Why is my business not successful… Doh!
Now the following advice may not apply directly to every business, but the principle certainly does. Firstly, ask yourself honestly, are you really effectively selling.
I have been working in and with start ups for many years and my shocking revelation is that I see an increasing number of businesses that are struggling with poor sales, but don’t seem to know why, yet the answer is obvious….they aren’t selling! The excuses are endless ranging from tough market conditions, lack of resources, waiting for my new website, can’t get my social media off the ground and so on, but here’s the reality……stop making excuses and get back to basics. That’s what being an entrepreneur means!
I started my career in direct sales; I was fortunate to be classically trained in understanding and working through the sales cycle. Whilst it may seem to be old fashioned to some, I have yet to be convinced that basic selling is not the essential part of the business and the primary route to success.
So, here’s a quick thought if you’re a company selling to businesses: You have a product, the market has a need, and you know who your target customers are, so go and start selling to them. If you are now thinking that you don’t know how to do this, then you should really pack up now and get a filing job somewhere.
Selling starts by communicating with a prospect and here’s my 10 stage B2B step-by-step advice:
- Define exactly who you want to sell to. Use these 4 criteria: industry type, geography, company size and contact level
- Get a list of your defined prospective customers from a list broker, LinkedIn, local directories, desk/internet research or whatever source is to hand
- Make sure you have a phone number for each record
- Call the switchboard and verify the basic company and contact information – company name, postal address, website, decision maker contact, title, email
- Enter this onto a spreadsheet or a CRM database if you have one
- Set a target for yourself for the size of the list and how many contacts you will call – building a list of 1000 names? Speaking to 200 contacts? Getting 10 appointments?
- Send a letter or email to your contact list – optional. At the very least connect with them on LinkedIn
- Pick the phone up and call them; they will be either interested or not!!!!!
- Try and arrange a meeting and begin a relationship
- Focus on making contact and discipline yourself not to get distracted
You will be amazed at the results!!!
Successful businesses simply sell products at a profit to people who want to buy them.