to prepare a prospect to buy – a salesperson solves their real issues and gets an order

In the next blog, I will talk about improving your ability to sell. 

Feel free to ask me a question here or drop me an email and I will get back to you.

What are the sales techniques you have found useful? - Leave a comment below

Coming Soon, "Improving Your Ability to Sell"

Bob Cross

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    1. Sell For Success 4 - the 4 No's The Team 12-Apr-2012
    2. Sell For Success 3 The Team 28-Feb-2012
    3. Sell For Success 2 The Team 14-Feb-2012
    4. Sell for Success 1 The Team 07-Feb-2012

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