The business world is full of financial tips, tricks and other bits of advice. While this is great for owners and entrepreneurs, it may make it more challenging to figure out which pieces are good and which ones aren't.
This is especially true when it comes to sales. Pitching products and bringing in more customers is one of the most difficult – albeit crucial – segments of an operation, and all aspects have to be humming along together in order to feel the most positive results. That increases the importance of finding an ideal strategy to get a small business where it needs to go.
With that said, here are some words of wisdom when it comes to sales, as well as a few simple methods to boost this element and improve a financial plan.
Don't buy into these myths
Myths and false pieces of information abound in the small business world, from misleading financial investment advice to poor guidance with sales and customer preferences. Therefore, all owners and entrepreneurs should make sure to avoid these common bits of bad advice before making any changes to the organizational structure.
For starters, Geoffrey James, a contributor to Inc. magazine, wrote that friendliness from sales staff isn't the only thing to strive toward. In fact, this strategy can backfire quickly, because a number of people don't like it when greeted with too much cheeriness immediately after walking in the front door. On the other hand, professionalism counts. This is a much better trait to present right away, and a closer relationship can come after the customer understands the value of the product or service.
In addition, a small business doesn't always have to be selling, according to James. Sales staff who are too pushy can actually drive people away, and it is better to demonstrate an understanding of what the customer wants. With that in mind, try to highlight the value of the product above all else, and paint a clear picture of what benefits patrons will get simply from walking out after making a purchase.
Learn as much as possible about consumers
A great small business will be able to understand the inner workings of its consumers. This includes preferences, challenges and goals. Each person is unique, but as a whole, those interested in a specific product or service will often need to overcome the same hurdles in order to buy. The first step is to learn about the challenges consumers have. The answer to this question can determine how valuable the product or service is to them, which can lead to a clearer understanding about how to pitch it.
After that, the product descriptions can be tailored to fit these needs. Henneke Duistermaat, a contributor to Entrepreneur magazine, wrote that the first step is to define the buyer persona. This is an overview of the generic customer – the ideal person to walk through the door and ask to see what is for sale. It is important to learn about every detail of this person, including their likes, wants, needs and desires. These elements will better define product descriptions, because they can be tailored to fit the most common type of customer.
Moreover, Duistermaat explained that a complete list of features and benefits should be written out. Each product or service can have numerous selling points, but not all appeal to every customer. Therefore, it is vital to narrow it down to only a couple that provide the most value. These should be included in the description. A list can include both positive benefits, as well as problems that the product itself can avoid. This way, consumers will get a complete understanding about what the small business can do for them.